Editor’s Letter, June 2016: Transformation Age

If I had to pick one global city as a poster child for change, there’d be no contest: Dubai all the way. In April, I spent three days there as a guest of the VicenzaOro Dubai show and was reminded how easily a city can shape shift.  My first visit to the United Arab Emirates was in 2004, when it was still shaking off its past as a desert backwater. Two years later, I returned to attend the International Colored Gemstone Association’s biannual congress and didn’t recognize the place. Construction on the Burj Khalifa—at 2,716.5 feet high, the world’s tallest building—had begun, but the mother of all skyscrapers was still largely a gleam in the developer’s eye.  With a decade having passed since my last visit, I was prepared to be blindsided by the city’s growth. Sure enough, the construction cranes are still a ubiquitous sight in Dubai, but signs of a more progressiv

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