Adventures in Islandry

So I’m surfing the web yesterday, and I come upon this photo:


This is a group of manmade islands shaped like the world. And I think to myself, ‘Self, is this real or a Photoshop creation?’ So I do some investigating. Turns out it’s real, and snuggled just off the coast of Dubai. And it’s spectacular.

This leads me to further investigation, as the only thing I really know about Dubai is that it’s in the UAE, is home to the world’s largest indoor snow park (in the desert. Who thunk that one up?), and there was some hullabaloo about ports a few months ago.  Not a lot of info. So I dig around a little bit, and what do I find?

Dubai only gets about 3-6% of its income from natural gas and oil. The majority of Dubai’s economy is from the Jebel Ali Free Zone, which provides tax and business incentives for corporations. (US companies with a presence in Dubai include Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and CNN.) The port is one of the busiest in the world.

I was fascinated by the demographics, though. The men outnumber the women 3-1. And the majority of the population are expats from Asia, mostly Indian and Pakistani. Only 17% of people living in Dubai City are UAE nationals. Sounds like New York.

But the wildest aspect of this place is its tourism. Check this out:


That’s the Burj al Arab hotel, the tallest and apparently most luxurious in the world. Only $4,000.00 a night, folks! Step right up! See that heliport on the top? Tiger Woods was paid $1 Million to shoot some balls off of it.

Then Andre Agassi and Roger Federer decided to play tennis up there. (That is so cool.)

Then there’s this, the big brother of the World Islands shown above:

Three manmade islands shaped like palm trees. Sheesh. One with a Trump Tower going up in the middle of it:

And then there’s the skyline. Wow.

Did I mention New York earlier? Hope the towers in Dubai stay standing. It seems like a neat place. Though it feels so futuristic, I expect someone to credit Phillip K. Dick with the plans for development.


11 responses to “Adventures in Islandry

  1. There was a great National Geographic article about Dubai sometime in the past year. The mega-money there is scary!

  2. I would like to see vertical and winding cylindrical buildings also some concave and convex structures. For some reason rectangular and square building does not excite my vision. If I had the know how or the architectural ability I would certainly draft up some plan and send them to the right people.

  3. Yep it is amazing…
    But now, if you wanna know the story behind how it was constructed, and how life is for some (aka, more then 1000 per year) unfortunate foreigners, read this website:

    Read all of it.. that’s what hides behind the pretty buildings and sunny beaches..

  4. I been to Dubai at least 15-20 times over the past 20 years and have seen it grow tremendously. What they are doing, construction wise, is amazing. Instead of building one building at a time, they build cities at a time. The Palm (1st & 2nd) are crazy and so is the “Mundo”(earth). They also have the tallest building in the world and the only building in which each floor spins 360 degrees. Talk about watching the sunrise and following the sun from your living room window till it sets. Dubai is a must see. They also have water parks and an indoor ski buiding.

  5. rosa rodriguez

    Dubai, Dubai, es una afrenta al mundo real en que vivimos! En los paises arabes hay tanta pobreza, miseria, ignorancia, violencia etc. todo negativo, porque no se gasto ese dinero en lo que se debe de gastar primero? ES UNA VERGUENZA AL INTELECTO HUMANO. AL ESPIRITU HUMANO! YUCK! 4.000 por noche en el mas elegante hotel de mundo? puro cemento y puro
    plastico. ESTO me recuerda a la torre esa en la biblia que querian llegar a Dios? BABEL si, DUBAI es BABEL! un soplo de Dios y se acabo Dubai…!

  6. dubai is very very very beautiful country

  7. Just Beautiful

  8. the most wonderfull & fantastic country at this time….I LOVE DUBAi

  9. lovely place

  10. Garden of the world near the new city,within the path of the Hollow mountains, will be seized and plunged into the Vat, Drinking by force the waters poisoned by sulfur”


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