The Null Device

Walt Disney meets Albert Speer on the shores of Araby

Mark Davis, the Marxist academic best known for his pre-apocalyptic critiques of Los Angeles, now turns his attention to Dubai, the surrealistically larger-than-life high-tech pleasuredome, built on what is effectively slave labour:
The hotel driver is waiting for you in a Rolls Royce Silver Seraph. Friends have recommended the Armani Hotel in the 160-story tower or the seven-star hotel with an atrium so huge that the Statue of Liberty would fit inside, but instead you have opted to fulfill a childhood fantasy. You always have wanted to be Captain Nemo in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Under his leadership, the coastal desert has become a huge circuit board into which the elite of transnational engineering firms and retail developers are invited to plug in high-tech clusters, entertainment zones, artificial islands, "cities within cities" -- whatever is the latest fad in urban capitalism. The same phantasmagoric but generic Lego blocks, of course, can be found in dozens of aspiring cities these days, but Sheik Mo has a distinctive and inviolable criterion: Everything must be "world class," by which he means number one in The Guinness Book of Records. Thus Dubai is building the world's largest theme park, the biggest mall, the highest building, and the first sunken hotel among other firsts.

There are 2 comments on "Walt Disney meets Albert Speer on the shores of Araby":

Posted by: steff Sun Jul 17 01:28:50 2005

Mike Davis :)

Posted by: El Bizarro Mon Jul 18 12:14:51 2005

All the money in the world won't be able to transform the UAE from a stinking dessert cesspit populated by bloated Saudis crusing around in their hotted up cars screwing Russian prostitutes and keeping their wives locked up from slaves. But of course, because they're filthy stinking rich, they're pioneers etc.