You thought you had been prepared by having seen countless videos and photos, but Burj Khalifa flabbergasts with its staggering 828 metres – challenging to describe if you have not been near its entrance. Truly an incredible feat of engineering, it is regarded as the Vertical City.

Grains of sand. Irrigated trees. Luxury meets pomposity. I never had too much of an expectation about Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates as a whole. It has never been on my “to-visit” list, yet I just came back from a journey there.