“It’s Dubai in New York,” says a man who does not seem to think that's a problem.
All during our new century's orgy of debt-driven real estate expansion, currency floated nowhere else on Earth the way it did-with pure, gleaming, world-conquering ardor-in Dubai. The island city-state in the Persian Gulf seemed less like an actual spot on the map than a Christo-style performance-art installation, an open-ended meditation on the many sleek surfaces of the monied life. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the royal patriarch of the place, had a vision-conveniently spelled out in his 2006 autobiography, My Vision-to make Dubai "the world's number one city for commerce, tourism, and services." The trick would be to leverage all the petrodollars and beguiling debt instruments then sluicing around [...]
It's not like we couldn't have seen it coming. But I guess the hubris of building fake islands in the shape of the the earth's continents didn't give enough people enough pause. (Or indoor ski slopes in the desert. Or the reports of slave labor. Or the frequent lightning strikes on the Burj Dubai.) But one man, one very wise man was calling out a warning long before most. Now, now, as the hot Arabian sun turns all our wings to ashes, we must pause during our long plummet and say: You were right, Bruce. We should have listened. We all should have listened far [...]
Here are two excellent explainy-type pieces about issues you may want clarification of: Neal Ungerleider fills you in on the Dubai debt crisis, while Alex Pareene looks at the climate change "scandal" that has so many on the right wetting their pants with joyful indignation (and, metaphorically, semen). Now you know!
Laid end to end, the 31,400 metric tons of rebar usedÃ‚Â to build the Burj Dubai would stretch more than a quarter of the way around the world. "Moment. Jewel. Icon." The Burj, it is said (by their PR department), will be known by many names. It is already the tallest structure in the world, and it is set to open later this year-well, December. If they make their extended deadline. But the reason we mention this is: they're hiring! Which is pretty much the only way we'll ever get inside.