A NASA astronaut has tweeted a stunning image of the UAE from space, showcasing exactly what incredible development has happened on the Arabian peninsula in just a few short years.
Chris Hadfield, a Canadian national who spent time on the International Space Station before recently returning to Earth, has a prolific following on Twitter, and reached out to Time Out directly with the image.
The two largest emirates in terms of population and infrastructure can clearly be seen in the picture, although the eagle-eyed among you will notice it is in fact 'upside down'. In the picture, Abu Dhabi sits 'above' Dubai, while Al Ain is clearly visible to the 'West'.
Shot at night, the image is unlike those previously published from above our planet, which have tended to focus on the awesome physical changes to the coastline i.e. The Palm Jumeirah, World Islands and more. Here, though, the spider-like network of roads that link all seven of the United Arab Emirates bring the whole nation into better focus.
Even Fujairah, so often a forgotten emirate on the opposite side of the peninsula, has the light - literally - shone on it.
Hadfield was in town as part of the Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature. Talking to a captive audience on Saturday evening, the retired 56 year year old from Ontario, discussed his book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, the acclaimed story of his five months on board ISS. He has also published the terrific You Are Here - Around The World in 92 Minutes, a collection of images from the space station.
Throughout his career, Hadfield has been a man of firsts, most notably when he commanded a spaceship before any of his fellow countrymen. In his 21 years as an astronaut, the now author and motivational speaker, performed spacewalks, controlled major machinery during the buiding of space station Mir, and became the first Canadian to board a Russian craft.
In 2013, Hadfield, who was the original astronaut to harness the power of social media to give his special insight on Earth, Tweeted a strongly magnified image of Dubai and the man-made archipelago that lines the coastline.
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