Dubai’s last big hurrah before the credit crunch hit town in 2008, the shiny Business Bay development comprises a dense cluster of high-rises arranged around an extension of the Creek. Most of the buildings are fairly humdrum, although there are a few local landmarks worth a quick look.
Exiting the metro and heading right at the first main intersection brings you to the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hotel, opened in late 2012 and currently the tallest hotel in the world at a cool 355m. The hotel occupies one of a soaring pair of identical blue-glass-clad towers whose strangely contoured outlines appear to be modelled on the trunk of a palm tree, each topped with a spiky little crown.
Opposite the Marriott, you can’t fail to notice the Iris Bay building, an extraordinary crescent-shaped structure (like an eye turned sideways – hence the name), while back down the road, next to the intersection opposite the metro, stands the Omniyat tower, like an enormous popcorn carton made out of shiny black glass, and, next door, the Prism building, looking exactly as the name suggests. From here down the road ahead in the distance your eye is drawn to the funky O-14 tower, popularly known as the Swiss Cheese Tower thanks to the undulating layer of white cladding which envelops the entire structure, dotted with around 1300 circular holes. It’s said to have been inspired by the Arabian mashrabiya (a kind of traditional, elaborately carved wooden screen), although it actually looks like nothing so much as an enormous piece of postmodern Emmenthal.