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Thu 4 Jul 2013 08:55 AM

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Give the world records a break, Dubai

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

Give the world records a break, Dubai
Daniel Shane

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.

twistedtory 6 years ago

Mr. Shane fails to understand the unique role Dubai plays in the Middle East and SE Asia. This is a place where people with great ambitions come to achieve their dreams. Many of these motivated individuals seek differentiation via superlatives in a place where they can achieve such things. Dubai represents hope and the ability to achieve dreams. For some, this is expressed by being the world's best or greatest, biggest, etc. I see nothing wrong with striving to be the best, to achieve one's potential, nor with Dubai offering such opportunities and hope to people who otherwise would have access to neither.

John 6 years ago

Sounds like someone is jealous his own country cannot create such records ! If you live in Dubai, you owe it to this magnificent city to support such endeavors as they bring publicity to Dubai and raise its image in the world to an even higher level.

Ronald 6 years ago

All the records might be of some worth if the projects weren't mired in debt, another record achievement in itself!

Donald 6 years ago

I agree with Mr. Shane. I don't know who is responsible for these statements: the Emirate or the media? Not only does it sometimes border on the frivolous, the truth of the claim is often dubious, e.g. that Dubai is the third busiest airport in the world (not according to the rankings) or that Emirates is the largest international airlines in the world (it may have the most international passengers per kilometre, but that does not make it the largest international airline in the world), etc. Sounds more like propaganda than news!

Ty Say 6 years ago

Donald, it is nice to see not everyone has "sheep" mentality and inevitably sucks in all this media dribble!
You would have thought, or at least hoped that the Arabs would learn by the mistakes of the previous decade. Sadly I do not think this is the case as they still seem to be driven by greed and a false pretence they are the best in the World.
Don’t get me wrong I am not an Arab basher, I think what they have done here in UAE in the short period of time is nothing short of amazing. With this in mind, why would you need or want to exaggerate.

JSS 6 years ago

I'd be in favor of world records such as: "most tolerant city", "city with the highest humanistic values", "city with the kindest people" etc.
Dubai is doing pretty well in all of the aforementioned already, but there's always a step up the ladder!

Vicky 6 years ago

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,

Shahul 6 years ago

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.

Jezinho 6 years ago

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

Paul 6 years ago

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.