Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Move UN to Dubai

Move the UN to Dubai: Report - Greg Whitaker , January 13th, 2010

A feature in a US business weekly magazine has called for the UN headquaters to be relocated from New York to Dubai.

The article, written by Joel Kotkin, a professor in ‘Urban Futures’ at Chapman University in California, makes a compelling case.

He argues that following the construction boom there is plenty of office, residential and hotel space available, saying that the government could,“…Offer to build a United Nations City to house the UN in any number of vacant office towers. Business Bay has 65 million square feet of office space under construction in more than 200 high-rises. Dubai already has thousands of newly constructed apartments that await the international delegates.”

The professor bolstered the case by adding that more than two billion people in Africa, Europe and Asia are within a six-hour flight from Dubai and that the airports in the UAE are exemplary compared with JFK, described by Kotkin as an ‘aerial dumpster’.

From a construction point of view, bringing in the UN could only be a good thing and the suggestion might not be as outlandish as it sounds. The organisation’s main building in New York is in a terrible state of disrepair, requiring millions of dollars to be spent removing asbestos and fixing leaks.

An internal committee last year recommended that the operation should relocate to Asia, preferably Singapore, on a temporary basis.

However, the author of the article points out: “[Singapore] is already crowded, expensive and highly regulated. …In contrast, the Dubai government has transformed a once vast, empty landscape into a Star Wars-like capital city of the future. There is no skyline more arresting than the one built over the past 15 years by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”

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