### sstlive.co.nz Last updated 05:00 10/01/2010
Finlay Macdonald: Dubai edifice a monument to all that’s wrong in the world
By Finlay Macdonald – Sunday Star Times
As symbolism goes, it’s hard to beat Dubai’s just opened Burj Khalifa. A mostly empty monumental extravagance, built with borrowed money on shifting sands, the world’s tallest building more or less sums up the demented excess of modern speculative capitalism. It was even hastily renamed (having begun life as the Burj Dubai) in honour of the ruler from down the road in oil-rich Abu Dhabi who bailed out the bankrupt emirate. Talk about being on the Zeitgeist.
But then, the whole of Dubai is very much an offering to the gods of vulgar materialism. As such, all right-minded aesthetes and ascetics hate the place. It represents everything that’s wrong in this sub-prime world – tacky, boastful, exploitative, corrupt and unsustainable.
Finlay’s reply is not exactly the reply I started writing after the base jumping news. It’s still in draft form and shaking with vertigo, or new science or something. I’ll polish it off in a day or two of reflection about why I’m pumping What if? with mega projects, shall I?!
Oh, a purpose for everything.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr