Dubai – The Greatest Show on Earth

Dubai Jumeirah Beach & its Six-Star Hotel

It’s the City that Oil Built. It’s always the greatest show on earth when Dubai presents with none anywhere else to compare!

Dubai was first mentioned in 1095, and the earliest settlement known as Dubai town dates from 1799. Dubai was formally established in 1833 by Sheikh Maktoum bin Buti al Maktoum when he persuaded 800 members of the Bani Yas tribe, living in what is now part of Saudi Arabia, to follow him to the Dubai Creek by the Al Abu Falasa clan of Bani Yas. It remained under clan control when the United Kingdom assumed the protection of Dubai in 1892. Its geographical location made it an important trading hub and by the beginning of the 20th century, it was an important port.

In 1966, oil was discovered, expanding the city by 300% and bringing in international oil interests.

The modern emirate of Dubai was created after the UK left the area in 1971. At this time Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and four other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates.

Today, Dubai City has emerged as a global city and a business hub.

Although Dubai’s economy was built on the oil industry, the emirate’s model of business drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services, similar to that of Western countries.

Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative mega construction projects and sports events. This increased attention has highlighted labour rights and human rights issues concerning its large Indians, which made up half of its total population.

Dubai’s property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the worldwide economic downturn following the financial crisis of 2007–2010.

With that in hindsight, the show progresses on . . . 

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The World’s Tallest Tower

Diagram comparing the height of Burj Khalifa t...
Image via Wikipedia

Diagram comparing the height of Burj  Khalifa to other towers & structures

The Burj Khalifa, originally named Burj Dubai, and currently the tallest tower in the world, officially opened in Dubai on Jan. 4 2010 amid an impressive pyrotechnics display that highlighted the tower’s 2716.5-feet of aluminum and steel, and its 26,000 hand-cut glass panels. The Burj Khalifa blows away the next-nearest skyscraper, which is Taiwan’s 1670-foot Taipei 101, and the building has even surpassed ultra-tall, ground-cable-supported radio antennas.

Architects’ vertical leapfrogging, however, isn’t likely to stop at the Burj Khalifa. While the tower will be a tough one to beat, it is likely to remain at the pinnacle for only about another half-dozen years. Developers around the world have proposed numerous new skyscrapers. Some projects have leapt off the drawing boards, though plans for many record-breaking towers have been scuttled because of the global economic spasms of the past couple of years.

The original name of the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Dubai, was changed at the last minute to recognize United Arab Emirates president Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who as emir of Abu Dhabi gave struggling Dubai a $10 billion bailout last month.

So what buildings could be the next to rise up and steal the Burj Khalifa’s crown? Here in the chart below are some of the tallest towers that have been dwarfed: Taipei 101 (Taiwan) as mentioned, Shanghai World Financial Centre (China), Petronas Towers (Malaysia) & Sears Tower (USA).

Waiting to compete for the prized crown are eight more on the drawing board:

1. Burj Mubarak al Kabir – 3,284 ft. Location: Madinal Al Hareer (City of Slk), Kuwait

2.1 Dubai – Three towers: 1969 ft., 2625 ft. and 3281 ft. Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

3. Miapolis – 3000 to 3281 ft. Location: Miami, USA

4. Nakheel Tower – 3281 to 4593 ft. Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

5. Sky City 1000 – 3281 ft. Location: Tokyo, Japan

6. Bionic Tower – 4029 ft. Location: Shanghai, China (As originally propoased)

7. Kingdom Tower – 3281 ft. Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arab

8. Millennium Challenge Tower – 6067 ft. Possible Location: Kuwait