This is an important look at the Dubai phenomenon from Vancouver-based writer Deborah Campbell. Campbell's in-depth consideration of the situation on the ground in Dubai points to the fragility of the city's socio-political basis.
This 2007 article draws attention to the importance of 9/11 on Dubai's accelerated growth. It is also important to note that it predates the 2008 economic meltdown and subsequent reigning in of Dubai's unbridled exuberance. This a must read for anyone interested in Dubai.