Though it is an ancient city, the Middle Eastern trading hub of Dubai has only recently grabbed the world’s attention with its spectacular rise. The audacious modernization scheme set in motion by Sheikh Rashid’s 1959 trip to London has come to fruition today, under his son, Sheikh Mohamed.

In the last decade alone, Dubai’s urban footprint has quadrupled as the city has grabbed international headlines with its outlandish, Vegas-esque architecture. But it is Dubai’s social fabric, with a population fully 96 percent foreign-born running the gamut from the richest to the poorest people on earth, that makes this global hub a place to be reckoned with.

To answer the most pressing question of our century—can we all share a single city and ultimately, a single world?—we must look to Dubai.