Bye, Bye, Dubai?


A Brit thinks Dubai will slowly dwindle and it may be best remembered as a symbol of our recent gilded age:

Dubai must have as many publicists as it has towers. Business and travel journalists in need of a freebie can just call. So, too, did a stage army of British writers who went to last month’s Dubai International Festival of Literature, pretending to discover that it was not a free country (and practises censorship) only after being installed in their luxury rooms. A “tower of Babel” of a place “with neither charm nor character”, declared an ungrateful Germaine Greer.

Even as the property market turned sour last autumn, the vast Atlantis hotel, built for $1.5bn with a whale shark in its swimming pool, was spending $20m on its launch party. Yet still the supplements and television contra-deals spluttered their superlatives – recently from a near-hysterical Piers Morgan. Every time the builder of the tallest tower in the world, the monster of Burj Dubai, sees the local ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Maktoum, he is told to add more storeys for fear someone else may build an even taller one.

Simon Jenkins: As they did Ozymandias, the dunes will reclaim the soaring folly of Dubai | Comment is free | The Guardian

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