Dubai Encroaching Upon Its Own Desert
Dubai's growing landscape raises a serious question in this author's mind. Will its ongoing expansion completely overshadow its geographical map? Will there be no more free land left to walk around, once the real estate frenzy had died down? I was reading about the Dubai Palm islands, also watched some videos that depicted how the dredging work had been taking place there. It is amazing to see those islands growing up out of nowhere, and the sea water being pushed back in the due course. It may not be feasible to turn the whole of Arabian Sea into a huge island - either from the technical or from the environmental points of view. However, there is no stopping as far as the desert is concerned. It has got no vegetation that we should be wary of destroying.
On the other hand, the world is eager to invest its money and to share its manpower and knowledge with a friendly nation in Dubai. Therefore, we shouldn't be surprised if Dubai's growth overran its desert completely, sometime in the years to come. Isn't it the same dominance over the desert, we have spoken about; Dubai is trying to achieve even today? From its north to south and the east to west, one can only see townships popping up everywhere. The firms behind these developments are worth billions in their respective markets. The technical knowhow they carry with them is cutting-edge.
The administration in Dubai, on its own part, is in a hurry to allow them build whatever they wished to. The result is, we are watching a hell lot of infrastructure being erected upon at the outer edge and inside Dubai. With its current pace of development, there is a good chance; Dubai's infrastructure might overrun someday its whole geographic area. The construction of world's largest man-made islands - The Palm Islands - strengthens this argument even more. Dubai Palm is a benchmark development project, where a total of 520km of sea beaches are to be constructed along Dubai's seacoast. This will require huge amounts of rocks and sand to be relocated and dumped over the seabed. Modern technology has made it possible to achieve this task. The same can be seen happening over the mainland as well. They are tearing through the heart of desert in a literal sense, and making a way for the proposed settlements. Who knows this might extend to the whole of Dubai tomorrow.
It may sound somewhat unlikely today, but may not prove impossible tomorrow. I have closely followed Dubai's real estate sector for sometime now, and it has often left me awestruck. The construction sites of Dubai alone account for 15 to 25% of the world's total 125,000 tower cranes. As per the industry watchers, 26.8 million square feet of office space was constructed in Dubai in 2007 alone. An additional 42 million square feet will be made available in 2008. This growth overtakes that of some other heavily urbanized centers across the world. For example, the growth of Pudong in Shanghai, China, which has a support base of 1.3 billion indigenous Chinese, falls well short of Dubai's figures, which has only 1.3 million citizens to rely on, out of which only 4 million are domestic citizens.
The rest are expatriates from all over the world. The momentum seems much larger in Dubai's case, one can say at this point. There is no other thriving economy in today's world, which may think about growing the way Dubai has over the period of last one decade. Dubai Palm, The World, Dubai Water Front and Dubai Marina are just a few examples of how rapidly one could expand their infrastructure. Only time will tell how far this growth undermines Dubai's own barren lands.
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