Bikinis and Burj
Trip Start Nov 30, 2007
34Trip End Jan 17, 2008
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After that, I decided to hit the beach; Jumeirah Beach Park is a decent-sized park, with lush gardens and palm trees, plus all of the facilities needed for a beach. The weather was hot and mostly clear, just like it always is, and the water was turquoise, clear and wonderfully cool
Finally, I went to the Emirates Towers, part of the new downtown being built on Sheik Zayed Road. This is just a spectacular and bizarre piece of urban form; it's more or less in the middle of nowhere (there is sort of an adjacent suburb, but it's very low density), along this massive highway, just a forest of skyscrapers maybe 3 or 4 km long. The World Trade Center, which was the first skyscraper here - late 1970s - and a source of some national pride (it's on the hundred) just looks sad sack next to the glistening new towers. The Burj Dubai is here, but so are dozens of skyscrapers, at least 10 of which would be the most notable building in the skyline of virtually any city but here
And it's equally astounding urban form; just these skyscrapers on an access road parallel to Sheik Zayed, which is 16 lanes in points and a freeway (until it gets to the roundabout, at least). Very little else here, and, as far as could tell, no way to cross from one side of the road to the other -- it's like the idea was too bizarre to even consider. They're running the Metro parallel to the road, but I don't see any evidence at this point that they're building any sort of ped bridge to go with. Just strange. Also strange, or at least frustrating, was the half an hour it took for me to hoodwink a cabbie into taking me home.