Burj al Khalifa III
It's too easy to dismiss Dubai as some gauche manifestation of excess subsidized by oil money. But any town that spawned out of that bone-dry desert to become this fanfare of opulence is better viewed as a symbol of defiance.
It is perhaps this symbology that explains the whiff of scorn that some "men and women of the West" betray when they refer to this place in light conversation. It's the city that shouldn't have been, a triumph of the contrarian, the impossible human-made oasis all tailor-made for the smart-phone era.