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This is the book that has been missing from the Dubai travel literature.

Beyond Dubai: Seeking Lost Cities in the Emirates - David Millar

I really enjoyed this book, it was a breath of fresh air after some of the drivel that has been written about Dubai. The author has a wonderful tongue-in-cheek sense of humour and a great eye for the ironies of Dubai.

But it's not just a book about the tallest building in the world and skiing on snow when it's 45 degrees outside. David has made the effort to go behind the scenes and look into the history of the country; not just the Trucial States and British domination of last century, but the evidence of habitation thousands of years ago. He reveals a history that even many of the residents are not aware of.

Under the guise of persuading his girlfriend that The UAE has a history worth noting, he travels around the country and parts of Oman, searching out evidence of life in the past. Burial sites, old cities, settlements and historical remains are visited and briefly explained - enough to whet our appetites for visits of our own.
There is also some interesting discussion about the history of the Gulf itself, which, in its distant past, was once dry land, possibly even the site of The Garden of Eden.

One criticism from our book group was that the humour was very British/Canadian; other nationalities found it somewhat patronising, but humour is always a very personal thing.
Photos would also have been a great addition.

This is a book that I would highly recommend to visitors and residents of Dubai alike. It is informative and readable and well worth reading.