All those folks in the United Arab Emirates must laugh themselves to sleep every night, warm and comfortably insulated in the thick blanket of their self satisfaction. Any time one of them meets anyone from a different country, they can say what nobody else can: "We have the biggest, tallest building in the whole world!"
It's true, they do. Dubai, one of seven emirates in the UAE, is home to the Burj Dubai, a tower of glass and steel so tall it defies the imagination. I went to New York City not to long ago, and was amazed by the Empire State Building. Well, the Burj Dubai is as tall as two Empire State Buildings stacked on top of one another—and they're not even done yet.
Say what? If that's difficult to picture, here's a chart:
It's a pretty impressive sight. I know this from the internet:
Yeah. I would tell you how tall that is, but it's a secret. No, I'm not kidding. Estimates, however, place the final height somewhere around 2,650 ft.
So I guess the whole idea is that Dubai is trying to become the world's playground or something. The entire place looks fantastic, right out of some architect's wet dream. But really, what's the point of all this?
Well, there could be a lot of points, but I suspect it all comes down to a case playground immaturity. The UAE now has the ultimate bragging rights among any and all building enthusiasts. These guys must either be really psyched or really jealous.
Or, it could be that the UAE has come to realize something quite startling: those oil deposits everyone's been living off of? They're not going to last forever. In a country that has oil and sand to offer, when the oil runs out, that's something of a problem. What better way to overcome it than by becoming the envy of the world? By becoming everything Las Vegas wishes it could be, Dubai is gambling that when the oil runs dry, tourism will supply the cash flow.
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It's a hell of a plan, and it might even work. It's not like any of the other OPEC countries are doing anything. Really though, it's as if Dubai is expecting the Sauds and company to catch on soon, because they're not taking any chances. Or maybe since no other countries are responding to the competition, the UAE just wants to outdo itself. In any case, a bigger, taller tower is already being proposed. The two names under consideration seem to be Al Burj and the Nakheel Tower. It would look like this:
Now that's just mental.