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Late Dates in Dubai

the palm
the palm Jumeirah
Monday August 22

" well positioned to become a leading destination for business and pleasure"

Yeah right. Or if you forget the marketing hype from the Palm Jumeirah developers website www.nakheel.com and read between the lines you'll perhaps be thinking that this so-called palm-shaped island at Dubai, United Arab Emirates is destined to be "well positioned to become a complete bloody nightmare" if you choose to live there. And is it just me or does this thing look more like a bloody great tarantula-on-steroids or something? Check it out. Click on the bastard.

Palm Jumeirah is the first of three artificial islands being built in the Gulf by Nakheel, the property development company owned by Dubai's government. Scheduled for completion in 2008 and visible from space, it's a pretty impressive piece of dredging and filling. Housing (at least) 4,500 villas and apartments. Some say possibly double that number by the time it's finished.

Nakheel has been busy flogging real-estate to the well-heeled (and tasteless) like David Frigging Beckham and other dopes with too much money and not a lot of style. In fact it's a sell-out with 25% of it going to the Brits. They've been throwing money at it like a gang of bankers at a lap-dance club. But unlike the lappie, you don't end up frustrated and broke at this club. If you'd bought an apartment three years ago at £90 a square foot you could sell now at £225 a square foot. The queue forms to the right. Units have been sold and resold four or five times and things are not even due for completion until 2008.  A bull market or what?

Infrastructure did you say?  Medical facilities? Fire Station? Power? Water? Cable? Access?  Um...Can we change the subject?

All is not what it seems in the land of the date.  The developers claims of  "whatever your dreams, they will be fulfilled at this graceful and tranquil destination" may turn into a complete and utter cauchemar  for the residents of Palm Jumeirah.

Ah...hang on guys...forget about the other stuff...has anyone thought about how we're going to get the punters in and out of this wet-dream?

There'll be an estimated 150,000 heads in apartments, villas and hotels plus the help coming and going down that trunk - the only access road joining the celebrated Sheikh Ya Booty...ah hang on...that should read Sheikh Zayed Road - Dubai's main highway where traffic moves at a snails pace. They say it already takes a good hour and a half to get into town. On Palm Jumeirah itself there are 18 potential bottlenecks where the palmfronds join the trunk. Granted, there are 5 lanes in each direction along that trunk but it all feeds into Shake Ya Buti. And another thing - there are another proposed 100 residential towers housing up to 40,000 people to be built behind the Sheikh highway at the head of the palm.

Never mind. I'm sure they'll work something out. They'll have to. The United Arab Emirates projections for hotel guests alone in five years time is 15 Million. That's a lot of dates - a lot of bums on car seats drumming their fingers on the steering wheel. Poor Posh and Becks. My heart bleeds for them.


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