In the face of the 2007–2008 financial crisis, some cities in the Western world and in Asia nevertheless kept investing in large-scale and spectacular projects, cities of the Gulf prominent among them. Spectacular skyscrapers assert international presence, part of the recipe for putting a place “on the map.”1 Even Mecca, the very word already signifying all that is most valuable about a site, added in some spectacle with construction of what is now the third highest building in the world —the Royal Clock Tower, right at the holy site. Saudi Arabia has other skyscrapers under way—the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah—at 1,008 meters is to be completed in 2020 and eventually become the tallest in the world. Some record-breaking buildings now exist in the Gulf, of course, with Dubai’s Burj Khalifa the world’s highest structure. As with Qatar (of which Doha is the capital), Dubai UAE uses a worldwide portfolio of real estate investments as a part of economic strategy toward diversifying the national economy. Some developmental initiatives also involve mega events like sports championships and world-class art and cultural festivals, with iconic buildings as part of the same branded venue. Qatar sponsored the 2006 Asian Games and the 2011 Pan Arab Games. Bahrain began hosting a Formula One grand prix in 2004; Abu Dhabi followed in 2009. The FIFA World Cup is set for Qatar in 2022. The 2020 Universal Exposition, a kind of world’s fair of futuristic programs and building projects, will take place in Dubai—under the motto “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” Besides their immediate venue, each event has its own related infrastructure and spectacular development stratagem.

Mobilities of Urban Spectacle: Plans, Projects and Investments in the Gulf and Beyond

d. ponzini
2019

Abstract

In the face of the 2007–2008 financial crisis, some cities in the Western world and in Asia nevertheless kept investing in large-scale and spectacular projects, cities of the Gulf prominent among them. Spectacular skyscrapers assert international presence, part of the recipe for putting a place “on the map.”1 Even Mecca, the very word already signifying all that is most valuable about a site, added in some spectacle with construction of what is now the third highest building in the world —the Royal Clock Tower, right at the holy site. Saudi Arabia has other skyscrapers under way—the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah—at 1,008 meters is to be completed in 2020 and eventually become the tallest in the world. Some record-breaking buildings now exist in the Gulf, of course, with Dubai’s Burj Khalifa the world’s highest structure. As with Qatar (of which Doha is the capital), Dubai UAE uses a worldwide portfolio of real estate investments as a part of economic strategy toward diversifying the national economy. Some developmental initiatives also involve mega events like sports championships and world-class art and cultural festivals, with iconic buildings as part of the same branded venue. Qatar sponsored the 2006 Asian Games and the 2011 Pan Arab Games. Bahrain began hosting a Formula One grand prix in 2004; Abu Dhabi followed in 2009. The FIFA World Cup is set for Qatar in 2022. The 2020 Universal Exposition, a kind of world’s fair of futuristic programs and building projects, will take place in Dubai—under the motto “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” Besides their immediate venue, each event has its own related infrastructure and spectacular development stratagem.
The New Arab Urban: Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition, and Distress
9781479897254
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1126464
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