Jebel Ali Village, Dubai, UAE

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If you asked a European to picture an Arabian village they would probably imagine a sprawl of rustic-looking tents and mud-brick houses. They might imagine camels being led by Arabs in traditional dress through a small yet bustling market place. They might imagine the powerful aroma of the spices on sale there, and the glistening of the gold and silver trinkets available from the jewellery stall.

Jebel Ali Village has none of these things.

Origins

Jebel Ali means Ali's Mountain or Ali's Hill. It is the highest point for miles but exactly how high no-one can know, as the authorities have not comissioned any ordinance survey maps of the area. A rough estimate puts the hill at -- ft. Who Ali was and what connection he had with the hill are lost in the mists of time. Perhaps he discovered it, or maybe some sheik once gave it to him as a gift.

Jebel Ali Village itself is located on the side of the hill and was originally built to house the workers of the then-new Jebel Ali Port in 19--. It is situated --km west of the city of Dubai, just outside the industrial zone. There are 300 villas in total.

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