Increase in urbanization through globalization and population explosion has resulted in rapidly growing cities in the past few decades. Driven by market forces and moneyed interests, cities are placing larger emphasis on economic development. This increasing trend had resulted in a dramatic change in urban morphology, and vernacular urban fabric is being replaced by a ‘global urban form’ that has become a commonplace around the world. Dubai, a regional financial hub and a global city, rose to prominence in a matter of few decades. Started as a mere fishing village, it has managed to modernize and build itself to global prominence. Its meteoric rise has resulted in a dramatic transformation in its physical form through single minded determination and careful planning. This research explores the impact of rapid growth on Dubai's urban form and its implications on creating an ‘Elusive Dubai’. This research also investigates the phenomenon of elusiveness in major land uses of Dubai through the analysis of surveyed data collected prior to this research. Furthermore, it attempts to draw lessons for planned rapid urban growth in cities through Dubai’s model of urbanization.