3 Jan 2010

Burj Dubai: What's wrong with towering ambition?

This is a historic day for mankind, a new era in the story of skyscrapers begins with the completion of Burj Dubai expected to be around 818 meters tall. It is almost a kilometer long of flats, offices, hotels and commercial space breaking every single record and in the process pushing construction technology to new realms. Rather than celebrate this achievement, most critics have treated this as an opportunity to kick Dubai while it suffers from a serious financial crisis, spewing all kinds of venom against its ambition and desire to push the boundaries. It is no surprise that these poisonous attacks are coated in the language of environmental concerns and social justice, we have become accustomed by now to this type of low-aspiration and reactionary critique masquerading as progressive thought. But those sour grapes should remember that history is not written instantly no matter how hard they wish Dubai to fail monumentally. If anyone had written New York off in the 30s and predicted that the depression meant its end, they would have been completely wrong. The city prospered again, and so will Dubai.