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28 November 2006

Dreaming of Dubai

It is amazing how buildings can be both functional and beautiful at the same time. Not only it makes a pretty cityscape to look at everyday for the locals but also attracts lots of tourists from around the World! I am talking about the innovative skyscrapers in Dubai of course. I think they are really amazing. So much so that I even photoshopped one of them as you can see in the slideshow:

Since 2000, Dubai's municipality has initiated an abundance of construction plans. In many areas, it is not easy to see Dubai's sky without at least one crane in your view; Industry experts cautiously estimate that 15% to 25% of the world's cranes are in Dubai.

The most impressive is the Burj Dubai which is currently under construction and the building seeks to acquire the designation as the world's tallest structure upon completion in 2008 with over 800 metres. (Currently the world's tallest freestanding structure on land has been the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.) It has been designed to include 30,000 homes, nine hotels, 2.5 hectares of parkland, 19 residential towers, and the 12 hectare Burj Dubai Lake. The complete development will cost about US$ 8 billion.

Though, my favorite completed landmark today is the Burj al-Arab (pictured above), the world's first 7 star luxury hotel, built on an artificial island. Probably, there isn't anyone who hasn't seen it somewhere as it received much publicity due to its very distinct look resembling a sail. The Burj al-Arab does not have ordinary rooms; rather it is divided into 202 duplex suites. It is one of the most expensive hotels in the world to stay in. The cost of staying in a suite begins at $1,000 per night and increases to over $15,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, at $28,000 per night. Crazy amounts of money. Just for one night!!

UPDATE: "Green" skyscrapers are the trend now. In Bahrain, a twin skyscraper complex is being built, called the Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) with three massive wind turbines blades, measuring 29 meters in diameter each, integrated on bridges between the twin towers. Can you believe how amazing this building looks?

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