The sheik is obviously a bored man. One fine albeit HOT Dubai morning he decided to build an island off the coast, only it wasn't an island but a series of them forming the shape of a monstrous palm gorging on the Arabian Gulf. Needless to say all this super structure creation caused phenomenal engineering and logistical nightmares but the sheik called in the white man and he made heap big plan and solved the heathen's problems. It engulfs an area of 7 million square meters, extends 6.5 kilometres into the Gulf, 7 million tons of rock and sand, has 40 Five star hotels, 2500 exclusive residential beachside villas, 2400 shoreline apartments, two marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, health spas and cinemas. This ended up as Palm Jumeirah.
If that wasn't enough he decided to have another such monstrosity, reeking of oil dollars. He called it Palm Jebel Ali and it was 50% larger than the first with 6 marinas.
Here's where I thought, this cannot get any worse. But no. The man in the flowing white dish-dash was far from throwing in the date palm. Actually, he did throw away the palm idea for something a lot more international. He decided to build the world. Not a piddly amusement park with avenues for various cultures but a full fleged map of the world, down to minute details and scale, entirely formed by islands (*bewildered face*).
These nightmares laid to rest, the good sheik settled down to his favourite pastime, writing poetry. The inspiration of his words was so great that he wanted to etch them in world memory. "Wait a minute," he cried, "I can have my poetry, written in chaste arabic built in the form of islands. God knows we have the money, technology and manpower." But that wasn't enough so he finally decided to build yet another palm, called Diera this time. The Palm Deira will cover 14 kms in length and 8.5 kms in width and have an area of 80 square kilometers (861 million square feet). The residential area will be located on the fronds and will contain 8,000 two-storey town houses in three distinct styles - Premier Villas, Grand Villas and Vista Town Homes.
The total cost of just the three palm archipalegos is upwards of $16 billion. The world probably cost, well, the world. Since all these structures are all geared towards the rich and famous, it is unlikely to solve any housing problems. Also, while these mega bucks are being literally thrown to sea, scores of people die everyday in Africa, because of a lack of what else - money. The irony chokes me everytime I ponder it. I wonder whether the sheik has heard of charity.