The Burj Dubai punctures the city's skyline with its telescopic steel spire, finishing more than 300 metres higher than its nearest rival, Taiwan's Taipei 101.
26,000 hand-cut glass panels create a soaring glimmer in the sunshine, while inside there are plush offices, luxurious apartments and soon, an Armani-branded hotel.
Burj Dubai's official opening is also designed as a celebration of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum becoming ruler of Dubai four years ago. It's his vision that's credited with inspiring the city's phenomenal growth.
Things may now have gone awry, but people here still want to believe in that vision.
Officially there's not a hint of embarrassment that Burj Dubai's opening comes just a month after the debt announcement which sent world stock markets plummeting, but business people here are worried.
The city has received a significant bailout from its oil-rich neighbour, Abu Dhabi and some people there are wondering whether today's extravagant display of Dubai's past boldness is entirely appropriate in the circumstances.
A hotel chain is employing human bed warmers to help guests get a good night's sleep.
The walking electric blankets are dressed in special all-in-one sleeper suits and are sent to warm the beds of guests staying at the Holiday Inn before they get under the covers.
Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said the idea could help people get off to sleep.
He said:''There's plenty of scientific evidence to show that sleep starts at the beginning of the night when body temperature starts to drop. The decline occurs partly because the blood vessels of the hands, face and feet open up and release heat."
A warm bed - approximately 20 to 24 degrees Celsius - is a good way to start this process whereas a cold bed would inhibit sleep. Holiday Inn's new bed warmers service should help people achieve a good night's sleep especially as it's taking much longer for them to warm up when they come in from the snow.''
Holiday Inn spokeswoman Jane Bednall said the idea was "like having a giant hot water bottle in your bed".
On a farm in coastal Maine, a barn is going up. Right now it's little more than a concrete slab and some wooden beams, but when it's finished, the barn will provide winter shelter for up to six cows and a few head of sheep. None of this would be remarkable if it weren't for the fact that the people building the barn are two of the most highly regarded organic-vegetable farmers in the country: Eliot Coleman wrote the bible of organic farming, The New Organic Grower, and Barbara Damrosch is the Washington Post's gardening columnist.
At a time when a growing number of environmental activists are calling for an end to eating meat, this veggie-centric power couple is beginning to raise it. "Why?" asks Coleman, tromping through the mud on his way toward a greenhouse bursting with December turnips. "Because I care about the fate of the planet."
Ever since the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization released a 2006 report that attributed 18% of the world's man-made greenhouse-gas emissions to livestock - more, the report noted, than what's produced by transportation - livestock has taken an increasingly hard rap.
At first, it was just vegetarian groups that used the U.N.'s findings as evidence for the superiority of an all-plant diet. But since then, a broader range of environmentalists has taken up the cause. At a recent European Parliament hearing titled "Global Warming and Food Policy: Less Meat = Less Heat," Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, argued that reducing meat consumption is a "simple, effective and short-term delivery measure in which everybody could contribute" to emissions reductions.
And of all the animals that humans eat, none are held more responsible for climate change than the ones that moo. Cows not only consume more energy-intensive feed than other livestock; they also produce more methane - a powerful greenhouse gas - than other animals do. "If your primary concern is to curb emissions, you shouldn't be eating beef," says Nathan Pelletier, an ecological economist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., noting that cows produce 13 to 30 lb. of carbon dioxide per pound of meat.
So how can Coleman and Damrosch believe that adding livestock to their farm will help the planet? Cattleman Ridge Shinn has the answer. On a wintry Saturday at his farm in Hardwick， he is out in his pastures encouraging a herd of plump Devon cows to move to a grassy new paddock. Over the course of a year, his 100 cattle will rotate across 175 acres four or five times. "Conventional cattle raising is like mining," he says. "It's unsustainable, because you're just taking without putting anything back. But when you rotate cattle on grass, you change the equation. You put back more than you take."