Burj Dubai Grand Opening
There is so much talk about Burj Dubai's inauguration that is scheduled for 4th Jan which reminded me of something I heard on the radio a year ago, 2nd Jan 2009 to be precise.
I was listening to BBC Correspondents Look Ahead presented by Stephen Sackur where each guest looked back at 2008 and also talked about what to expect in 2009. Towards the end of the show, Sackur asked the presenters to share "one reason to be cheerful about the coming year".
One guest said there will be new ways and opportunities to be happy, there will be a pause that refreshes. Another said there will be a reduction in acceleration in the way we pollute the planet. One is looking forward to seeing bankers go to jail because someone has to take the blame for the economic crisis, and the last guest said he thinks Obama will make sophistication cool, particularly intellectual sophistication.
As for StephenSackur's reason to be cheerful? He said the following:
"The age of hubris is behind us. How will we know? My key indicator in 09 is going to be the following:
There is going to be the unveiling of the world's tallest building in Dubai in just a few months time. They're keeping secret exactly how high it is but apparently it's about 800metres high, it's of course preposterous. The beauty of it is that nobody will care when they open this wretched building and still there's nobody that will want to live in it. My prediction is that it will be left empty, the developer will go bust, then it will become one giant birds nest for desert birds of prey and I look forward to it."
Fast forward to one year, Burj Dubai wasn't ready to be open in 2009, yes it will be empty or mostly empty for a while and yes there have been a few busts, but I think people still care about Burj Dubai. I have a love/hate relationship towards Burj Dubai. When they first started building it, I resented it, what it stood for and how it was going to change my city physically. I didn't like the 'show off' factor. Towards completion, I started warming up to it and appreciated the design and archtectural feat.
She now stands tall, glows at night and does look spectacular. No doubt it will be very grand affair tomorrow. But what will the long term accomplishments be, guess we all have to wait and see.
I leave you with this is collage of photos I put together called The Assemby of Burj Dubai. It was exhibited in Tokyo in November 2009.