At my personal blog, I like to write about skyscrapers. Basically, my attitude is: skyscrapers are good.
A particularly choice one is being erected in London just now, the so-called Shard, despite fears all round that the economic meltdown would demand that it be aborted. And of course I have recently also been taking note of that huge tower they’ve just opened in Dubai. I recently did a posting saying that maybe Dubai is not such a daft place as many are now saying. Maybe all those towers actually make some sense, basing my very tentative optimism on a photograph which included not just the towers but their surroundings.
But Michael Jennings, who has actually been to Dubai (on account of him having been everywhere), recently emailed me to suggest that the Dubai-is-daft tendency is probably right:
Dubai is just about the oddest place I have ever been to. I failed to go up the tallest building in the world because something went wrong and they closed it (a story in itself I would guess). The structure of the whole place is completely wrong though. It is as if someone has taken the most impressive looking bits of all the cities of the world – built new versions two or three times the size in the desert, and then attempted to weld them together into a city, but without any idea whether such things can or should fit together, and if they can, how to make it work. Virtually all the low level structure of a city is missing, and the overall question is simply who is supposed to be doing business in this place? I don’t get it at all. However, given the many tens or hundreds of very large structures half built in Dubai (the number of which rather boggles the mind) a few Arab bankers exposure to one little shard in London must be the least of their worries.
More of my speculations on the links between our “little shard” and the towers of Dubai here. But, as that posting says at the end, Michael was wrong about them building the Shard. He said they’d scrap it. Actually he went further than that and said that if they built it, he’d eat his laptop. So maybe he’s also wrong about Dubai being daft. I’m sure some of our commentariat, like Michael and unlike me, have been there. What did they make of the place?
Michael tells me that he intends to write again at greater length about Dubai, and also that he is not wrong about it.