Monday, March 26, 2007

Boom Town

This is the typical skyline of Dubai. Construction has been Dubai's most booming industry ever since freehold properties were allowed in 2002 & any time you look at the horizon you're more likely to see a tower crane than not.
As a result, there is a string of ambitious projects coming up & apart from being funny party conversations, these projects have started a race for the most out-there-ideas-ever: the tallest tower, the inverted tower, the dancing tower, the revolving tower, the arab-man-like tower; you have it all. Also add to that dinosaurs imported from Universal studio, seven wonders of the world re-created, underwater hotels, ski domes & luxury islands on reclaimed land. This is going to be one freakish city! :)

19 comments:

M said...

i am curious to see how the wonders of the world turn out!!! i have read so much about it

Kishor Cariappa said...

I love the way Dubai markets itself; wish neighbours could take a cue from it!

Radha said...

Hi M,
Oh initially they were supposed to be life-size replicas, but recently I heard the Eiffel Tower being constructed in Dubai is going to be slightly taller than the real one in Paris. Should be interesting. In a wierd kind of way!

Kishor, hi,
They had a record number of shopping-tourists at the Shopping Festival this year. And every single construction project seems to be sold-out as soon as it gets launched. So yes, Dubai is being marketed very well I guess!

Destitute Rebel said...

Dubai amazes me and to tell you the truth its not one of my favorite places, but still the progress they have made in such short a time is a great achievement. How this progress will effect the city, the people and the environment is yet to be seen. One thing is for sure there are a lot of surprises to be had.

Radha said...

D Reb,
I have no doubt that economically Dubai is going to be a giant in the coming years; but as you say, a lot of the 'side-effects' of the current pace of development are being ignored: traffic, housing, property laws, environment, quality control, to name a few.

Optimistic Guard said...

When I see the condition of people building this great city I often wonder if it is worth it.

http://guardedoptimism.blogspot.com/2007/03/justice.html

Radha said...

Hi Optimistic,
Thanks for the link. Well, its sad that in a city this rich there should be people who are still poor. But surely poverty & inequality are not issues specific to Dubai; in fact they are much more grave in other parts of the world. Lets hope that the fruits of the economic boom in Dubai benefit all its residents.

Kanishka Agiwal said...

Another statistic. 15% of the world's heavy cranes are in Dubai. No kidding. That is the extent of construction activity in Dxb.

Prometheus said...

Prometheus say "One who think Dubai is freaky go see Vegas"

Radha said...

Kanishka, hi,
I had read this somewhere and its not that shocking if one looks around; there are so many towers mushrooming everywhere in Dubai!

Hey Prometheus,
I guess Vegas is freakier; it will take time till gay bars, casinos and cross-dressers find their way to dubai :)

Moi said...

Vegas is crazy , it really is ......but then thats how the places not endowed with natural tourist-y attractions mkt themselves, dont they???? Orlando for one.....it was a total swamp in Central Florida, before Walt Disney decided to get Disney World there....the entire city is a theme park now and also one of the world's most visited vacation spots!!!

Radha said...

Hi Moi,
You're right, Dubai is aiming to be "the" tourist destination of the middle east; without having any natural scenic beauty or victorian architecture to boast of.
But I cant imagine tourists saying 'why spend money on seven different destinations when you can see all the seven wonders in dubai?' !! Some of the projects are just unbelievably silly !

clickable said...

Excellent post! Some of these ambitious projects are really quite ridiculous...so thanks for sharing this information.

Culture cannot be acquired overnight. I frankly find Abu Dhabi's efforts for buiding the Guggenheims and the Louvres far admirable than Dubai's.

Radha said...

I won't compare Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The two cities are neighbours but are miles apart in spirit. Its like the Mumbai-Delhi or NY-Washington divide between the two cities.
Dubai has no claims of being the cultural capital; it aspires to be more like a Vegas of the middle east. While Abu Dhabi still is predominantly an oil economy, an old-fashioned society & the political capital.Dubai never had much oil and is a business hub & today is driven by tourism rather than oil.

Optimistic Guard said...

I think with the projects in the Pipeline, Dubai is definately going to be the destination of choice for a lot of people. How long Dubai can sustain that without any natural features should be an interesting study for everyone.

Radha said...

Yup, lets wait & watch!

Lotus Reads said...

Yeah, everytime I return to Dubai on holiday we have friends dragging us to some new venture or tourist attraction...some I like, some are plain bizarre, but they're always interesting! :)

Radha said...

Yup; interesting they are! The latest one now is a racing city called Meydan.

clickable said...

Just came across this - the spinning skyscraper and it looks really interesting - http://www.dynamicarchitecture.net/