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By Zachary Wilson | 12-01-2009 | 12:29 PM
With requisite hookah and a jeroboam of Champagne, a group of German businessmen celebrate their purchase of an Alaskan oil field at Plastik Beach Club, a playground touting itself as "exclusively for the filthy rich and aesthetically perfect." Public intoxication and displays of affection are jailable offenses in Dubai, but private clubs are quietly ignored by the authorities, often rendering them happy havens of vice. Plastik offers a helipad and a dock for its wealthy guests, many of them Russian; as the economy crumbles, they party on. One American expat says that while Dubai's promise has faded in the economic downturn, "people who dream of a better life dream of coming to Dubai. You can call it the American dream."
Photo by Lauren Greenfield