Stephen Bové - Art, Technology, Right Action

Monday, October 30, 2006

United Arab Emirates Builds World's Largest Terrorist Target

There's something vaguely diabolical or mad about this -- La Tour Babel deMille.

Burj Dubai...the centerpiece of a 20-billion-dollar venture featuring the construction of a new district, "Downtown Burj Dubai," that will house 30,000 apartments and the world's largest shopping mall.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who also designed the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Freedom Tower in New York City.

Lead architect Adrian Smith modeled the floor patterns after the unfolding of a lotus flower. Looks more like cross sections of a mammalian male-sex-organ to me.

Construction by South Korea's Samsung.
Completion scheduled at the end of 2008.
One billion dollars.

This means that Bill Gates could buy more than 40 of these buildings and live in them.
Thank goodness he has more sense. He's a horizontal low-buildings-on-campuses kind of guy.

Larry and Sergey at Google could each build 10 of these and live in them, and buy 10 747's to fly around to them, and still have change left over for a few Trident Nuclear subs to cruise the high seas in. The purchasing power of $14 Billion really ain't what it used to be.

More Stats:

Already 79 stories.
Will have worlds fastest elevators (40 mph).
Secret final height, 700 meters (2,296 feet) and more than 160 stories
Designed so it can be extended during construction in case any building is announced to surpass it.
Final planned height may be 808 meters (2650 feet) and 195 floors.

Thats around 2x the size of either of the world trade centers.

2,500 workers on the tower site alone.
Peak about a year from now at over 5,000.
For the whole site ... at any point in time, when the whole Downtown Burj Dubai district is under construction, there will be 20,000 men working.

"Average wages of the south Asian laborers, who work in summer in temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), are "probably in the range of a couple of hundred US dollars a month" for a shift of "eight to 10 hours" a day, six days a week. And, "They can get overtime if they like."

Protests over pay and poor working conditions have already degenerated into riots complete with equipment smashing and car burning.

Just the kind of workers I'd want building my 160th story penthouse pad.

Sounds Biblical to me.

Why any human would live in such a structure is truly beyond my understanding.



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