17 July, 2007

The Burj Dubai is Amazing!

Not only will the Burj "become the world's tallest tower on 21st July 2007", it will reduce the distance from Dubai to Al Ain:
On a clear day: The tip of the spire can be seen by a person 95 km (60 miles) away.
A person in the Observation Deck can see as far away as 80 km (50 miles), which is more than twice the distance from Dubai to Al Ain.
(The above viewing distances are based on calculations that include the earth’s curvature)


DUBAI JAZZ said...

brn, thanks for the reference to the articles...one small correction though: I think the distance between Dubai and Al Ain is much more than 80 kms! (120 at least)....

samuraisam said...

If I'm reading this correctly from wikipedia the distance is 150 km...

"The freeways connecting Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai form a geographic triangle in the center of the country, each city roughly 150 kilometers from the other two."

Brn said...

dubai jazz, that was my point. For that article to be accurate, Dubai and Al Ain would have to be less than 40 km apart. It really is closer to 120 km, depending on how you figure it. From the outskirts of Al Ain to the outskirts of Dubai is about 100 km. City center to city center is closer to 120-130.

Humairah Irfan said...

That's dumb. How do they get away with such wrong facts?

Lirun said...

does it not bother anyone that the skyline will not be affected for a much larger radius..

this comment is predictable coming from a surfer and ecology enthusiast.. but doesnt anyone mind?

i always feela bit sad when i see a city's halo from miles away at night.. let alone objects piercing the sky..

Anonymous said...

lol - it also assumes that there would ever be a clear enough day without pollution hazes and sand in the air.

And I think Al Ain is around 100km - it takes me about an hour to get there anyway :-)

Mita said...

Takes me back to the day I arrived in Dubai many moons ago and someone pointed out the Trade Centre as "the taalest erection in Dubai"

Skeptical Al said...

I would guess that it is about 40 km from the border between Dubai/Abu Dhabi border and the city of Al Ain. That is, if you drive from Al Ain, you enter the emirate of Dubai after 40 km. Of course, it's still a long way from the edge of Dubai Emirate to the Burj.

So, technically, they're correct: you will be able to see twice the distance "from Dubai to Al Ain". But you certainly won't be able to see Al Ain.

According to my calcs, assuming an earth radius of 6380 km and a Burj height of 800 m, the horizon would be 101 km away. Of course, the observation deck is a bit lower than 800 m, hence the 80 km horizon.

Lirun said...

what about the urban impact of having that many more cars arriving into such a concentrated space.. the added congestion.. aggrevation.. pollution.. the services required to sustain the daytime population's influx.. the civil infrastructure to house people near enough.. someone else mentioned property prices.. schools for kids.. hospitals etc etc etc.. bla bla bla :)

to these issues receive due attention..

Skeptic Al said...

(d)o these issues receive due attention...

This made me laugh. A lot.

Lirun, in the UAE the national motto is "Build now, plan later".

Dubai Entrepreneur said...


If the metro system works out, then you have a hit. It is far more expensive to maintain a horizontal urban plan than a vertical one (more power lines, grids, streets, etc.)

If and only if, you have proper public transportation in that area, you're good to go. I think that is the plan.

SevenSummits said...

Certainly it is true that especially the UAE is characterized by shortsighted planning, as a result of low level of performance of state employees who often view their posts as entitlements and informal patronage networks that prevent equitable and predictable administrative behavior. In addition there seems to be little time for reflection on the long-term socio-cultural or environmental consequences of current practices. The question would be what on earth is there to laugh about?
LIRUN already correctly mentioned a few of the implications – thanks! :-)

This example of the surely most unsustainable development in terms of both basic humanitarian and environmental common sense is just simply not a shaggy dog story, regardless from which viewpoint you would like to look at it. If you are a UAE national it should be scary to see the results of an established rentier mentality in respect to knowledge, lifelong learning, ethics, social justice, etc. and what it will do to your great grandchildren (I do not even expect anything else), if you are an educated expat earning your income in the UAE (certainly respected) it should still be part of your social responsibility to see what impact it will have on a global scale as well as for future generations in the Gulf region.
Despite a number of specific challenges in the human habitat, among major problems are the sheer physical scale of growth, massive infrastructure needs, pollution, the massive degradation of the surrounding environment and the plight, exclusion and neglect of the urban poor. Unhealthy and unpleasant living conditions involve the most vulnerable groups living in Dubai and the risks they face and while alternatives in their home nations are already inaccessible due to bad governance and environmental destruction, they continuously suffer in front of our eyes.

In addition to this and the fact that rapidly expanding urban centers, enthused by the ongoing population explosion, speculation as well as geopolitical transformations, are considered the dominant demographic trend in the GCC region, one of our major concerns should be the regions immense contribution to climate change. (instead of bashing on China for the quest of development)
The UAE already has the highest ecological footprint (and this is counting all the inhabitants in the UAE, even every non consuming laborer) and the highest per capita water consumption in the world (depending on source) as a result of this madness. (Billions of liters of potable water are wasted for these construction projects)
Policies unsuitable for the extreme climatic conditions, which require widespread use of air conditioning and energy-rich processes for desalination of sea-water, as well as accelerated economic growth have resulted for the region to become one of the highest per capita commercial energy consumers in the world and especially its emissions of the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) are constantly rising. Appropriate public enlightenment programs would be urgently needed and while having little chance of success within the prevailent rentier ethics (and this is in absolute opposition to Islamic thought), they also lack coverage, intensity and continuity to correct the apathetic public attitude towards the environment. (or you can blame the West as an alternative)

Nobody wants to deny the Emirates diversification and economic development, but sadly this has nothing to do with it in the long run. We have seen this typical third world tendency to “megaprojects” combined with arrogance and insecurity in other countries, like for instance Nigeria and we have also witnessed how they failed. (ok, they made a few people rich) Arab culture and heritage has so much to offer and it is honestly sad that they need to hide behind an imported culture (absolutely nothing about Burj Dubai is local), which as a paradox consequently somewhat despise anyway. Will you still laugh when you look at the stability of the region (including Pakistan, Afghanistan?) and will envision the future of the UAE in let us say 100 years? There is not enough “ability of denial” to still laugh about this vision and all the “collateral damage” it will cost.

Cheers from Germany

PS: The discussion about the distance from Dubai (city border) to Al-Ain, clearly shows that gas is still way too cheap in the UAE, otherwise you guys would care to have a look at your mileage once in a while. :-)

B.D. said...

Another point to consider. A tall, expensive tower like the Burj is not going to be inhabitated by that many people. There will be more people living in and moving about a small block in Karama or Satwa than in and around that giant tower. I can imagine the top hundred floors or so of the Burj being owned by people who are just too rich to inhabit a single abode. They'll be absent and their priceless flats empty half the time.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting article in the context of all the high rise construction going on in Dubai. One may or may not agree with it, but it certainly is thought-provoking !

SevenSummits said...

Now you made me laugh. :-) Very true and ironic! Maybe as freebees to Western celebs that would otherwise never consider purchasing a place in Dubai. Moreover some of theses special inhabitants will probably keep their A/Cs switched on (to a freezing 15°C) just in case they should ever drop by …

PS: Love your “A-W(ord)-A-D(ay)” English Study Material – nice effort and very helpful for us non-native English survivors. In this context - Question: What is most frequent language used at scientific conferences? Answer: Lousy English!

Anon@ 22:07
Very interesting website – thanks for sharing the info with us :-)))

Dubai News said...

80KM visible radius is more interesting as a number than real life.

visibility to see that far is not really with an option with the humidity and the sand. Both create haze.

I live about 15Km form the tower and have a clear line of site but this morning i cannot see it because of haze.

albob said...

That article is interesting and there are some good points made but it's funny reading the first sentence. It's clear it was just a reaction in the wake of 9/11. Just to show how wrong that first statement is, there are now around 30 to 40 buildings over 1000 feet in the world. There are at least 50 under construction and god knows how many proposals, not just in Dubai but also in NYC, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chicago, London, etc

Anonymous said...

Overall, the article does come across as a reaction to the event (9/11) more than anything else. But it makes some hard hitting points. For example, the passage below. Does anyone know if there is independent research that supports these statements ?

"My greatest crime was the construction of high-rise buildings. The most successful cities of the past were those where people and buildings were in a certain balance with nature. But high-rise buildings work against nature, or, in modern terms, against the environment. High-rise buildings work against man himself, because they isolate him from others, and this isolation is an important factor in the rising crime rate Children suffer even more because they lose their direct contacts with nature, and with other children. High-rise buildings work against society because they prevent the units of social importance -- the family ... the neighborhood, etc. -- from functioning as naturally and as normally as before. High-rise buildings work against networks of transportation, communication, and of utilities, since they lead to higher densities, to overloaded roads, to more extensive water supply systems -- and, more importantly, because they form vertical networks which create many additional problems -- crime being just one of them."

B.D. said...

The paragraph quoted above seems in many ways counterintuitive. Why would people who are spread out across a wide area in many roomed homes, be anymore likely to interact with others in their community? The writer speaks of over-density and then concludes people are isolated from one another if they live in towers in a city. Look at all the towers in Abu Dhabi. Albeit, not giant highrises, still, you have people constantly spilling on to the streets. Grant it, Business Bay or Dubai Marina won't be like the Tourist Club or Hamdan and Electra Street neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi, where people can't help bu intermingle. But look at any of Abu Dhabi's or Dubai's more exclusive or villa laiden communities. You can't tell me that there is a whole lot of community interaction there.

rosh said...

"The writer speaks of over-density and then concludes people are isolated from one another if they live in towers in a city."

True, it contradicts. From personal experience, I have met a thousand (OK am exaggerating) people, whilst living in a shoe box 1 bed, high rise, in the city, compared to the times I've lived in single suburbia homes.

I mean there are more people in the cities, especially larger cities wherein you experience true melting pot - better exposure towards varied cultures & peoples. Better opportunities to understand and align with varying opinions/perceptions etc.

(for the record, am a fan of suburbia - love suburban homes, ambiance, local stores etc :)

Lirun said...

hey rosh

personally i totally dig the village concept.. love saying hello to my local shop owners and being greeted by the familiar smiley faces..

i call my block sesame street..

there are families in my building that have known eachother for 3 generations..

when i was in the sinai two months ago.. i was enamoured by the bedouin way of life.. by the language and by the desert connection.. so much so that i am thinking of making a home for myself in the desert..

western life is all about creating dysfunction and curing it simultaneously to make room for more of the same..

i mall for returning to roots and modernising them smartly..

but thats just me..

rosh said...

You make valid points Lirun, and I agree with your sentiments on suburbia - my sentiments precisely.

I guess, the city life has it's pros & cons as well, likewise with suburbia.

Personally am ready for a decent home in suburbia with family/friends, friendly neighbours, pets and BBQ's in the garden - ah the bliss :)

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