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Not all World Trade Centers are created equal. We’ll tell you why.

The Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC)


Work began on the DWTC complex in 1974 at the then deserted district of Zaabeel. It took five years to complete the 37-storey structure. In 1979, the complex was inaugurated by Dubai’s then ruler Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

It’s astonishing that the queen flew all the way to Dubai to inaugurate a building. Score: 9


According to its website, the DWTC’s vision is the following:

“With a vision to make Dubai the world’s leading destination for all major exhibitions, conferences and events, DWTC has evolved from being the forerunner of the fast growing exhibitions industry, into a multi-dimensional business catalyst, focusing on Venues, Events and Real Estate Management.”

They also organize weddings. Score: 8


It’s white, 37-storeys high, and looks like the matrix of hexagonal cells inside a beehive.

Some have called it a monstrosity; others described it as a tomb. Gulf News, however, described the building as “a brilliant expression of structural ingenuity, then-modern engineering and traditional Islamic architecture.”

The building is, without doubt, an eyesore. But it’s an old eyesore, which makes it a unique structure in Dubai. Score: 6


The National reported on Tuesday that the DWTC’s expansion has been delayed due to the financial crisis. When completed (late), the district will have seven office buildings, two hotels and retail outlets. The first phase was supposed to be finished in 2011.

Until then, DWTC complex is made up of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Convention Tower office building, on-site accommodation at the Novotel and Ibis hotels and serviced accommodation at the Dubai International Hotel Apartments.

Delays are not welcome! Score: 2

Final score: 25


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