Friday, January 19, 2007

Welcome to the new World

Have you heard about The World yet?

I mean the new one. The one that will change and enrich all of our lives, forever. Because I just found out about the world, and already I feel like maybe everything is going to be ok. Like some kind of carefree future utopia may actually be within reach, And it will only cost millions of dollars to visit.

Our friends of the U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates) have decided to build a world, and make it a tropical paradise. Off the coast of beautiful Dubai nestled in the azure waters of the Arabian Ocean lie a series of man made extremely high end commercial and residential islands that must assuredly be the greatest place on earth. The island chain looks to consist of a few hundred huge and beautiful sand and palm laden paradises that when look at from above form an image of what appears to be a map of the world. These estates are near completion and now only require your investment dollar.

Seriously go to their site, and check out the Video Tour. It is absolutely unbelievable. Its a 5 minute trip through the looking glass that you really wont regret. Yes some of the video seems to be CG and artists rendered ideas of what this 'utopia' will eventually look like, But from the shiny happy people to the slightly futuristic decor you can really tell how amazing this place will be.

My friend Bernard, who just told me about The World, let me know that reportedly Rod Stewart has purchased portions of the island that corresponds to England for a cool 60 Million pounds. And other celebrities, and persons of influence, are flocking there to snatch up property daily. In fact, if you look on the wiki for The World, you'll see that progress on the islands is moving along smoothly. Set to be complete in 2008, a few mega resorts are already being built, and interest has been sparked by the likes of Sir Richard Branson, and sport stars David Beckham, and Michael Schumaker. Actually, its not even the first man made designed series of islands like this. It's second to The Palm Jumeriah just down the coast.

But as my friend so aptly pointed out, and I agree, doesn't it seem like there's something wrong with this picture. Doesn't it seem a little too Philip K Dick? Did you watch the video yet? well you need to. Then tell me it doesn't look like the perfect setting for a near future science fiction film where they've created a 'perfect in every way' Utopian society that is actually a powder keg ready to explode... You know I'm right. It's the kind of place that you see in Logan's Run, Gattaca, Minority Report, Blade Runner, or (obviously) The Island. It is the perfect setting for a dystopian nightmare on the levels of Metropolis.

This time in history that we're at now, where our technology and wealth are coming together in ways that the 'near future' science fiction of most of the last hundred years is finally starting to become science fact. I find it more than a little troubling that the divisions the Haves and the Have Nots is so pronounced. The World represents to me the extremes of opulence, and while of course it's appealing, I don't really know that it bodes well for the rest of the 'real' world. I know it's just a product of the times we live in, and at the moment I don't really see this kind of development as an actual problem, but it could turn into one, and it might be a safe idea for us all to try to remember to keep an eye on these growing divisions.

For example here's a question for you: how much of the revenue from this project is going to go into the Dubai economy? And how much will go into the pockets of a very select few?

I know my point is a bit muddled in there. And I probably need to think through what this means a bit more, I just know that it doesn't sit well with me. What do you guys think?


Bernard said...

Let me begin by saying that I said "I heard that Rod Steward bought..." I by no means stand by that comment.
Otherwise, I agree with you and myself about the fear that the project should induce in all of us. I can say though, that it will easily fall into 'Greatest Wonder' territory.
As to the neighbouring palms... there are three to be built each bigger than the last. The third, I think is designed to hold 16,000 plots.
As to where the money is going. These projects are generally being paid for by the Dubais and U.A.E.s of the world and the profits are staying at home. These countries are relatively unique in that much of the hard labour is imported and most of their actual citizens, as far as I remember reading, actually live quite well.
As well, in their defence, these smaller oil-rich middle-eastern countries seem to be smart enough to be investing in their own futures - schools, technology hubs etc. Better than Canada which is blowing its chance at greatness, with complacency and US style tax cuts.

Anonymous said...

Great blog.
I read in an article somewhere that this is going to be one of the wonders of the world. If it is or not only time will tell but it certainly is breathtaking!

Brad Pitt and Angelina have also bought.