Is Dubai for real?

An interesting combination of factors is driving an astonishing construction boom in Dubai, including:
– $70 oil
– a ruler with extraordinary (or extraordinarily insane) vision
– geographical serendipity (shipping routes to China, India)
– avaialbility (and exploitability) of cheap labour from Asia
Result: palm-tree islands like this one being constructed at massive scale, not to mention what is planned to be the world’s tallest building. (To see how the islands are being marketed, check this out from the site of Jonah Tobias who’s working on this year’s TED titles. Click the second link on this page. It’s both awe-inspiring and horrifying.)

A breathless article in today’s London Guardian wonders whether Dubai could become the world’s most powerful city of the coming century.

Please tell me ths is overhyped?