Sunday, 25 January 2009

Dubai Dubai

KL-Bandar Seri Begawan-Dubai return on Royal Brunei costs RM2400 compared to RM4400 by MAS or Emirates. The service was excellent in economy. The meal was well presented and even tasty compared to one of the afore mentioned airlines (I'm sure you know which one I mean). A touch of class makes all the difference when coffee and tea is served with milk as opposed to sachets of caked up creamer. Steel cutlery was used on the flight to Dubai. It was a dry flight and without offending any one's religious beliefs, it was announced that the flight would be blessed (with Arabic text and English translation simultaneously displayed on the video monitors) as we taxied off the runway. Of note, the announcements in English, made by flight and ground Royal Brunei staff was fluent, with perfect intonation and pronounciation, reminiscent of the days when English was the medium of instruction in schools. If you've noticed, Air Asia announcements in English are more intelligible than those of MAS.

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

Not only has the skyline sprouted a concrete jungle, but the coastline has artistically drawn palm trees into the ocean where the city of Atlantis rises forth at The Palm Jumeirah.

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."

Dubai Creek, Deira

"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

Dubai Marina

" . . . 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."

Jebel Ali Port & Free Trade Zone

"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 clich├ęs 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."

Dubai Internet City
Dubai World Central International Airport
Dubai Healthcare City
Dubai International Academic City
Dry Docks World - Dubai
Ski Dubai - Mall of the Emirates

Dubai Global Village

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.

The model

The Dubai World Cup, a huge event not only in Dubai but in horse racing circles around the world, is one of the richest, most glamorous events in the sporting calendar. The Dubai World Cup is one race on the 2km (1.3 mile) sand and dirt track which is flood-lit at night and crowded with thousands of cheering spectators. A further five thoroughbred group races are included in the day's programme plus another group for purebred Arabian horses. The races attract some of the best horses and riders in the field, eager to compete for millions of dollars that are at stake in prize money.
The Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club, known as the crown jewel of the European Tour’s three-stop Desert Swing, commonly attracts a stellar cast and is currently being played from 26 January to 1 February.
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.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comparison between old and new. Well observed!.

Rosli said...

Very interesting esp the old and new photos. Thanks for Drydocks World photo too. After 26 years, DW is still one of the biggest yard around. Imagine what most people said when Sheikh Rashid, the visionary Father of Dubai, first unveiled this mammoth infra in 1983!

fidel said...

Stay tuned folks...more to come.