An Academic Building Boom Transforms the Persian Gulf

Western universities find opportunities as 3 Arab emirates strive to outdo one another

The tiny desert emirate of Dubai is home to the world's only seven-star hotel, a shopping mall with an indoor ski slope, and the world's largest man-made island.

But just outside the city, in a vast desert punctuated by construction sites, an equally ambitious development is taking place. Between the land set aside for a "silicon oasis" and a lot reserved for shopping outlets lies the future