Monday, May 26, 2008

City of Cranes

A 2006 report in Gulf News said that Dubai has some 30,000 construction cranes, which is 24 per cent of the world's total. I wonder what would be the new figures given the maddening pace of construction in this part of the world.

Almost every immigrant in Dubai has a story to share, ranging from, "dry bushes beyond the Trade Centre on the Sheikh Zayed road" to "a handfull of restaurants in the city." Mind you all these stories are coming from people who have been in Dubai for not more than 15 years. This speaks a lot about the development of this port city. Dubai is increasingly finding favours with the business community around the world.

But everything comes at a price! The population too is on the rise and seems to be directionaly proportional to the cranes in the city. I heard on the radio some time back that 800 new residents are settling down in Dubai every day. No wonder the land prices and rentals are skyrocketing. What surprises me is that inspite of having so many hotels, there are times when it's hard to find a decent room for guests. As for the traffic here, the lesser said the better. It took me 3 hours once to reach Ajman from my place in Springs. In the name of construction, either the roads are digged open and so closed for the public or there are diversions because of flyovers coming up.

But, inspite of all these problems it's a beautiful city. No wonder some 200 nationalities are living here peacefully. The sheikhs have a vision and they are surely moving (or rather running) towards it. So until the goal is met the cranes will adorn the skyline of Dubai.

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