August 29, 2005

Dubai thrills pop singer Michael Jackson

DUBAI (Reuters) - Pop star Michael Jackson, on a private
visit to Dubai, is reportedly thrilled by the Gulf Arab emirate
which is in the midst of a construction boom.

Local newspapers reported on Monday that Jackson has been
touring the emirate, the Gulf region's trade and tourism hub,
for the past week in the company of the Dubai-based Arab rally
driving champion and friend Mohammed bin Sulayem.

"Michael had a wonderful time and he was surprised and
impressed by what he found in Dubai," the papers quoted Sulayem
as saying.

Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is building what it
says will be the world's tallest tower, three man-made islands
in the shape of huge palm trees and a slew of other projects
aimed at luring foreign tourists and investment.

Jackson, who was acquitted in June of child sex abuse
charges, is currently living in the Gulf Arab kingdom of
Bahrain as a guest of the royal family.

The 46-year-old pop star of "Thriller" fame is popular in
the Gulf region.