Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sky-high in Dubai

It was fun to read Paul Goldberger's piece in this week's New Yorker about Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Here's a link if you wish to take a look: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/skyline/2010/02/08/100208crsk_skyline_goldberger

He captured the architectural scene perfectly well, albeit with more intellect than passion. Wish I could write like him, but then again, he's Paul Goldberger and I'm just...well, you-know-who OnARoll....

One detail I omitted in prior travelogues about the place was the license plates. There are no vanity plates in Dubai, so you won't see stuff like "Sheikret Luv" or "Buy Dubai" and so forth. But there is a strict numbering system, and status within the royal kingdom is on display for one and all. Sheik Mohammed, of course, No. 1. (I'm told he drives himself to work in a fairly modest Mercedes, no entourage or siren brigade). For the rest, chances are if you see a 63 or a 535 and so forth in front or back of you, you're dealing with a member of the royal family or high minister, so pull over and let 'em pass. Over 2000? Not worth a second look.

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