Monday, January 29, 2007

Dubai - Feet Vote it Better than Spain

If you copy and paste these coordinates (25° 5'22.98"N 55° 9'18.47"E) into Google Earth you will be slowly flown to a remarkable bit of coastline that, as the view sharpens up, reveals odd flowering appendages to the coast (hint: if you need to speed Google Earth up head to the general area of the Middle East and start the search from there). If you have a close look you will see these are an amazing collection of man made islands, designed in a couple of cases to look like stylised palms, while another, just becoming visible, is intended to look like a map of the world. From overhead at least.

These are in fact massive housing estates accommodating a huge collection of apartments and stand alone homes. The photo here shows the approaches to The Palm, taken from the beach in front of the Royal Mirage (I was only stopping there for an afternoon of Jazz, mixed by a backpacking Australian kid who will look back on this and realise he never had it so good!) which is a hotel story in itself. Just out of sight, to the left of this shot, massive ship borne dredges were pumping up sand from off the coast and pumping it in a long arc out onto the breakwaters, filling the building site as quickly as they could. Later as night fell the lights came on and thousands of flashing orange vehicle lights told us the project was a 24 hour operation. Dozens of cranes in operation, a constant stream of hundreds of cement mixers and other trucks. Teeming with workers from all over the world.

It is a bit hard to talk about Dubai without sounding like you are loading up your account with a load of hyperbole. But the fact of the matter is that this emirate is doing all it can to attract not only visitors but residents as well. Mind you the deals are so attractive that there are an enormous number of people from all around the world who purchase a residence in Dubai simply so they have somewhere to holiday - but in their own house. And while you might bump into Russians, Romanians, plenty of Saudis and the odd American or three, it seems that the Brits are the ones who are making this place their second home. Can hardly blame them when the year round climate hardly turns up a cloud - makes a big difference to being in Blighty. That and real beaches that knock Brighton right off. In fact, on one of my recent visits there, our trade commissioner noted that Dubai is now attracting as many, if not more English for their holidays than the number who travel to Spain. Not sure how true that is but when the local government allows you to buy freehold real estate for a fraction of what you pay at home it is pretty hard to resist.

As you head out of the airport towards the immigration folk there are numerous large advertisements pushing the attractiveness of buying up in Dubai. But if you prefer to do some homework first, before flying out there that is, this is a pretty good place to start. Dubailand




3 comments:

RL said...

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If agreeable , pls add a link to my blog and let me know

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Rgds

the photographer said...

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