Burj Dubai: why does it have to go so high!?

Dubai is all about being the best, biggest, richest, poshest, greatest, hottest and having the longest, widest, highest, gaudiest, craziest…the list is endless.

When I lived there, when we read the news on these new and upcoming ‘superlative’ projects, we would joke about how Dubai really is an architectural representation of the male ego — constantly trying to prove who has got the biggest you-know-what. No offense intended.

Anyway, home to the world’s first and only 7-star hotel, man-made islands in the shape of a palm and the world — that can be seen from the moon (that’s how they marketed the New Year’s Eve bash in 2006: “be at the party that can be seen from the moon!” What a disaster it was!) — Dubai is also battling to be home to the worlds tallest building with the construction of the Burj Dubai.

Construction began in 2004, and today the building stands at 585.7 meters. They haven’t confirmed how high it’s going to be, because they want to win the race. If they declare the height, they are afraid someone else may beat them to it.

I have a friend who works on the architectural team of the Burj. He tells me how scared he is about the construction of this monstrosity. See, the structure works on paper, but since it’s aiming to be the tallest, its infrastructure has never been tested before.

What does that mean? They cannot foresee all consequences, so anything can happen; I see a danger flag. My friend says he will make sure he’s on the first flight out once he finishes his job; he’s not thrilled to be part of something so potentially dangerous.

Some of Dubai’s kicks are just beyond me. I enjoyed living there, but I’m glad to be out.