The Burj Dubai (Tower of Dubai) now under construction in UAE is going to be the tallest building in the world upon completion in 2008. It is estimated to cost about 900 million US dollars and will probably be over twice the size of the famous Empire State Building. But the Tower is designed to be the centre of a large-scale, mixed-use development with another 19 residential towers among other constructions. The complete development will cost more than US$ 8 billion. The official height of the building or the number of stories cannot be confirmed because the final height is officially being kept a secret due to competition purposes!
Wikipedia reports, “Though unconfirmed, Burj Dubai has been through several height increases since its inception. […] Contradictory information abounds regarding the official final height of the building, which is to be expected considering the building seeks to acquire the designation as the world’s tallest structure upon completion in 2008. The website Burjdubaiskyscraper.com mentions a rumoured final height of 916 metres as of a posting on September 28, 2006, but this is contradicted by a September 20 posting of a GoWealthy.com article listing a height over 940 metres or 3084 feet.” But whatever the final height will be, it is going to handsomely beat the current world’s tallest building, Taipei 101 in Taiwan and even the tallest freestanding structure (on land) Toronto’s CN Tower.
Now, no doubt Burj Dubai Tower will be a very beautiful and amazing engineering feat. It will be an architectural marvel. It will be a symbol of Dubai’s achievements and a national pride for the people of Dubai and UAE and possibly even to all Muslims. But the question remains, is it absolutely necessary to build such a tall building? Why waste money unnecessarily when there are so many critical and noble things to do? What is the use or who cares for such world records?
The average man on the streets doesn’t give two hoots for any world record. A Dane told me that before the Danish cartoon controversy many Americans thought Denmark was the capital of Sweden! There you have it. We live in a world where the average citizen don’t know nor care whether Denmark is a country or city! What fat chance is there for Dubai Tower making a world impression? It is nothing but an extravagant Arab monument of oil wealth, conceit, ego and a white elephant. Anyone with a commonsense will see this building for what it is – ‘another imprudent petrodollar extravaganza’.
In recent years Dubai and UAE at large has become an ultra modern state thanks to visionary leaders and oil money. Today, together with Singapore and Hong Kong, Dubai is one of the commercial hubs of Asia. The country has a highly advance infrastructure and all the luxuries 21st century can provide. But the United Arab Emirates is yet to develop in industrial production, scientific and technological fields. Why not invest this money in science and technological research? This way the country will benefit for many generations and also UAE will quickly become an industrial developed nation. Why not stop spending on extravagant buildings and hotels but invest this money in these fields and make Dubai the Asian technological hub? Or what about making UAE an international educational centre by building state-of-the-art universities and research institutes like in Australia or Canada? Billions of dollars spent on extravagant monuments if invested wisely is sufficient to make UAE both a technological and educational hub. That will bring Dubai more world attention and accolade than 20 such Towers of Dubai ever will.
United Arab Emirates has already made enough world records and super structures by building the most cost hotels, buildings and huge artificial islands. Dubai is spending 900 million dollars on Burj Dubai Tower alone. Yet the Muslims are starving to death all over the world. Imagine what 900 million dollars would do for the Tsunami devastated Indonesian Muslims. Just imagine if the Dubai invested the billions it spends on vain constructions in constructing factories, schools, roads in neighbouring poor Arab nation of Yemen? Within a decade or two Yemen will become a very stable and industrially developed country which will benefit its 20 million people who are now having a very hard time.
Before I wrap up, let me remind you of Prophet Muhammad’s warning regarding tall Buildings. Prophet Muhammad (sal) said one of the signs of the day of judgement will be the competition among nations to build tall buildings. This doesn’t mean it’s not good to build tall buildings and there are occasions when we need high rise buildings like in congested areas. But it’s very sad to see Muslims wasting money to build tall and extravagant buildings for competition purposes. We are playing with billions when millions of Muslims starve. Allah almighty has warned us we will be held accountable for every cent that passed through our hands in this life. What will our fate be on the day of judgement?