Check out six of Dubai’s most dubious building projects:
No list of insane projects from Dubai is complete without the Burj al Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai). At 2,717 feet, it holds the record as the world’s largest tower with the fastest elevators and the most rooms, in addition to a slew of other dubious distinctions. It cost $1.5 billion to build, much of which was borrowed from Abu Dhabi during the economic slump, and ten months after its splashy inauguration in January, 2010, 825 out of its 900 apartments were still empty!
This crazy tennis court didn’t pass our desks until last week, but we have to add it to our list of questionable ideas. As part of a big media splash designed to drum up business for the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open in 2005, the turf court was put on top of the 1,000 foot Burj al Arab tower along the Persian Gulf. At these dizzying heights, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer were invited to play a friendly (and no doubt slow) round of tennis before the Open officially started.
Catering to richest of the world’s rich folks, Dubai set out to create 300 artifical islands in the Persian Gulf (or Arabian Gulf if you talk to anyone on its Arab side). Each island is created by dredging sand from the bottom of the Gulf, which has a terrible impact on a fragile marine ecosystem once celebrated for its coral reefs and marine mammals. 70% of the islands have already been sold and construction continues apace, even though in January this year Richard Wilmot-Smith from Penguin Marine reported that the islands are gradually sinking back into the sea.