As one of the winners of Conde Nast‘s inaugural “Shorties Film Festival,” Joel earned a trip to Dubai and took friend and Cinematographer Max Spang along for the ride. Together they created a feast for the senses with spectacular time lapse (time-lapse?), and a feast for the soul with the haphazardly thrown-together musical video “Jew in Dubai.”

 

 

 

 

Jew In Dubai from Levinson Brothers on Vimeo.

Are you curious to know more about Dubai beyond timelapse and what it’s like to be a Jew there?

Here. Read this shit I had written by a dude on fiverr who I hired to write this blog post for me so and make sure not to leave out the big buildings or the slavery that built them. Enjoy!

Dubai is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates, and displays some of the grandest feats of engineering anywhere in the world. The city grew rapidly when oil was discovered, but today it is a hub of business and tourism, with people flocking to Dubai for the exquisite shopping centers, luxury hotels, and skyscrapers.

The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, is located in Dubai, standing nearly 830 meters high, or more than half a mile in the air. There are currently more than 150 buildings that stand at least 150 meters, which is the most in the world. The majority of those buildings are residential, but there are exceptions, such as the Burj Al Arab, arguably the world’s finest hotel, and the Dubai Miracle Garden, which is the world’s largest flower garden.

These buildings are undoubtedly exquisite feats of engineering and are spectacular to look at. But that beauty has come with a steep price. The individuals who actually built these skyscrapers are often young men from South Asia who treatment has been compared to slavery.

When the laborers first arrive, their passports are often confiscated, making retreat extremely difficult right from the start. The workers are bussed to a camp which is essentially a concrete wasteland – buildings with small rooms that house numerous people at once. When it comes time for the builders to get to work, they go at it for more than 12 hours a day in heat that can literally be crippling. They are paid next to nothing – that is, if they get paid at all.

The epic skyscrapers and fabulous hotels in Dubai are truly a marvel, and businesses and tourism are flourishing in the city. Still, in the shadows of those wondrous buildings are people who aren’t just visiting – they aren’t allowed to leave.