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Overambitious? That is Definitely Dubai

Overambitious? That is Definitely Dubai

This weekend’s been something of an ego trip for good ol’ Dubai. Should we be concerned?

July 31, 2011 3:32 by

Definitely Dubai, is an excellent alliteration which serves as the motto of one of Dubai’s official tourism ethos. Though it is catchy, it really hasn’t caught on like the unforgettable “Malayasia, Truly Asia”…but it was the phrase that was on our minds as we read the news this weekend of some of Dubai’s larger than life plans.

To begin with, have you read that Dubai is considering bidding to host the 2024 Olympics? According to the Khaleej Times the UAE National Olympic Committee said on Friday the UAE would be better disposed to bid to host the Olympics in 2024. Apparently a feasibility study into Dubai’s capability to host the Olympic Games has concluded that as much as 70 per cent of the “hard” infrastructure is already in place.

Talks of hosting the Olympics have been whispered as far back as 2008, so there are no surprises here, especially with Doha winning the FIFA World Cup hosting rights earlier this year. And while the potential business hosting an event of this magnitude can generate for the UAE is unthinkable—so too is the likely extensive borrowing that the already indebted Dubai will have to undertake in order to properly execute the event.

Is this a classic example of how pre-recession ‘Dubai-think’ is adversely spilling over to the post-recession Dubai strategy? Has Dubai learnt anything from the past?

Also, despite the study concluding that 70 percent of the “hard” infrastructure is supposedly complete, is there a significant athletic presence in the UAE to be able to justify housing the massive infrastructure? Of course there’s always room to rent out these facilities to other countries who actually have a very active and sport-oriented population.

Far be it from Kipp to be too skeptical about Dubai’s ambitions, however, chances are if indeed Dubai sets its sights on something, it generally does power on, albeit in a rather debt-ridden sort of way. The fact remains that Dubai has always been very ambitious. We were reminded of this fact again, when we learned of the opening of Dubai’s very own “Blue Mosque“. On account of Ramadan, Dubai opened the doors to the Al Farooq Omar bin Khattab Mosque in Al Safa—an exact replica of Istanbul’s Blue mosque.

Now Kipp hasn’t yet been down to the Mosque, but we’ve seen a few pictures and it does look like an impressive structure alright, but we can’t help but think that Dubai is investing in building impressive religious structures, is an excellent move. That Dubai is aiming to add to its cultural and artistic footprint, is refreshing. But, that Dubai choosing to do so by copying an iconic monument, minaret for minaret, is

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  1. Sam Rickett on July 31, 2011 6:17 pm

    This article, like everything else written by Fernandes is another sad and pathetic attempt at Dubai bashing. Get over yourself and start creating professional pieces. Now that will be refreshing!

  2. Mohamed on August 1, 2011 10:19 am

    As per the media, the Blue Mosque is not by the government but by a Mr. Habtoor Business man at a cos tof 85 million Dhs. The Blue Mosque has nothing to do with the Dubai Government. It is a contribution by a private business man.

  3. Andrew on August 1, 2011 12:52 pm

    Well Sam, why don’t you refute a few points in it then?

    Whilst I’m still laughing at Doha hosting the world cup, I actually do think Dubai could pull the Olympics off. Dubai lacks a lot of public access sporting venues, a lot of this infrastructure could fill those gaps, and I could see a fair bit of it getting considerable use, particularly if it’s designed for dual/multiple activities. For example the complex required for the swimming and diving events would prove hugely popular once opened to the public.

    Unlike Doha the real issues of logistics are probably as good as taken care of with the new motorways, airport, hotels and property, etc.

    As for Dubai aping everywhere else, blind ambition for the sake of it always leads to that, so it’s hardly a surprise.

  4. Khalid AlKhatib on August 4, 2011 7:41 am

    Dear Fernandes
    Once you report on something.
    Kindly make sure you have the facts right, you cannot replicate the blue mosque in Istanbul with 85Million dirham’s, I would suggest you go do a bit of research on it.


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