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 Eva Fernandes
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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