Monday, May 14, 2007

Dubai - Playground of the Rich & Famous

I live in a strange land with strange people - so advanced yet so primitive at the same time.

It truly is a land of extremes but the great thing about it is, that it lets people be whoever they choose to be. In the same space you will see a girl in the shortest of short skirts and a woman who is covered from head to toe literally...

But we all do manage to co-exist.

It is a land of immense wealth, the malls are truly made like palaces and every designer in the world can be found here. People can be seen around with their Burberry and Loius Vuitton bags... kings and queens of their respective castles.

There is this obsession with having suffixes attached to everything - Dubai already has the world's tallest hotel, vastest man-made harbor and biggest indoor ski area.

Workers are now raising an office tower expected to be the world's tallest building, while plans are underway to build the globe's largest shopping mall, the biggest airport and a resort featuring full-size replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal.

Recently I had come across some blog which said that Dubai didn't have any bars and I almost died laughing - there are numerous bars here and dance music is especially popular.

It's rocking here! Everyone drinks but they are extremely hard on drugs and you are liable to be put in jail even if you have had a joint outside of Dubai but they find traces of drugs in your system

The rents increase exponentially and getting a taxi is the hardest thing you can do - and the heat will - well the heat will boil you in the summers. But they have a ski slope in a mall.

A frickin' SKI SLOPE in a desert in a mall!!!

And the cars!

You'll see the best cars from Lamborghini's to Ferraris. I even saw an Enzo Ferrari here once. Every car imaginable from a stretch Hummer to a SLR, you fantasize about it and you see it!

Nobody likes self service here and mostly every place, people serve you. There is no concept of throwing your empty coke and fries into the bin after eating at McDonalds- the cleaning guy will come and do it. Everyone changes here - even the expats.

It assimilates people into its way of life and its luxuries.
Nannies for kids, spas, regular manicures and pedicures and blow dries.
{Thank God I haven't YET been affected by the disease thats because I am a lazy bum;)]

Just a couple of projects to give you all an idea: [this is just the icing]

About Bawadi
"Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2006, Bawadi is the world’s largest hospitality and leisure development, including the world’s largest shopping experience. The AED 100 billion project will feature 31 hotels, including Asia Asia – with 6,500 rooms. In total the City of Bawadi will offer more than 29,000 rooms.
The world’s largest shopping area, which will offer over 40 million square feet of gross lease-able area (GLA).

Another latest ambitious project is called The Dancing Towers designed by an Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid

'The towers incorporate avant-garde definitions of functionality and form that will not only create a distinctive landmark at Business Bay, but also symbolises a new phase in Dubai's architectural standards.'

The towers are inter-twinned to share programmatic elements and rotate to maximize the views from the site towards the creek and neighbouring developments.

Note to self: I wonder how the elevators would work in this

Dubai Towers - Dubai

Inspired by the movement of candles this is a stunning piece of architecture - it will be surrounded by seven lush green islands.

Dubai Towers labels itself as the ultimate 'corporate experience'.

Like I said we love using superlatives here in Dubai

Dubai Hydropolis - underwater resort [seriously!]

Hydropolis, billed as 'the underwater ultra luxury resort hotel' was supposed to be completed by October 2006 but has now been delayed till end of this year. It will be located on the coastline of Dubai, already home to the Burj al-Arab, the world's first seven star hotel, and the site where construction is currently underway on The Palm, a resort comprising two vast man made islands which will be visible from space.

Joachim Hauser describes the concept for the hotel thus: "With Hydropolis an habitat will materialise for the first time worldwide which sets completely new standards with respect to the quality of experience and living. Hydropolis provides an ambiance in the last uninhabited frontiers on earth in which a visit will be an unforgettable experience in the life of each individual guest..."

The 107,700 m2 development will be built at a depth of 20m, around 300m from the coastline. It will be structured in three elements: a land station, connecting tunnel, and submarine complex.

But right now none of it is ready so all you see is construction. Investors from across the world are pouring in money, turning the city into a giant construction site. More than 50 skyscrapers are going up simultaneously, and it is said that about 30 percent of the world's cranes are in Dubai.

The traffic is insane - the metro is under construction and will be ready by 2010.

Environmentalists say that the construction of man-made islands on Dubai's coast is destroying coral, sea grasses and oyster beds, as well as killing fish and sea turtles.

The islands are also disrupting the natural currents of the gulf, leading to erosion of Dubai's white-sand beaches.

Don't they say beauty is skin-deep?

But all said and done it is quite a unique place to live in!


Random Magus said...

Thought I would blog about Dubai as some of you expressed a curiosity about it!

Peter Haslam said...

Fascinating glimpse. Thanks

HollyGL said...

Excellent descriptions.

Random Magus said...

If any one of you ever visit I would love to show you around

sage said...

it sounds like an interesting place--they're really trying to upstage Vegas, the other place that tries to be what it isn't by building towers and pretending they're somewhere else

paisley said...

i am wondering if you would expound on how it is you are there.....

Random Magus said...

My husband works here - and I am doing my MBA so it works out fine. I like it now!

Random Magus said...

sage: It's interesting especially anthropologically speaking

Zsolt said...

i am so happy that you wrote all of this about Dubai. You said a lot of things I didnt know or I imagined in in different ways. The girls in mini-skirt and no-self service is the most surprising:)

Random Magus said...


QUASAR9 said...

Wow fascinating
The pics didn't open when I came earlier on
hidden the magic and beauty that is being designed in Dubai

Are they planting 'hanging gardens' too?

Random Magus said...

I think I must have done something - so I re-posted it it... hopefully the pictures are coming now!

tigergirl said...

This is the most interesting non-craft post I've ever read! I thought the dancing towers were amazing, until I saw the picture of the Dubai towers - and they thought the Opera House couldn't be built?!

Happy House Quilts said...

Wow! I like your randomness and your blog! I live in NH, dancing towers here...but dancing leaves and wispering pines. Thanks for sharing! Jodi

tigergirl said...

I just had to reference this post in my blog. I'm also going to link you because I really enjoy your posts - I'll delete it if you have any objections.