One common argument against new housing is that it will turn “[neighborhood at issue] into Dubai.” Evidently, some people think Dubai is a hellscape of super-dense skyscapers.
In fact, Dubai isn’t very dense at all. Downtown Dubai has a population of about 13,200 people in 0.77 square miles, or a little over 17,000 people per square mile. This is only about one-fourth the density of Manhattan. Many Dubai neighborhoods are even less dense than its downtown.
There is one Dubai neighborhood that is more dense than most urban neighborhoods in North America: Ayal Nasir (which has about 200,000 people per square mile). But it looks far more like Paris than the popular stereotype of Dubai: streets are narrow, and most buildings are five or so stories high. The neighborhood next door, Al Murar, has 130,000 people per square mile and has a similarly human-scale urban fabric.