Dubai – The Jewel In The Desert
By Natasha Archary
It’s difficult to imagine that over 2 million years ago, mighty rivers flowed throughout Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates that has brought fantasy to life and is now the fastest growing desert city in the world. In what can only be described as engineering genius, Dubai is proof that what the mind visualises the hands can achieve and this is evident in the jaw-dropping sky-scrappers that tower over the city landscape.
The billion dollar high rise residential buildings and luxury man-made island real-estate aside, Dubai is nothing short of impressive with immense attention to detail in the design, architecture and engineering of each building. The science and technology needed to build Dubai from the ground up was nothing short of genius as every measure has been taken to ensure that each high rise building or ocean property is secure from the harsh elements of the desert and nature.
It is impossible to talk about Dubai and not mention the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest man-made feature on the planet. At 828m high, this techno-marvel is undoubtedly the greatest achievement in engineering history. With 163 floors above ground, 304 hotel rooms, 900 apartments, 58 elevators, 24 000 reflective window panels and 120 000 sq metres of glass, the sky-scrapper is more than just a pretty face because creating practical living spaces was the objective.
Another monumental feat of engineering, the Palm Jumeirah – The Palm Tree Islands – offers the rich and famous prime, man-made, beach-front real-estate and it is this opulence that maintains Dubai’s grandeur. The island, built on 800 million tonnes of sand, accommodates 900 city blocks of land, it is the ultimate private oasis. With plans to expand these island projects, the Dubai coastline will change dramatically in the near future as the city aims to achieve the impossible. Future projects include The World islands; another record-breaking design concept; shaped like a map of the world, the island will be another world record breaker.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Dubai is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The breath-taking structure is said to unite the world, it comes to life with the involvement of over 3000 artisans, designers & construction workers from across the world and materials from Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey. The mosque is home to seven imported German chandeliers that are each made up of millions of Swarovski crystals.
Opulent in every aspect, from high arches to the marble flooring and gold accents, the mosque should be on every Afropolitan’s bucket-list of places to visit in a lifetime.
The extravagance that is Dubai is the magnet that attracts tourists to the city on a daily basis, but if opulence is what you seek, then look no further than the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The world’s most luxurious hotel and yet another work of engineering art. Built on the ocean much like the Palm Islands, the Burj Al Arab’s distinctive sail-shaped silhouette is more than just a stunning hotel; it is a symbol of modern Dubai. With a solid steel exoskeleton to stabilise the hotel from the 80 mile per hour wind speeds, the architectural design is ingenious. A week’s stay at the hotel will cost up to $100 000 but don’t let that dissuade you from having coffee at the towering marvel with 360-degree views of Dubai in all its splendour.
Is it any wonder why Dubai is the jewel of the desert?