Crane Heaven

Dubai, one of the fastest-growing cities on the planet, is experiencing a massive construction boom. Online marketplace AssetTrader is involved in numerous building projects within this ever-developing, ultra-modern context.

Historically, revenues from oil and natural gas are said to have layed the foundation for the skyrocketing of Dubai’s wealth. However, in recent times, the government decided to shift the focus from an oil- reliant economy to a service-and-tourism-oriented one. Consequently, the aforementioned revenues currently account for less than 6% of the emirate’s revenues, while there has been a massive property boom from 2004-2006. Real estate and construction are the most important contributors to the national economy, accounting for an impressive 22.6% of the total.

Today, Dubai is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Several megaprojects worth billions of dollars are taking place both inland and off-shore, and the crane’s silhouette dominates the landscape. The city is attracting worldwide attention, not only because construction in the UAE is significantly faster than elsewhere, but mainly because of the bombastic scale of most projects. Spectacularity is the very heart and center of Dubai’s urban growth. The main motivation for such construction bonanza is the government’s drive for a more diversified economy. The symbol of the city’s futuristic architecture is perhaps the Burj-al-Arab hotel, located on its very own island in the Persian Gulf, which is currently the tallest and most expensive hotel on the planet. Dubai is set to establishing new world records. Emaar Properties is currently building what will become the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Dubai, a skyscaper whose final height is still a secret to us. The world’s largest shopping mall – the Dubai Mall – is also under contruction, just next to the Burj Dubai. In May 2006, the authorities announced plans to build an hotel called ‘Asia, Asia’, which will be the world’s largest hotel in the world with more than 6,500 rooms. Height and size are not the only variables Dubai’s building tycoons care about: innovation is crucial too. The perfect example is the famous rotating skycraper that is going to be in the center of the Dubailand, the entertainment complex under development owned by Tatweer. The 200 apartment skyscraper will slowly rotate at its base, making a 360 degree revolution once a week.

[Stefano needs to add data on AssetTrader’s involvement in construction projects]

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