Thursday, 24 April 2008

Vision Fatigue

The latest vision is the one for Bastakia. I wrote an article for Nafas online arts magazine a couple of weeks ago which talked about this and also looked at potential problems. The major one as always is human resources. Who is going to organise, administrate and implement all the projects and plans.

The other big cultural visions are Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island development and the Khor Project in Dubai. Cultural weight is also thrown around by the ability to employ people like Rem Koolhaas, to design whole new cities. Nakheel's Waterfront City is one such project and even has its own death star presumably to match Emaar's death spire.Abu Dhabi has the super ironic Masdar carbon free city and the daily onslaught of advertisements for other developments is really starting to get on my nerves. The Gulf News has given up any pretense of being a newspaper since someone had the bright idea of turning the front page into an advert. 'Be an Octavian' What? Buy a piece of San Francisco / Spanish Reality ... . er.. earth to Dynasty Zarooni - this is the UAE! Even Ajman's getting in on the act with 'visionaries are those who make their dreams come true ... dare to envision' etc. etc. yawn yawn. Is there no one who can still see clearly enough to consider taking a rain check on the word 'vision'?

It is particularly grating in a week where there has been so much talk about national identity and the demographic imbalance including a debate on the UAE Community blog that had more than 90 comments.

I sympathise with the local predicament - it took me 6 months to find a local! However, if there is such great concern about demographic imbalance why all the new cities? Who are they for? All those people who will have to come to implement the other visions I guess!

PS When my subscription to Gulf Property Advertising (formerly News) expires, I'm switching to the National.


  1. April 21st, Herald Tribune, Donald Trump dropped the price on a Palm Beach mansion at Miami waterfront by 20 percent.
    April 16th, Reuters, Zack Shahin, CEO of Deyaar, has been detained and is under investigation for alleged financial irregularities.
    Another report, same day: Emaar, posted its second decline in profit in three quarters, falling 3.8%. Reason quoted is drop in revenues from its US subsidiary.
    April 10th, Damac comments its Haz Tower project in Business Bay is 'definitely going ahead' why they said so...a day before, around 10 investors met officials at the Land Department to complain against the company...a little fact, Damac has launched 80 projects but handed over only two so far.
    I missed something in between...
    April 11th, Nature Strikes Back, 'the wolves are moving in'

    there will always be investors, people to invest, there will always be agents (lots of them) there will always be people who will talk about such projects with awe, there will always be brand managers who will take pride in advertising on front page of Gulf Property Advertising (I like it)and there will always be (busy) writers who will have time to write on such things...its just not worth it...

  2. Amish, writing on it is "just not worth it" (and if so, why - dangerous perhaps?), or do you mean being here at all ain't worth the hassle? H