Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fake, but I like it.

Hadn't been there for a long time, mainly because of the frustrations caused by the traffic, but I ventured to the Burj Dubai district the other day and looked around Old Town and Old Town Island.

Look, I know it's all brand-new fake-old, but I think it's done well and I like it. It has a good feeling about it, you're away from the traffic in most of it, there are shops and restaurants open, landscaping's coming good.

Remember there was nothing here a very short time ago, just a desert area. And Dubai really has very little that's genuinely old. It was a tiny place huddled around the Creek, small buildings made of mud and coral, wind towers the tallest structures.

If you're going to build communities you need the basic shop and apartment spaces which are the interior of buildings. The outside of those buildings can be anything - modern shapes clad in glass, copies of historic European buildings, ultra-modern shapes clad in new materials. Or you can design them to reflect the region. Whichever you choose it's man-made, in a way it's fake.

I like the idea of using designs which reflect the region and its history, which is what Old Town and Old Town Island are.

The entrance to Old Town Island has a large gateway typical of so many Arab cities - not unlike the walled cities which were standard historically in Europe.

Through that first gateway and there's a really nice square, beautifully landscaped, with another gateway at the end.

Through that gateway and the old-style theme continues.

Across the main boulevard to Old Town which again reflects the old architectural style of the region.

Not that it matters to them, but a thumbs up from me for Emaar.


hemlock said...

i think old town has been beautifully done and looks perhaps like the only place i would actually want to own an apartment in - in dubai.

beautiful pictures.

Anonymous said...

@hemlock... well I sure hope you have a fat wallet then. Anyone know what the prices range from? I imagine something stupid!

Seabee said...

Anon@10.30, you're right. They're expensive in total, they're small and so the sq.ft cost is high, and the maintenance fees are high. It's a pity because I think it would be one of the nicest locations to live.

sunil said...

beautiful pictures. beauty does cost some money, in Dubai at least :)