Dubai: City of Dreams

Transgenders: Pakistan's Open Secret image

(52 min.) UAE

Director/Producer: Robert Tutak


Dubai: A City of Dreams investigates the high human cost behind Sheikh Mohammad's ever-increasing efforts to fulfill his dream of transforming what was once a sleepy fishing village into the ultimate 21st century destination. Excess and extravagance have become synonymous with Dubai in the modern world and have put the Arab Emirates on the map as a vacation spot for the world's wealthy elite. In just six years, Dubai has delivered the tallest building in the world, the most expensive hotel in the world, the biggest man-made island, the biggest shopping mall, the biggest airport and the longest fully automated metro. However, hidden away from the tourists, underneath the huge skyscrapers and luxurious hotels, lies the reality no one wants to acknowledge. Men who work twelve to sixteen hour shifts in often over 100 degree temperatures, make less than a dollar a day and live in slum-like gated labor camps. This is the reality for these laborers. Their stories are revealed in Dubai: A City of Dreams.


Associate professor of film at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, graduate of the Lodz Film School of Poland, and founder/director of the Manhattan Film Academy, Robert Tutak has written and directed sixteen short documentaries and short fiction films. His work has been exhibited internationally in Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and the UK, among other countries, as well as in the US including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.