The fact that I left Dubai and continually seem to be ranting about the city here might make you think I hate it. Truth is, I don’t. I’ve just had enough of it, and would never want to live there again. The city does have its own charm, something I will write about when I’m inspired to. However, the idea of building a mini-Lyon in Dubai isn’t part of it.
You would think that a city that is hardly 40-years old and has no money issues, would put in some effort to nurture and display to the world a culture it can call its own. But it always takes pride in doing the exact opposite.
Dubai is a strange, though fascinating, concoction of everything it isn’t but wants to be. This is why people like me who have spent a significant amount of time there often perceive its new ventures to keep the city in the world’s limelight as superficial ludicrousness.
The project to build a mini-Lyon in Dubai that will copy the city and even reconstruct the cafes, cinemas and schools, will be a €500 million project due to finish in 2012.
Why do you want a mini-Lyon in Dubai? It’s going to be “a small city with the accent on the best of French culture, and particularly Lyon culture.” Lyon is the 3rd largest metropolitan in France with a history that goes back to the 1st Century BC. This is impossible to imitate to any level of significance in 4 years.
Why doesn’t Dubai understand that copying cities and building “only-possible-in-Dubai” structures and islands, creates nothing but a confusion over the very word ‘culture’. I suppose in Dubai they would call it “redefining culture”.
When Dubai plans things like this, I think it just reinforces the cultural crisis it is in, but will never admit. It probably won’t affect its tourism industry, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Sigh.