Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Burj Khalifa?

I was looking at the blogspot dashboard, which informed me that my previous post had no views but one comment. I'm not sure how someone managed to comment without peeking, but that's what the dashboard assured me had happened.

The comment was an incredulous, Whoever claimed that the Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building?

The hype started when it was being planned as the Burj Dubai, back during the Bush, Jr credit boom. The Sheikh of Dubai found that people were happy to loan him and other investors billions to invest in Dubai. He hoped to build something that looked just like the Jurassic Park in the film (but with animatronic dinosaurs, rather than genetically engineered ones that could really eat people; of course, I read the 'robots will turn on us and kill us all' theme before I read the 'biologists will create a new species that will kill us all' theme, but, if one goes back, Dr Frankenstein was creating murderous biological monsters about a century before the first evil robot appeared).

Dubai was loaned money to START the world's tallest building, the world's largest mall, the world's most advanced complex of amusement parks, the world's first air conditioned beach, etc., etc. Of these, only the Burj was completed. And, even before it was finished, other countries announced that each one was going to built a much taller building.

And the local news reported that China will finish the first building taller than the Burj sometime in 2013. The other announced 'taller than the Burj' buildings still haven't laid the cornerstone.

I must ask Farouk if he can get us into the real Burj, not the bit where the rabble can part with $27 for an hour queuing and 15 minutes part way up the Burj. He managed to get us into the Burj al Arab without paying the usual $54 by saying I was a wealthy German Muslim who had to check that it was really halal before I would rent a suite for a month, and we got the grand tour of the Burj al Arab for free (fortunately, their German hostess was off that evening, something I think Farouk checked before we went, since I don't speak a word of German).