Thursday, December 03, 2009

Dubai's last hurrah

SHOOT: This will be a ghost town in 5 years.
clipped from
FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2008 file photo, the Burj Dubai, or

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – When work began in 2004 to build the world's tallest tower, Dubai's confidence also was sky high with a host of mega-projects on the drawing board or rising from the sands.

That swagger seems positively old school these days. It's been tripped up by a debt crunch that has humbled Dubai's leaders and exposed the shaky foundations of the city-state's boom years — leaving the planned Jan. 4 opening of the iconic Burj Dubai with a double significance of hello and goodbye.

It will be both a debutante bash for a new architectural landmark and a farewell toast to Dubai's age of excess.

The Burj Dubai — a steel-and-glass needle rising more than a half-mile (800 meters) — may be the last completed work from Dubai's time of the giants. Most other of the unfinished super-projects announced in recent years, such as a second palm-shaped island or a tower to surpass the Burj Dubai, are either recession roadkill or being considered on a far smaller scale.
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