Dubai: “Sure, we can build that.”

By Deane Barker on April 1, 2005

I’m kind of a building / engineering / architecture groupie, and I’m starting to learn how Dubai is Ground Zero these days for magnificent buildings. There’s simply nothing they can’t or won’t build.

The picture above is a rendering of the Burj Dubai, which is currently under construction. It’s going to be the tallest building in the world, beating out the current record holder, Taipei 101. (Those lesser buildings situated around it in the picture? Just regular skyscrapers.)

He refused to reveal the total number of stories, but a mock elevator at the site held a button for a 189th floor. […]

A hotel will occupy the lower 37 floors. Floors 45 through 108 will have 700 private apartments — already sold in just eight hours, the developer said.

Corporate offices and suites will fill most of the rest, except for a 123rd floor lobby and 124th floor observation deck — with an outdoor terrace for the brave. The spire will also hold communication equipment.

Dubai already holds the record for the tallest pure residential building. The 21st Century tower is 55 stories and — according to this article at the excellent Emporis — is 100% leased by Emirates Airlines to house their flight attendants. (“Emporis: Porn for Architects”)

Then there’s the Burj Al Arab hotel, which you’ve probably seen. It’s the one that looks like a big sail. It has the most famous helipad in the world — it was a clue location in Season 5 of The Amazing Race, Tiger Woods used it as a driving range, and Federer and Agassi played tennis there once.

But, if they’re not building castles in the sky, those crazy folks in Dubai are doing things like this:

The Palm is a land reclamation project that created an island shaped like…well, a palm. As you can imagine, real estate on said island is not cheap. There are three of them under construction, and the first one should open late this year.

I drool with desire for the Modern Marvels and Extreme Engineering documentaries.

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  1. I visited Dubai few months ago, it is great city specailly for westerner (I am not :) The worst thing about that rush hour, is actually 10 hours a day.

  2. I was there a few weeks ago, and a friend of mine got a tour of the palm. the concept is great, but he actually got to see some of the construction and was not impressed. apparently people are buying the units unseen via a sales office and he was one of the few to hit the actual site (he met a lawyer for the project on a hash house run).

    Apparently most buyers are speculators who plan to flip the property before it’s completed.

  3. I went recently to Dubai. What a wonderful place. From a country ful of crime around every corner. This was and is the place to be. I felt very safe even in the evenings and every where we went. A holiday destination for the whole family.

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