Sanaa is the capital city of Yemen. It is on a 2,5 hour flight from Dubai. The difference between these two Arabic cities can hardly be bigger. Dubai has become known worldwide in a short period of time by making itself into a brand. A brand that stands for prosperity and growth ; offering all attractions of the modern world. It competes with Western cities by building the tallest buildings, the biggest shopping malls and the most outrageous tourist attractions, like skiing in the desert. So far, the transformation from a small anonymous coastal town in a quiet corner of the Arabian peninsula into a sprawling Arabic ‘Sim’ City has been successful.
By contrast, in the city center of Sanaa time has stood still for the past centuries. The old city has the same quality as the city centers of Venice or Amsterdam. Its architecture is very impressive and remarkably well preserved. Many buildings have remained unchanged, but not its inhabitants. A strong dress code is still obeyed in Sanaa, but there is an inspiring way how the young incorporate world fashion trends into this code. The streets are filled with very tasteful examples of an Arabic/western fashion fusion.