• You are here
  • Home
  • Archives for 2009.06
  • Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Goodbye Mikaeel

    Goodbye Michael Jackson. I will remember you for many things. For the beat in Billy Jean, for the dance move in Smooth Criminal, for your good friend Bubbles, for the oxygen tank, for the irony in the song Black or White, for the crotch grabs, for the high pitched screams, for sleeping with children, for the fun, for the controversy, for showmanship, for music.



    I will also remember you for converting to Islam, changing your name to Mikaeel, wearing an abaya, and walking into a ladies toilet in Dubai and applying make up. I'll try and learn the moonwalk in your honour.



    RIP

    Labels:

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    "Sand swimming" in Dubai

    A disturbing story yesterday of a man caught on the Saudi border:

    ABU DHABI – One of the truck drivers stranded in Al Ghuwaifat on the UAE-Saudi border was on Friday admitted to Al Sila Hospital following hallucination. A physician at the hospital told Khaleej Times that a driver of Syrian origin was transferred by Abu Dhabi Police ambulance after .........he was found swimming on the sands........ “He had sand in his mouth and all over his body,” he said. “He was violent, he did not know anything, he was disoriented due to heat stroke. He also had fever and sore throat.”



    Obviously not something you hear of on a regular basis, but no doubt if you are stuck in the middle of the desert in 50 degree heat, you'd start hallucinating. Obviously sandswimming is not going to take off as a sport - and we hope that the poor gentleman makes a full recovery.

    Beware of the sun...

    Stranded Driver Hallucinates

    Labels: ,

    Posted by at No comments :

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Abu Dhabi, the sandal

    You know you are high on the popularity index when your name is used as a brand. We’ve had it in the past with the Jennifer Anniston haircut, Ceylon tea, Frankfurter sausages and, dare I say it, the the J-Lo butt.

    Now the popular trendy shoe store OFFICE is naming a range of their gladiator style sandals for the new spring/summer collection after the capital of the UAE. Yes, we are serious - Abu Dhabi footwear has just elevated to a whole new level!

    The OFFICE website describe the sandals as:

    “Arabian nights. Natural snake printed leather, lace-up, peep toe. Like Arabian days. Geometric cut-outs and mini stacked wedge. Leather lining and sock. Man made sole. Also available in black leather and taupe suede.”



    The sandals have created quite a stir and OFFICE has reported running low stock due to high demand. Celebrities such as Fearne Cotton, a popular British TV presenter has been spotted with her ‘Abu Dhabis’ and now everyone wants a pair as can be read on many shoeholic blogs:

    “I would seriously DIE for a pair of the Abu Dhabi peep toes! They are so awesome, I would have the coolest shoes in Heaven.”

    Now, does the brand office of Abu Dhabi approve?

    Office
    Brand Abu Dhabi

    Labels:

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Monday, June 08, 2009

    The Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi

    When the leaning tower of Abu Dhabi - aka Capital Gate aka Hyatt Abu Dhabi - is completed, it will be, according to the blurb - the most inclined building in the world. Yes, they've applied officially to the Guinness Book of Records. To be strict about the specifics - it will have an 18 degree westward incline. Nice.




    That's 14 degrees more than the leaning tower of Pisa. But there again, Pisa wasn't built to lean, the foundations wasnt strong enough.



    This tower will be home to Abu Dhabi’s first Hyatt hotel, which will be skillfully bling and represent all things Abu Dhabi, from luxury to the future. There's another Hyatt that's being built in Abu Dhabi, such do they reckon that Abu Dhabi needs them.



    There will be a huge internal atrium, including a tea lounge and a swimming pool suspended 263 feet above the ground, has been constructed on the 17th and 18th floors, the halfway point of the 35-story, 525-foot tall tower - which is where building is currently at. Bring on the bend.

    Archinect
    Capital Gate to enter Guinness Book of Records as most leaning tower

    Labels:

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Tuesday, June 02, 2009

    The Dubai Dead, the Living Dead and the Non Dead

    Much has been spoken about the demise of Dubai. Whichever camp you are in, you must surely see that there is a blip of some sort. At least, in property terms, there has been a slow down in the wowness that we have seen in recent years. What exectly is the reality? Unless you are in Dubai, you can not know the reality. And on occasion you are painted a picture - which shows the reality is being fudged. Even if you think that something is not on the cancelled projects list, it may be presented to you as in process - when in fact it is still a pile of rubble:

    Supposedly, this project is doing well during the current climate. But it consumes no resources, no concrete or fossil fuels or electricity. That's because it doesn't exist.



    It appears that the developer, Al Fajer Properties, has sold £428 million worth of units and is updating their website with pictures of a neighbouring project. According to the Independent,

    The pictures appeared in an advertising campaign in a Dubai-based national newspaper last July, with the caption, “Shot at location on 10th June 2008. Ebony & Ivory - Jumeirah Lakes Towers.” The two page spread included the seals of Dynasty Zaronni and Al Fajer Properties. Buyers were not amused: They would not have got my money if they had not shown me fraudulent pictures.” said one. “A lot of people would not have bought had they not thought the project was in an advanced stage of construction.” said another.


    The government isn't too happy about this either, and has clamped down on any information about it.

    “I had written half of the article when I was told by my editor to stop,” said a Dubai-based national newspaper reporter who attempted to cover the story. “The investor’s group have records of payment, and it’s obvious that they have been shafted, but we can’t write about it.”





    More from the Indepedent (surprise, surprise) By Heerkani Chohan and Treehugger by Lloyd Alter.

    That's not great press, but at the other end of the scale is the 014:

    O-14, a 22-story commercial tower, is slated for completion this autumn. The most striking feature is a 16-inch-thick concrete shell, perforated by over 1,300 openings--which the architects liken to lace. The skin also has high performance built in: It functions as an exoskeleton, allowing the interior of the building to be column free. It also regulates the buildings temperature, by shielding it from sunlight and creating a "heat chimney." Hot air rises in the gap between the interior and exterior facades, and the moving air cools the glass surfaces inside. Granted, the architects haven't published exact figures on exactly how much energy this effect will save, but it is heartening to see such an ancient technique being revived in new buildings.




    O14, a 22-story tall commercial tower perched on a two-story podium, broke ground in February 2007, and comprises over 300,000 square feet of office space for the Dubai Business Bay. O-14 is located along the extension of Dubai Creek, occupying a prominent location on the waterfront esplanade. O14 is sheathed in a forty centimeter-thick concrete shell perforated by over 1,300 openings that create a lace-like effect on the building’s fa├žade.


    The concrete shell of O14 provides an efficient structural exoskeleton that frees the core from the burden of lateral forces and creates highly efficient, column-free open spaces in the building’s interior. The future tenants can arrange the flexible floor space according to their individual needs.





    The shell is not only the structure of the building, it acts as a sunscreen open to light, air, and views. The openings on the shell modulate depending on structural requirements, views, sun exposure, and luminosity. The overall pattern is not in response to a fixed program, (which in the tower typology is inherently variable), rather the pattern in its modulation of solid and void will affect the arrangement of whatever program comes to occupy the floor plates. A space nearly one meter deep between the shell and the main enclosure creates a so-called “chimney effect,” a phenomenon whereby hot air has room to rise and effectively cools the surface of the glass windows behind the perforated shell. This passive solar technique essentially contributes to a natural component to the cooling system for O14, thus reducing energy consumption and costs, just one of many innovative aspects of the building’s design.



    The shell is not only the structure of the building, it acts as a sunscreen open to light, air, and views. The openings on the shell modulate depending on structural requirements, views, sun exposure, and luminosity. The overall pattern is not in response to a fixed program, (which in the tower typology is inherently variable), rather the pattern in its modulation of solid and void will affect the arrangement of whatever program comes to occupy the floor plates. A space nearly one meter deep between the shell and the main enclosure creates a so-called “chimney effect,” a phenomenon whereby hot air has room to rise and effectively cools the surface of the glass windows behind the perforated shell. This passive solar technique essentially contributes to a natural component to the cooling system for O14, thus reducing energy consumption and costs, just one of many innovative aspects of the building’s design.



    The holes are achieved by introducing computer numerically cut polystyrene void forms into the rebar matrix, and sided with modular steel slip forms prior to the concrete pour. Super-liquid concrete is then cast around this fine meshwork of reinforcement and void forms resulting in an elegant perforated exterior shell.




    The project has generated extraordinary international interest in the architectural press as it is among the very first innovative designs to be constructed among a sea of generic office towers that have come to be the standard in Dubai’s current building boom. O-14 was recently featured in ‘Impossible City’, an hour-long television documentary about the recent growth in Dubai, which was produced by CBS News and aired in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel in October, 2008.



    From ArchDaily


    The latter is an achievement, but I bet those invested in off plan property are a tad worried. Don't invest in something you can't feel may be investment advice that seems a little dated, but dotcom bomb, real estate bubble and banking debacles all are a little guilty of not following that piece of advice.

    Labels: , ,

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Latest Articles