By Kathy McCurdy
I lived in a construction zone, but everyone in Dubai lives in a construction zone. Apparently the whole of Dubai is only 50% occupied. I would have thought more like 35%. Dark towers of empty offices and apartments are all over.
Half-built planned housing communities with many of the individual structures exposed and unfinished.
You can see concrete blocks, the stuff that houses are made of, hanging out like a skinless chicken breast. Like living in a Costco.
Most of the construction, the bits that are actually finished, is not very interesting at all. It’s like some wannabe architect from the 1980s fell through a black hole and went hog-wild designing the whole town, with lots of brass-n-glass and those odd ’80s silhouettes, all geometric and edgy.
With a couple notable exceptions like the Burj Khalifa – tallest building in the world, until the Saudis stand theirs up anyway – and the Burj al Arab – the gazillion dollar a night hotel shaped like a sail, you can pretty much visualize the Trump Tower in NYC, enlarge that, make it in colors in addition to pink, and there is your basic Dubai.
Take that lovely picture in your mind, plunk it down in the middle of a construction site and sprinkle some cranes, some floodlights, and some pits in and around the buildings – and don’t forget miles of candy-cane k-rail and several band-aid-like strips of highway overpass just standing over you with no ramps up to or down from these concrete “tables”. It’s like an urban Stonehenge.