Category Archives: Architecture

Dubai Cool

Mobile phone towers dressed up as palm trees.  So James Bond.  How can you not love it?

Mobile Phone Tower (Image Source:

These things are scattered around Dubai. Each time we see one we yell out, ‘James Bond Palm Tree!’

If you are as fascinated by these things as I am you can get yourself one.  They are made in China by Yongzhou Haihong Art & Craft Company. I’m not sure how much they cost but can you really put a price on genius?

You’ll have to rig it yourself though.

Yes please, I must have one immediately!

Happy UAE National Day!!!


Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower)

Here are some photos I took today from the car window. Okay, one of them involved me jumping out the door of the car while we were stopped for work vehicles.  I didn’t have much time to snap away… I didn’t want to hold up the traffic for fear of the cacophony of honking that would ensue.

Only a few turned out okay considering my constraints of place and time. 

The Burj Dubai is really my favourite building in Dubai.  Not just because it is the tallest building in the world, but because I find it incredibly beautiful.  It reminds me of two things. 

Firstly, it reminds me of Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

The other thing I think of when I see the Burj Dubai is playing in with wet sand by the beach when I was a kid.  Did you ever get really wet sand in your hand and make a fist, letting the waterlogged sand dribble out of your fist onto the beach?  It would make these kind of wormy-looking sand-towers that stayed intact as the water drained out of the sand.

The Burj Dubai is very organic-looking and reminds me of those two things.

The Burk Dubai with the late afternoon sun just above it.

The Burj Dubai with the late afternoon sun just above it.


Burj Dubai from the East (I think)

Burj Dubai from the East (I think)

Rising Damp III: Return of Mr Clean It.

Mr ‘Clean it!’ returned today to fix the leak.  This is the original plumber that is managed by Mr Raju.   He looked a little chastened actually which of course made me feel bad for him (ach! Why do I do that?)

He took a good look  at the bath and said that the leak was coming from the drain-pipe right at the plug hole. This meant that he did not have to break open the wall to look for the leak in the pipe.

My first though was, ‘Oh no! That’s not what Mr Raju anticipated and Mr Raju has a brain and you don’t.’ Then I remembered that the plug hole had always looked mighty strange to me. I wouldn’t say I was a plughole expert but since I am a ‘taking a long hot bath’ expert I’ve seen a few in my time.  This one was definitely weird.

In fact, I had spent quite a bit of time looking for an alternative plug to try because the one that was there was weird. It actually took me 6 weeks of searching to find a plug in Dubai.  All the baths have those European plug holes (aka in Australia as hotel plugs). That is, you turn a wheel at the end of the bath and the metal plug moves up or down in response.  The plug is never actually removed.

Anyleakybath, a week ago I found a proper plug and today that wonder of nature – the found plug – was made redundant! I feel a small sense of loss that is nowhere near comensurate with the joy I felt on finding the plug in the first place.

So Mr ‘Clean it’  has placed the metal plug with a rubber version on a chain (sounds kinky!).  He also spent an hour drilling and refitting a new plughole to the bath.

So far I don’t see any water coming out fron the floor so I’m crossing my fingers that the problem is fixed. Notice I am not booking the party yet?

Rising Damp II: Mr Raju

The idiot plumber’s boss turned up today at our request. Mr Raju spoke perfect English and was profoundly more intelligent than his subordinate. He walked in and before I had even told him about the water he looked at the walls and said, ‘You have a water leak. I’ll get it fixed for you!’

Sense at last!

He is sending some guys over to break open the bathroom tiles near the bathtub tomorrow morning at 10am. He said we can shower in the morning as usual, And that we can shower again the evening after the leak is fixed.

The tiles will have to be regrouted and the walls repainted after the leak is fixed. Not sure the repurcussions of the tile grouting and painting yet in terms of being able to use the bathroom. I’m not going to worry about it until the leak is fixed. No point concerning myself about the 2nd bridge when I have no view on when I’m going to get across the 1st bridge. The first bridge might tumble down into the fjord. I wouldn’t be shocked.

I do like Mr Raju though. He was a sensible man. Can’t imagine what it must be like to have his job trying to manage those guys. Hell!


The construction in Dubai is different to any construction I have ever seen before. It does not stop for weekends or public holidays. It does not stop to sleep. Yep. It is now 7.26pm and I am sitting drinking tea on my balcony while I listen to the songs of frogs in the garden below, as well as the far away sound of hammering and drilling.

Construction in Dubai operates on a 24×7 basis and workers work shifts to meet this demand. This time of year the day shifts are not too hot but I can imagine the night shift is highly sought-after in the summer when the temperature runs between a maximum of 40 to 50 degrees Celsius in the shade. And these guys are not working in the shade. They’re working in the sun! (Even the sea water gets to 37 degrees Celsius in the summer.)

When choosing an apartment the proximity to construction needs to be factored in. In Australia you could live alongside construction and never hear it if you worked 5 days a week, left before 8am and didn’t get home until after 6pm. Here that doesn’t apply. You need to consider the 24×7 schedule. This is one reason why Richard chose an apartment in The Greens.

The Greens is a residential estate that was built by the Emaar property development group, which is also built the Burj Dubai, the largest building in the world.

The Burj Dubai Tower - look at the way it dwarfs normal skyscrapers!

The Burj Dubai Tower - look at the way it dwarfs normal skyscrapers!

Its medium rise and the gardens are fairly mature. Although it is surrounded by construction, it doesn’t have any construction going on inside it. This means we will live in peace and quiet while the rest of Dubai must surely sleep with earplugs.

I found this video ( Source: DubaiDave) on You Tube that someone posted of the drive into the Greens from the direction of the Mall of the Emirates. This is just one tiny capsule of Dubai development but it gives you a good idea of what it looks like on our drive back from the supermarket. The Greens is the butter-yellow 4 story-building estate at the end of the video. Its a lovely peaceful oasis of palms, frangipani and brightly flowering annuals surrounded by high rise construction.

It rained!!!

Update: Richard just told me her personally saw 6-8 accidents on the highway today. Most were right offs and one was an upside down truck. Unbelievable!


Apparently it rained today!

Rain is greeted by residents of the Emirates with much the same enthusiasm as snow is by residents of Australian capital cities, or a hot sunny day for the Dutch (sorry Nederlanders!).

One again, traffic proved that it is completely incapable of taking into account any environmental factors by producing 22 separate accidents on the Dubai to Abu Dabi highway between 7:30am and 9am (this is the highway my husband drives on every day.)

How often does it rain? Typically less than 10 days per year. I drew up a quick comparison chart of the rainfall in Sydney, Amsterdam and Dubai (in millimetres). Check it out…

Rainfall between cities

Rainfall between cities

I have copied a section of the following article from Gulf News to give you an idea of how high profile rain is the Emirates. I particularly like the quote from 8-year-old Adarsh Shahani, “Usually I get to see the rain only when I go for vacation to India,” he says.

Refer full article:


And while we are on the subject of rain I have the perfect reason to show you this probably silly – although possibly brilliant – idea for a building in Dubai modeled after a rain cloud. I have to say the CGI photos make it look rather average. But I’d like to withhold judgment until I see the actual live building (if it goes ahead).

Proposed Dubai Cloud Building

Proposed Dubai Cloud Building