Dubai, well-known to be the global destination of choice for people who like skiing, is to get its second indoor ski slope at the newly announced Meydan One Dubai project, and this time it’s going to be the world’s longest one ever!
As well as this second huge ski slope, the temperature of which must be maintained at -1°C all year round, there was also the small matter of announcing the new latest tallest ever residential tower in the world called Dubai One, and the new mall to accompany the 70+ malls already in existence in the city.There will also be a new dancing fountain display, which, yes you’ve guessed it – will be the world’s largest, and finally a beach in the heart of the development. We are unclear what this means, as the coast is some 20 kilometres from the area. Presumably it will be loads of sand (which is in strong supply around there) with some kind of swimming pool next to it, and maybe a wave machine. The development will be based in that massive empty bit of desert between Meydan and the Al Khail Road, and the first phase will be completed just in time for the massive Expo 2020, so the tens of millions of Expo visitors will be able to sample the first part of the new development when they arrive.
Mall of the World
As well as this announcement, let us not forget the Mall of the World development, which is also very exciting and was announced last year. This city under a massive roof will be the first of its kind, with all year round A/C controlling the temperature for visitors.Within the Mall of the World (we’re gonna run out of names for these malls soon aren’t we?) will be the world’s largest theme park under a single dome (that’s pretty specific I know), 100 hotels (because we really need more), some kind of theatre district to be better than Broadway in New York and the West End in London (because all those real estate and wealth manager lads really want to go to see plays and theatre productions, they are just going to Cargo and Blue Marlin to fill the hole until the theatre district starts up), oh yeah, and it’s going to be the largest mall in the world, with 180 million visitors each year, lest we forget.
To put that visitor number in context, we’ve compiled a list of annual visitor numbers of other attractions across the world:
The Eiffel Tower – 7 million visitors annuallySydney Opera House – 8 million visitors annuallyTaj Mahal – 8 million visitors annuallyHollywood Walk of Fame – 10 million visitors annuallyThe Great Wall of China – 11 million visitors annuallyNiagra Falls – 22 million visitors annuallyLas Vegas Strip – 30 million visitors annuallyTimes Square New York – 50 million visitors annually
Dubai Mall – 80 million annuallyMall of the World – 180 million visitors annually?
But as Mother Nature began sobbing upon the announcement of yet more excessive demands being placed upon her diminishing resources, she needn’t have worried, because the phrase “sustainable development” was used loads of times at the announcement. So that basically means that nature’s resources won’t be plundered too much for the new Meydan One project, it will be sustainable. Forever.
Sustainability is the new buzzword in the UAE, and more power to it. It’s great to think that everything currently in the proposal or construction stages has the potential (if ever completed) to go on and on forever, regardless of the natural gas and oil reserves which, depending on who is analysing them, have probably quite some way under 100 years left if the current demands are also “sustained”.
Other estimates say that oil will most likely be gone in 40 years, but as the demand of foreign countries for Middle Eastern barrels inevitably continues to reduce due to national renewable energy programs, electric cars, nuclear power and of course shale oil and gas production, this estimate could be seen as slightly pessimistic. It’s more likely that the Middle East producers will have the rest of their reserves entirely to themselves in under three decades.
While the UAE does have the dubious, if not surprising, honour of having one of the worst Carbon Footprints anywhere in the world, the Government are making attempts at reducing it.
The UAE Vision 2021 requires the country to source 24% of its energy from ‘clean energy sources’, an example of this is the proposal and implementation of switching something like 30,000 buildings to ‘renewable energy’ by 2030. It’s not 100% clear at this time whether the new Meydan indoor ski slope will be run off renewable energy or not.
But there are more pressing environmental concerns in Dubai anyway, such as the lack of any kind of serious recycling initiative. Landfill sites have begun to overflow, one has been forced to shut already, and there will soon be nowhere left to dump all our rubbish.
There are so many different nationalities with undoubtedly differing views on the importance of recycling and sustaining Dubai for future generations, the implementation of a recycling program, the like of which are now fully established everywhere in Europe, would seem at best a challenge and at worst completely impossible.
When can we go skiing on this new massive ski slope in the desert?
In any case, regardless of the environmental implications of more air-conditioned mega structures, as we all know, the announcement of new projects is by no means a guarantee they will ever see the light of day. Because what do you need to make these projects come to fruition? Off-plan investment – investment in something that doesn’t even exist yet. And that represents a risk in itself, particularly in Dubai, regardless of how much money you have.
As one onlooker said: “Why don’t they try finishing one of the ones that foreign investors have already placed funds into first, before announcing yet more?”
At insidedxb.com, we are very excited and can’t wait to dig out our ski jackets and our skiing paraphernalia and go to the biggest indoor ski slope in the whole world, and then ski down the slope, and then go back up the slope and then ski down it again, and repeat this process for quite some time.