It may be in debt, but Dubai's not giving up the dream. Its latest boast — the first metro on the Arabian peninsula. And the world's largest automated driverless train system.
The desert emirate is known for superlatives — it's already home to the world's first seven star hotel, as well as the tallest building.
"We want the metro to be on this list of great icons. We want the metro to connect these icons," said Peyman Younes Parham from the Transit Authority of Dubai.
There will be gold service complete with leather seats and plush carpeting. And it doesn't stop there. Riders will enjoy wifi, air conditioning, and cell phone service.
But the project's not done, and only 10 of 29 stations were functional at the time of the grand opening.
The idea for the metro was hatched in boomtown times when traffic was legendary. Things are different now, and heavily leveraged Dubai is looking at yet another bill of about nine billion dollars for this project.
"The cost of the project has more than doubled since it was first planned and this is set against the overall debt position Dubai finds itself in, which from any estimates you read is between 80 and 150 billion dollars," said Andrew Critchlow from the Dow Jones.
Another question some are asking — who will be around to take the train?
With many expatriates beating a retreat, and Emiratis themselves quite bonded to their cars, who will ride the metro?
Well, there are takers.
"It will be so much faster. It used to take me an hour to get to work. Now it should take 20 minutes," said one enthusiastic individual onthe streets of Dubai to FOX News.
Despite the ups and downs, the show goes on. In a region that is becoming increasingly concerned about pollution, many say Dubai — with its new public tranpsortation system — is on the right track here.