The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is attempting to become a global financial center joining such cities as Hong Kong, Singapore and others. In the process of doing so it is hosting a series of high profile events such as the International Monetary Fund / World Bank meetings and embarking on a number of large scale construction projects. As a result a “new Dubai” is emerging in which high rise structures (such as the tallest building in the world) dominate. Old Dubai is in danger of being neglected – many business establishments are abandoning their offices searching for more modern accommodations in the new city center. These new centers have all the classic symptoms of global cities: fragmented centers, exclusiveness, privatized public space and a general sense of alienation. Speeding along Sheikh Zayed Highway – a main artery within the new Dubai – one is not aware of any human presence. Yet within old Dubai a series of vibrant spaces do exist which are egalitarian, humane and offer a sense of comfort and inclusiveness. This paper reports on one such space – Bani Yas square – located in the heart of the city. Having been the historical center of Dubai, it has witnessed a series of transformation from the dredging of the creek when it was a meeting place for the engineers working on the project till its current state being a major center for Dubai’s expatriate as well as local community – still somehow ascertaining its presence within the globalizing tide sweeping the city. The study hopes to illustrate that while modernity (globalization) may lend itself to exclusiveness local aspects persist and may in fact be strengthened as a form of resistance. The existing literature is divided on this subject. While some have noted that one of the most visible aspects of globalizing cities is what has been sometimes described as the ‘quartering of urban space’ due to a sharper division between rich and poor (Habitat, 2001). In other words most public spaces in the city are reserved for the rich and the elite. As a result of all this some have noted that a ‘dual-city’ is emerging in which social polarization is becoming a dominant feature. The work of Saskia Sassen, is perhaps representative of such a viewpoint (Sassen, 2001). Due to the presence of high-profile projects in these global cities there is an influx of a highly skilled, and paid, workforce. To maintain and service such activities, however, low-wage employees are needed who form the backbone of corporate and financial activities An increasingly large numbers of scholars are beginning to question this, however. In her analysis of post-colonial cities Jane Jacobs noted that a new analytical language is emerging in which such constructs as hybridity, diaspora, creolization, transculturation etc. figure highly (Jacobs, 1997). Nezar AlSayyad in his book on hybrid urbanism extends this analysis further by arguing that in cities throughout the world globalization led to creation of “third places” an in-between space of “spatial reconciliation of incommensurable constructions of subcultures” (AlSayyad, 2001). Thus, there seems to be a trend in the literature that globalization does not in and of itself lead to loss of identity/heritage. The city of Dubai represents a perfect setting for examining these tendencies. The study will rely on a historical narrative illustrating the transformations witnessed within the square, thus becoming a device for reading the development of the city. Contemporary developments are examined through observation of activities and events taking place within the square which is contrasted with other locales in the city. The study is structured in three parts: (1) the perceived problem(s) of globalizing cities; (2) a brief history of urban development in Dubai; (2) a narrative of Bani Yas square which will include a history of the setting in addition to an analysis of contemporary conditions within the square (users, activities, land use).