Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dubai visit

In Singapore, as the East Coast Highway approaches the city, match boxes of tall buildings appear well placed in a manner that structures blend with each other and create a harmonious spectrum that is pleasing to an eye. Hong kong, Yokohama too follow the pattern and so are the most US cities. I do not know if a building architect needs to get an approval from city council to ensure that his structure doesn't disturb the overall panoramic sky view of the city.
It seems Dubai in hurry to build sky piercing structures overlooked this aspect or they deliberately let each building architect to create the structure that is different from its neighbour. As glass fasaade structures vie with each other on Shiekh Zayed road, an absence of structural harmony is evident. Glass Pyramid of Raffles( ex wafi) juxtaposed with Arabian style building followed by Circular Arc of Grand Hyatt is not all that pleasing sight through the car window while driving past Gharoud Bridge. Overlooking on the left is another glass building of Dubai festival city that looks to me like juicer/grinder. Dubai landmark building - Burj Khalifa -looks like a Sten Gun. A tapered vertical band narrows down to single needle jutting out on top. With haze descended on the Dubai in last three days, view of this building was not so clear. But for me, view of this building from a distance is no match to twin towers of Kuala Lampur. They look spectacular at night or even during the day. I didn't travel by Dubai Metro but elliptical shape of metro station again was an eye sore. Perhaps, there is nothing much in the vicinity of the station and once the buildings come , they may look elegant. Dubai recent financial turmoil did make an impact on Arab Health. This time, big names were missing and so were the European presence but this was compensated by numerous small companies from China and Iran. Display of 'available on rent' signboards was unusual. Just a year ago, so high was the demand for place was that security persons in the building made extra money for disclosing the apartment that would be vacated soon. Dubai banks too annoy me. They are quick to inactivate the bank account but to get it activated , they insist on physical presence and three days to act.
I watched the closing part of US President Obama's state of union address. Terrific speaker. Someone has rightly said, ' A writer can never become a leader, an orator does'. Most leaders have professional speech writing team but a mesmerising speech delivery is an art that very few people have it. In India, Atal Bihari Bajpayee, George Fernandes and Bal Thakrey had that. They could captivate thousands of people. Raj Thackeray too has that gift.

Time to leave Dubai and on way to Goa via Mumbai. I hope my early hours journey from International airport to domestic goes smoothly.




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