A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dubai Now, Building a Bigger Taj Mahal; and Dubai Then (1907)

You've probably already heard this elsewhere, but what do you do when you already have the world's tallest building and the Persian Gulf's first indoor ski slope? Well, Dubai's next project is to build a replica of the Taj Mahal as a hotel and wedding destination. It will be called Taj Arabia. But wait for it — this is Dubai, after all — it will be four times the size of the one in Agra. It will also cost $1.2 billion or thereabouts. Shows you what Shah Jahan could have done if he'd had money.

Why? I don't really know. Maybe because they didn't have one yet?

Just for the hell of it I thought I'd remind everyone that a century ago Dubai was a very different sort of place. I've talked about Lorimer's Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf before, and here's "Dibai Town" as he calls it, in Volume IIA, pp. 454-456 as it was around 1907:

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