Friday, December 18, 2015

Travels 3: Dubai

Dubai is in a race against time. The oil reserves are running out, and running out fast. The oil will be gone, most likely, by 2035. And so the emirate is trying to position itself for a post-oil economy by transforming the city into a global transport hub, financial center, property market investment opportunity and tourist destination. That is the economic rationale behind the frantic building boom. But the buildings do not simply house tenants, they are designed to make a statement about the city's emerging position as a global player. Hence the big name architects and the signature buildings; they are the projections of global aspirations, exercises in place promotion and the embodiment of city marketing.

Burj Khalifa: one of the tallest buildings in the world

Burj Al Arab: luxury hotel and iconic symbol

High rise buildings at Dubai Creek

Laborers from South Asia build these structures

(All photos ©John Rennie Short)