That depends on your point of view. From an architectural or artistic standpoint, the design of Dubai is stunning. Home to some of the world’s largest and most architecturally daring buildings, Dubai also features many man-made islands in a variety of interesting shapes which most definitely could not be produced by nature. We spent an entire class discussing Dubai architecture in my contemporary art history class last semester.
However, from an economic and environmental standpoint, yes, it could certainly be argued it’s very poorly designed. The sheer amount of resources involved and the environmental impact of the artificial islands on marine life has received particularly pointed criticism. It also seems that in the rush to construct so many new buildings, proper safety standards are not being adhered to, as demonstrated in the case of a recent building collapse in August.
Dubai should be considered an experiment, to learn the issues that arise in fabricating a city in such a short time frame. Everything in the city limits is stunning and lavishly overdone. Many different firms are working on projects in the city, which is being developed at an extremely high pace. There is structure to the city, but proper planning is being overlooked to speed up the process of completing the overall goal.
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