Monday, June 15, 2009

Today, I’d like to start my BLOG by thanking you for tuning in, whether it be just for today or if you have been losing sleep the past month because you just can wait to read what is in store at BJW. Quite honestly, I am not sure I totally understand what blogging is and why people want to do this. I mean, do I really think you care enough to read about what is going on with me on a weekly basis? No, I don’t. In the past month I have been called “lame” and a “square”, so it isn’t just me that thinks I am boring. That is why I try to focus on topics that are of interest to you!

As I was mulling over what to write about today, I came across a design award program out of Dubai. Then I thought, “what is the deal with all the innovative building in Dubai?”, so I looked it up. Dubai is a part of the United Arab Emirates, East of Saudi Arabia and across the Arabian Gulf from Iran Come to find out, Dubai currently has 20-25% of the worlds Cranes because of the incredible amount of construction there.. Take a look at these comparisons that I got from

Why is this? Why not Tunisia or Iceland or Oman? Several reasons; mainly:

Geographic location
Creation of the Jebel Free zone

Geography – Dubai is the gateway where “the East meets the West” and has employed many laborers from nearby countries for many decades. In the 1930’s Dubai was known for its pearl trade, but was on shaky ground because of World War I and The Great Depression.
Electricity – In 1950 electricity and phone was installed here and businesses began relocating from neighboring Emirates.
Oil – Oil was also discovered that same year. (jackpot)
Jebel Ali Free Zone – It is a program that offers tax and business incentives to corporations. This made it an International city.

Okay, now that we see where all the money came from, let’s look at what they did with it there. More than 20 years ago, the Palm Jumeirah, was planned and construction began. It is an (obviously) artificial Palm Tree shaped island that Nakeel, a real estate mogul “built”. It was sketched by the ruler of Dubai to solve issue with the lack of shoreline and has 17 fronds. It is now part of a triumvirate of palm shaped island groupings and identified by some as the eighth Wonder of the World. They are home to world class resorts and luxury living.

information and images from:

Dubai is also home to the world’s tallest hotel, the Burj-al Arab. Not only that, but it is a work of art and also a luxury domain – 7 Stars. The last time I saw 7 stars was when my brother “accidentally” hit me in the face with a basketball. This hotel is about to be the SECOND highest hotel this year. The tallest will be in …where? Dubai! It is the Burj al Alam or The World Tower.

(image referenced from )

This is Not to be confused with the Burj Dubai, the world largest building. Designed by Skidmore, Owens and Merrill (of Sears Tower and John Hancock Building fame), it boasts 140 stories and has the world’s longest elevator shaft, naturally. information and images from:

These, in addition to the indoor ski resort, Dubailand (an amusement park), state of the art monorail system, Dubai has also proposed hydropolis – ( a city on water). There is also a huge Green building movement there as well.
Thirty years ago, people perceived the millennium to be a vision of the future.
Chris Rock said at the 1999 VMA’s “When I was a kid, we thought the year 200 was going to be the future. We thought it was gonna be flying cars, moving sidewalks…we thought it was going to be like the Jetsons. It ain’t even the Jefferson’s right now”. I guess he hadn’t been to Dubai!

For more information about Dubai, check out

1 comment:

  1. I've often wondered about sustainability of all building such expansive structures as these. It seems the market for people with oil-money seems to be indefinite, but I wonder if it really is.

    I also wonder about the environmental challenges that these buildings face, as well as what kind of impact they have.

    These monuments to conspicuous consumption seem wildly out of proportion to the economic, and more importantly, environmental issues the world seems to be suffering with.

    They sure are interesting, and in some cases, beautiful buildings though!