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  • Friday, January 15, 2010

    Dubai's Indoor Mountain Range Halted

    Yes, you've guessed it, Dubai has got the Onion treatment:

    With only seven of the planned 19 peaks completed and the artificial glaciers only partially frozen, the real estate firm Nakheel now says the landmark Alps Dubai development will miss its planned April 2011 opening date, and with it, the controlled volcanic eruption that would have commemorated the event.

    Dubai Debt Crisis Halts Building Of World's Largest Indoor Mountain Range


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    Friday, January 08, 2010

    Rape, Alcohol and Sex outside of Marriage

    Imagine you were Muslim, had been drinking (probably a bit too much), and then were raped. After realising this, you report it to the police. Despite all the evidence, rape appears to play second fiddle to other crimes. For reference, this appears to have happened in Dubai to a British couple, and the woman in particular. No matter what your views on the other two, surely there is some logic in investigating the rape allegation - there may be even be some compassion in turning a blind eye to the other two "offences". The way that this situation appears to have played out is outrageous:

    A British woman who made a rape complaint in Dubai has been arrested for having illegal sex with her fiance, according to reports. The woman, a 23-year-old from London, said she was raped by a waiter in a luxury hotel after celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, also from London.But when she reported the alleged rape to police in the Middle Eastern state she and her boyfriend were arrested for having sex outside marriage and illegal drinking outside licensed premises. Her attacker is believed to have denied rape, saying the woman, a British Muslim of Pakistani descent, consented, but he has also been charged with "illegal sex".

    Expect more Dubaibashing.

    British woman arrested in Dubai after reporting rape
    Woman raped in Dubai charged for having illegal sex


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    Monday, January 04, 2010

    The biggest kept secret in the World

    Yes another record - only a select few knew about it: Burj Khalifa (BK) is the new name for Burj Dubai. Curveball. BAM! BK - have it your way. How long will it take for people around the world to say Burj Khalifa Bin Zayed, when they have had Burj Dubai drummed into them for years.

    Cynics would say that this is the price for the bailout. Loyalists would say that this is a symbol of unity. Plaudits would state that this was the biggest kept secret in the world.

    Aside, if this was a last minute thing, then there may be a very rich domain hoarder at burjkhalifa.com


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    The Burj and the Splurge

    It's almost as if the tallest building in the world has been hiding behind a largest sheet in the world with all the announcement that the Burj Dubai is to be unveiled to the world on Monday. Actually it is quite the opposite, as The Burj Dubai has been used as a symbol of the the days of supposed extravagance that has now resulted in the doom days. It wasn't exactly like that but you get what I mean.

    But it is no mean feat - it is a fantastic achievement - an 800m high building, higher than any other building in the world.

    “The tower embodies Dubai’s determination and optimism of being a truly world city and a positive symbol of the whole Arab world,” said Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties, the developer behind the project. “Burj Dubai is a great achievement of a successful global collaboration and that is what Dubai is all about. We live in a globalised world and through collaboration we can push the boundaries and achieve the impossible.”

    Gloat you may like - but unfortunately every single news story will be peppered with words such as bailout, bond repayment, credit crunch etc. There will be an extravagant party no doubt, but for the short to medium term, this building will symbolise the downturn in Dubai, especially as its floors remain empty.

    But this is not the first time that tall buildings have been used to represent the downturn. In fact many buildings have been used to represent economic crises over the last century in a 1999 paper by Andrew Lawrence of Deutsche Bank: The Skyscraper Index: Faulty Towers:

    Well long after the soothsayers cease the "I told you so"s, the Burj Dubai will still remain. There way be taller buildings and bigger crises. But we live with one of each at the moment. Enjoy the fireworks!

    Billion dollars or bust – the Burj party goes on in Dubai

    Skyscrapers and Business Cycles

    Dubai financial uncertainty overshadows tower opening

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