Here at My Tool Shed, we thought we’d take a look to see how much some of the fastest-growing cities across the world have vastly evolved over the last 30 years. To highlight this, we wanted to go beyond just showing you stats and figures. As a result. we’ve created gifs that show five cities (Doha, Dubai, Las Vegas, Manama and Singapore) transforming from how they looked from the sky back in 1988, all the way through to last year and each year in between. So, read on and see how these cities have changed.



The economic growth of Dubai eclipses most others. Its initial boom was, like most other Middle Eastern cities, down to its oil supplies, but what most people don’t realise about Dubai is that its supply was modest compared to neighbouring cities and countries. Consequently, Dubai focused resources on tourism and in 2002, reforms allowed foreigners to own real estate. The industry boomed overnight, which is apparent when you discover that oil accounts for only 1% of Dubai’s GDP.

Dubai Evolving

City Stats

City Population End Of 1988 = 416,000

City Population End Of 2018 = 2,785,000

Increase (Number) = 2,369,000

Increase (%) = 569%



Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain. It’s been an important trading centre in the Persian Gulf historically, but its main growth recently has been a result of oil. In the ‘90s a concerted diversification effort led to expansion in other industries helping Manama develop into a financial hub in the Middle East.

Manama Evolving

City Stats

City Population End Of 1988 = 123,000

City Population End Of 2018 = 565,000

Increase (Number) = 442,000

Increase (%) = 359%

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Billed as the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas is the home of nightlife. Casinos, bars, clubs, shopping, fine dining, you name it, Vegas has it. Not surprisingly, it’s the most populous city in the state of Nevada, but you might be surprised to discover that it’s becoming favoured more and more by families and those retiring too.

Las Vegas’s population was to hit 2 million in 2006 but thanks to a recession that number wasn’t met. However, it’s steadily recovering, now the 11th fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S. according to Forbes, with projected growth to 3.32 million by 2042, a 67% increase over 30 years, making it one of the largest expected population booms in the United States.

Las Vegas Evolving

City Stats

City Population End Of 1988 = 642,000

City Population End Of 2018 = 2,541,000

Increase (Number) = 1,899,000

Increase (%) = 296%



Doha is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country and is the capital and most populous city of the state of Qatar. Not only is it the most populous, it’s also the fastest-growing, with over 80% of the nation’s population living in the city or its surrounding suburbs. The city was founded in the 1820s when it became an offshoot of Al Bidda, previously the largest town in Qatar and became the country’s capital in 1971. It’s recognised as one of the emergent financial centres in the Middle East and has its own purpose-built artificial island off its coast called The Pearl.

Doha Evolving

City Stats

City Population End Of 1988 = 226,000

City Population End Of 2018 = 633,000

Increase (Number) = 407,000

Increase (%) = 180%



Singapore is technically known as a sovereign island city-state. Its territory consists of one main island and 62 other islets and has increased 23% in total size due to extensive land reclamation. It’s also one of the Four Asian Tigers, also known as Dragons or Little Dragons, which are the economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. These territories have become both world-leading international financial centres (Hong Kong & Singapore) and electrical component and device manufacturers (South Korea & Taiwan). They enjoyed rapid industrialisation and exceptionally high growth rates between the ‘60s and ‘90s and have served as role models for many other developing countries such as the ones included in the Tiger Club of South Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).



Johor neighbours Singapore on the coast of mainland Malaysia. Its capital city is Johor Bahru, which is also the economic centre of the state. Currently Malaysia’s third largest city, it’s one that’s rapidly growing with its population increasing 162% in the last 30 years. Similarly to Singapore, Johor Bahru hosts many of the world’s top electronics manufacturers but is considered far more of an industrial city rather than one for tourism.

Singapore & Johor Evolving

City Stats

Singapore Population End Of 1988 = 2,877,000

Singapore Population End Of 2018 = 5,792,000

Singapore Increase (Number) = 2,915,000

Singapore Increase (%) = 101%

Johor Bahru Population End Of 1988 = 375,000

Johor Bahru Population End Of 2018 = 983,000

Johor Increase (Number) = 608,000

Johor Increase (%) = 162%

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