Well, I'm in Qatar (Pronouced Cut r) More of the same Middle East but also totally different. There are no where near as many high rise towers but they are coming. The CBD is much smaller but the rate of growth is also phenomenal. Accommodation is scarce and you have escalating prices everywhere. Good old supply and demand. The Cognition contract here has had a long term lease (5 years) on an apartment block. The lease runs out in Feb 09. The landlord is not renewing any of the leases. The building is 5 years old and he is going to knock it down and build a new building because the by-laws have changed and instead of 2 levels high he is now allowed to go 4 stories. It is worth his while to demolish the existing block and totally rebuild with two extra stories. Nothing wrong with the existing building except he can get far more per apartment and by doubling the number of apartments he can make significantly more even though he has to build again. Growth, everywhere like you wouldn't believe. Will the economic downturn the rest of the world is seeing hit here. I don't know? This is fueled by fuel (haha) and you are still driving around in your cars. It may slow but there is a nice thermal blanket around the bulk of the growth here that the rest of the world doesn't have a plug to slot into.
Looking at Doha it has now been declared to have the highest per capita per person of any country. They are mainly liquid gas producers which they are pumping flat stick and feeding their economy with.
Visually it looks more like what I expected the Arab countries to look like. Not a great deal of high rise, sand in little pools around most of the streets. Light coloured buildings with narrower alleys. There are still the highways and the crazy drivers but there is an older element that makes it feel more Arab if that makes any sense at all. (I'll load some photos when I get back to UAE)
As you fly into the airport its sand. Sand everywhere and then this structure out of the middle of nowhere. They haven't put as much irrigation into their built up areas as the UAE has focused on and so it looks and feels more like a desert country. (I would imagine they don't desalinate anywhere as much water as the UAE) Still all in all I like the look and feel of the country. There will be aspects of it that I really miss when I finally come home. The attitude towards service for one.