Dallas photographers explore disparate opulence abroad: Havana and Dubai

by | Travel

Two Dallas photographers, two different cities, two kinds of glamour

Havana photographs by MAXINE HELFMAN | Dubai photographs by FREDRIK BRODEN

Dictator Fulgencio Batista’s gold phone of 1957

The Museum of the Revolution in Old Havana

A governmental office

The office of Fulgencio Batista, the late Cuban president and dictator


I had, for years, heard various things about the place. Part of what was interesting was the contrast between the strict government and society with the hyper-opulence and unbridled consumption of luxury. The partying happens at the hotels, which are the only places one can buy alcohol. At the more luxurious hotels, there was a disproportionate amount of Russians. Why? I don’t know. My favorite spot was Old Dubai, which had the proper Indiana Jones feel with great spice shopping and people-watching in the labyrinth of narrow streets. One of the big pastimes is hookah bars. You simply order the flavor you want for your pipe and your server gets it lit. People sit there for hours and socialize and relax. I really wanted to see the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. The building looks completely surreal in its size, like something that doesn’t belong on this planet. —Fredrik Broden

The sprawling Fashion Avenue inside Dubai Mall

The man-made canal district, Dubai Marina

A limousine waits outside Atlantis, The Palm, a 5-star hotel built on a man-made island

A highway near Dubai

The peak of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world