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Like Las Vegas, Dubai is a giant desert mirage of sorts, its greenery all grown by drip irrigation rather than divine will. "I visited a park near my hotel, and it all looked so normal and so perfect, like Central Park," Otten says. "When I saw the pipes I was amazed; it looks so good and so real, you'd almost overlook how fake it is." The illusions in Dubai, she notes, tend to be a tad more obvious, like a 32,000-sq.ft. indoor ski slope lined with 6,000 tons of artificial snow.