The study argues that third world cities specifically those which have witnessed rapid growth within the lastt two decades are moving towards a « co-existence » model which takes into account forces of modernizarion and change (globalization) while at the same time responding to the preservation of traditional elements within the society. Initially coined by Ricoeur as a « paradox » facing those attempting to « join the universal civilization » while responding to local conditions the study notes that this « paradox » is resolved in the city of Dubai through an examination of two traditional areas Bastakiy'ya and Abrah located in close proximity to each other. Both in their development and current status reflect the extent to wich this paradox could be resolved through the development of an open air-museum and catening to traditional elements thus maintening (or sustaining) vital socio-economic networks.