Friday, September 30, 2005

The falcon city of wondrous vulgarity

You know there is simply too much cash lying around in Dubai but not enough places to plough it into when you get projects like the Falcon City of Wonders.

Costing nearly $1.5 billion (US Dollars) and to be built in boredom-quashing Dubailand, the project aims to emulate the planet's most iconic landmarks, but all it ends up doing is making a complete mockery of them.

The Falcon City of Wonders is a unique, purpose-built community project featuring structures based on the wonders of the world, such as the Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Light House of Alexandria. The project is spread over an area of four million square metres, and is divided into five overlapped phases, with the first phase expected to begin by the first quarter of 2006.

The French won't be particularly pleased.

I can only hope this project is some sort of insider joke that has as much a possibility of materialising as Jackson being deemed normal, but sadly it isn't. It even has an official website resembling something hastily thrown together at the very last minute by an incompetant simpleton who only just discovered the joys of Microsoft Frontpage.

Why Dubai thinks any culture-indulging tourist would want to visit an Eiffel tower replica in the Falcon Elysees district (dear lord what were they sniffing when they came up with that name?!) is beyond me. They foolishly assume people will flock to Dubai, reside amidst the gut-wrenching interiors of the seven-star Burj Al Arab and gather around the mock versions of the wonders of the world in awe, whereas in reality people will only come to laugh at such cheap imitations of grandeur.

This line from the project's CEO at the official launch is priceless:

"Falcon City of Wonders is unparalleled in the uniqueness of its concept and the broadness of its scope." - Salem Al Moosa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Falcon City of Wonders LLC


Blogger The Devil's Advocate said...

There are some people who will never be able to visit these places due to economical and political reasons. Yes, Falcon city is tres fake but it will provide a great vacation destination for many families who would otherwise have to be content with postcards and holiday shows.

If Falcon city was the only thing Dubai was constructing to lure tourists then perhaps I might agree with you, but the way I see it the city is trying to cover all bases. God knows which ones are going to play out right but your attack is unwarranted in my eyes and completely ignorant of the surrounding region and the aspirations and ambitions of their peoples.

I assume you are from the west.

8:36 am GTS  
Blogger moryarti said...

It doesn't matter how much money you have... a bad idea will always be a bad idea... i just wonder, how do they come up with those "fantastic" ideas? i mean a rotating city, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

What were they on?

10:48 am GTS  
Blogger desertblog said...

Devil's Advocate, of course there are some people who won't be able to visit Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, and India to see the Taj, but don't you think Falcon City is almost insulting the hard work of the people who built these landmarks? I find it a shame that they could not think up something more original that represented Dubai, instead of 'lifting' ideas from other parts of the world.

2:03 pm GTS  
Blogger desertblog said...

I can't get over the name Falcon Elysees It makes me cringe. What next, The Falcon D'Orsay Museum where you can view replicas of the world's works of art?

2:06 pm GTS  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Chess City? I was in a meeting with another 'makeshift midas' who unveiled the plans for a project he'd been working on for three whole years of his life. Chess City, 32 buildings (16 black, 16 white) each resembling a chess piece and positioned on a gigantic grid out near Jebel Ali.

Heights range from 16 stories or so for the pawn buildings up to 60 storeys for the King building.

Luxury apartments, offices, and hotels....the same old yarn, but the best part was yet to come.

Beneath these was to be another set of smaller buildings (only 8 storeys each) that would actually be mobile. That's right, they'd still look like chess pieces but these bad boys can move. And each of them is to be a multi-storey designer retail megastore. You should have seen the presenter's eyes light up when he told us that the likes of Bvlgari, Armani, Swarovski and co would occupy one each.

I walked out of that meeting with half a mind to phone Bvlgari, Armani, Kasparov and the rest to sue this guy for mis-representation. He's got millions and maybe they'd give me a cut if they win.

I hope the project's been scrapped. That was our advice to him....but I wouldn't be surprised if it popped up in the Gulf News (news for the unopinionated).

3:06 pm GTS  

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