They're Wearing Green in Dubai

"Dubai may be possibly the closest thing to being in Iran itself. In five days here I've met with nearly three dozen Iranians from different walks of life to try to get a better impression of what's happening inside the country.

Part of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is the city-state that until recently glittered as the Middle East's pre-eminent financial center and served as a mecca for European sunbirds desperate for a warm break from bleak northern winters. The economy has ground to a standstill, Dubai having proven no more resistant to the global recession than anyplace else. The sun still blazes, of course -- a toasty 80-plus degrees Fahrenheit most January afternoons. The Disney-style hotels, skyscrapers, and over-the-top shopping malls -- one of them boasts an indoor ski slope -- reminds one of Las Vegas. And no matter where you go, Dubai retains a strong, distinctly Iranian flavor."

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