Give the world records a break, Dubai

Daniel Shane questions the need for the emirate to build the tallest, biggest and most expensive

The world’s tallest building. The tallest hotel. The highest theatre. The biggest manmade island. The most expensive licence plate. We’ve even had the world’s biggest book and picture frame. Perhaps next we will have the world record for the most world records?

True, many of these achievements should be commended. Still, some of these so-called records have started to border on frivolous, and Dubai has much more to be proud of.

For example, this week Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the developer behind the emirate’s mixed use Jumeirah Lakes Towers district, unveiled plans to build the world’s tallest commercial building.

However, the ‘announcement’ didn’t tell us how tall the building would be, when construction would start, when it would be finished, who would be building it, what it would be called, or even where it would be. Call me a cynic, but does this just smack of grabbing any chance to get a bit of free publicity without really doing anything?

It’s maybe unfair of me to pick on DMCC specifically, given that everyone in Dubai seems to be playing the world records game and they’re far from being the worst culprit. A couple of other recent Dubai ‘records’ I’ve seen are: world’s fastest text message in Arabic while blindfolded; most sand moved with a teaspoon in 30 seconds; and most clothes pegs held in one hand.

Saying this, I do have an idea for one world record I’d like to see in Dubai: longest time gone without announcing another world record.

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Posted by: Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Dear Daniela,

With regards to DMCC's tallest office tower, the confidence from the market is so strong this includes financial institutes, buyers, insurance companies, steel suppliers, contracters, EIBOR (apparently LIBOR is not as trusted as use to be) all of which are supporting this tower, even more so after publicizing it, it reached a point where my Boss asked me not to build the world tallest office tower higher than the Burj Khalifa. This is testimony to the confidence that this will be a record breaking tallest office tower & most successful office tower in the world, this also mean the only reason the Burj Khalifa is still the tallest tower in the world is because I was asked not build higher than the Nurj Khalifa.

Posted by: The real McCoy

I do agree that Dubai has done a lot with very little, and being the best is something we should all strive to, but the best at what? Sometimes I do get very frustrated with the plans they come up with. And it's not only that - I've seen plans to build a replica Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal.


A bit more focus and creativity would be nice to see. Come on Dubai, get widdit.

Posted by: Paul

The pillars (the real ones) on which Dubai relies on, are far from being ethically and morally accepted by any standards.
The false illusion that this is a fair society and all is glamorous is as sustainable as a city in the desert is, particularly when its jammed with glazed towers and no shades for pedestrians!
Dubai has a long way to go before its gives its first steps into a more respectful, genuine approach towards humankind and its natural habitat.

Posted by: Shahul

You are only remembered for being No: 1. History has the answer.

Dubai has a tremendous potential to realise the dreams of many. It take courage to be there.

When US and Europe are sitting on a mountain of debt and see no sign of coming back to the old charm, Dubai has come back too quickly for non-oil economy.

It is desire to be the best in the world. To many, Middle east means Dubai. It is the preferred location. Because they want to be among the best.

Posted by: Jezinho

Strange comment because Dubai's been built without a mountain of debt, hasn't it?

Posted by: Vicky

Dubai has done really great. It needs to boast more, certainly not less. However, with maturity and sense of realistic perspective, it will hopefully learn, with the passage of time, to understand the significance of values rooted around long term values, not materialism and glamor alone. For the time being, it has become perfectly acceptable to make claims without validation or credibility. But then, with less than 4 decades of modern history, one wouldn't expect much. With a wee bit of time, it will shine brighter,

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