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With its soaring skyscrapers, ever-green golf courses and even a ski resort, the desert city of Dubai is testament to a determined battle between man and nature.

Yet with the global downturn and mounting debts threatening its future, it is not hard to imagine this sun-seared metropolis being swallowed back up by the surrounding sands as a financial meltdown prompts its wealthy sponsors to leave, followed by the 2million mainly foreign workers depending on them.

That is the post-apocalyptic nightmare scenario realised in eerie images created by the award-winning British photographer and artist Richard Allenby-Pratt.

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