Glittery, glitzy, and glam, Dubai is certainly an attention-seeker. This Middle Eastern metropolis was barely on the international radar a decade ago. Now, it's one of the hottest destinations on the planet.

Dubai is an engineering playground of modern marvels and manmade meccas. Its rise in global prominence is astounding and its allure remains as strong as ever.

Dubai's flamboyant hotels, dazzling shopping malls and towering skyscrapers attest to its bold vision of the future. Materialistic to the bone, the city coined the term shopping festival - an annual event with the sole purpose of getting people to travel to Dubai and spend money.

Ostentatious as it may be, at its heart, Dubai remains what it's always been: a traditional Islamic town.

Here's a look from above at the town's rapid rise from the desert sands.