How did they get it right? More importantly how did we get it wrong?
Our last visit to Dubai was some 9 years ago. Apart from the much publicised Burj Al Arab the impact was less than memorable. I recall a Little India-like community of shops, restaurants and shopping malls that remind me of Ampang Park in its hey day.In all respects, Dubai is undoubtedly an over achiever, developing by leaps and bounds from its humble desert plains to the ambitious skyline of today. It's a Las Vegas of the Middle East, with loftier goals, if I can make such an analogy.
Sheikh Zayed Road 1991 & 2005
Source: Metropolis Magazine, November 21, 2007
"More than just a spectacle, Dubai is positioning itself to become one of the world's preeminent cultural and economic capitals . . . in the six years since the Twin Towers fell, a thousand skyscrapers have been rising on the Arabian Gulf."
"The megacity of Dubai will be the new economic and cultural capital of the world, spanning its neighboring emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and beyond in one urbanized mass, rich in the biggest source of renewable energy-sunlight-..."
Jumeira Beach Road
" . . . you have to look beyond the spectacle of its thousand skyscrapers, malls, resorts, islands, and theme parks to the scale of its land-use patterns as manifested in the hundred or so individually master-planned residential, commercial, financial, and industrial districts."
"The more than $310 billion in total construction under way or planned over the next decade includes not just mountains of curtain-walled skyscrapers and the over-the-top theme parks that have become patented clichés of Delirious Dubai, but a financial center, an academic hub, an information-technology center, a free media zone, and a minicity devoted to the worldwide distribution of humanitarian aid, as well as environmentally friendly projects such as self-powered buildings, a solar water-desalinization plant, a subway, and a light-rail system."
Heavy investments into the Dubai Sports City make this the world’s first integrated sports city and cornerstone project of Dubailand. There are two sporting venues planned, initially a 60,000-seater multi-purpose outdoor stadium and a 10,000-seater multi-purpose indoor stadium.
Camel racing is supported by the highest levels of UAE society, with former President Zayed owning a personal stable consisting of 14,000 camels and 9,000 workers for their upkeep.The UAE has 15 racetracks across the country with spacious and well-kept stadiums for viewers. They are located on city outskirts, complete with rest tents, connecting roads, electricity, water, telephone lines, equipment for live television and radio broadcasts, a team of doctors, stand-by ambulances, and print transmission capabilities.