DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The ribbon of beach nestled along the towering skyscrapers rising from Dubai’s man-made marina district is a rare spot in the Middle East, bringing together the conservatively dressed and the bikini-clad in a multiethnic mix of those with means and those still striving for a more comfortable life.
Most of the luxury towers along the beach have been built only in the past decade. Some are homes to foreign professionals working in the Gulf commercial hub, others vacation properties or a place to park some cash for wealthy businesspeople from Russia, Asia and nearby Saudi Arabia.
The beach — which overlooks the city’s iconic Palm Jumeirah island — is now more popular than ever after the recent opening of a sleek new shopping and entertainment promenade.
In true glitzy Dubai fashion, actor Will Smith joined Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in February for an early peek at the waterfront complex, which boasts an outdoor cinema and high-tech digital signboards that let visitors take selfies and even find out the time of the next Islamic call to prayer.
Associated Press photographer Kamran Jebreili spent a few days documenting life on the beachfront. Here’s a gallery of some of his images.