back to article Dubai to get huge climate-controlled domed city and giga-mall

The ruler of Dubai has announced that the Gulf state is soon to build the world's first climate-controlled city, which will feature the largest area yet contained under a single transparent dome. The project is referred to by its organisers as "Mall of the World", and is intended to produce an city which can be traversed …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what a fscked up world we live in ...

    nothing more to say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what a fscked up world we live in ...

      Isn't this exactly the kind of stupid crap that nearly ruined their economy a few years ago??

      I thought they had to go cup in hand to the Saudi's to prevent everything going belly up after over-stretching themselves on silly construction projects.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Coat

        Re: what a fscked up world we live in ...

        It was Abu Dhabi who bailed them out. Just waiting long enough to let Dubai sweat, so they'd know who was boss in future...

        I know this, because due to censorship Saudi Arabia won't show the Flintstones movie, but Abu Dhabi Do...

        Sorry, I couldn't stop myself. I'd best get my coat.

    2. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: what a fscked up world we live in ...

      The larger the shopping mall, the more likely it is to reach 100% handbags and shoes. There's a mile-long mall running down the west side of Kowloon, and it's achieved about 95% designer goods. There remains one or two places to buy a biscuit. A thousand shops and not a single one is selling a 1lb box of galvanized 4-inch nails.

      Re: The tallest building in the world, Burj Dubai Kalifa. Last I read indicated that the function of city sewer pipes was being addressed with a fleet of trucks. Strange.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Wait a minute...

    I thought everyone knew that Dubai was already the world's largest area yet contained in a giant bubble. Perhaps adding another bubble to it will make it reach critical mass and explode.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Wait a minute...

      Clearly a new approach to cheat the Skyscraper Index of Impending Doom

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

    You don't need to be a sandal-shod lentil-muncher to think that this looks like a special way of achieving the improbable end result of doubling the environmental impact of oil - once through extracting and burning the stuff, and then again through squandering the profits on pointless vanity projects.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

      I see no problem with that - that's what money is for after all.

      If you make money, you can spend money. Sure, it may not be the wisest thing in someone's eyes, but YMMW.

      The problem comes when money is cheap - i.e. when you can go to a bank and get freshly printed shite from a central bank. Because that is taxation of the hoi polloi via tricks. ANd once money stops being cheap, your project goes titsup and all the resources that went into it have been squandared.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

        But that's exactly why Dubai are spending their wealth rather cleverly. Instead of spending it on ever-more lavish palaces for the ruling classes, they spend in on project slike this which cost a bomb now but which become revenue-generators independent of oil production. By the time the oil runs out they can sustain the economy through health tourism, retail tourism etc.

        I'm not sure if long-run the numbers stack up especially if less people go when the novelty wears off / there are other similair places to go and/or the running costs become too much. But in the meantime, kudos for giving it a go.

        Other nations *ahem* have/had plenty of oil/gas wealth but precious little to show for it

        1. Anonymous Blowhard

          Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

          So how would tourists get to Dubai once the oil runs out? Electric Zeppelin?

          (Sounds like a prog-rock band now that I think about it)

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

            Dubai is on the coast.

            I'll let you fill in the details.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Conspicuous consumption @James Hughes 1

              "So how would tourists get to Dubai once the oil runs out? Electric Zeppelin?"

              "Dubai is on the coast.I'll let you fill in the details."

              I presume you're suggesting people swim, given that a cruise ship uses around three times as much fuel per passenger km as a long haul jet.

          2. Fungus Bob
            Boffin

            Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

            "So how would tourists get to Dubai once the oil runs out? Electric Zeppelin?"

            Trebuchet.

            Electric Zeppelin range is limited to the length of the extension cord.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

          "But that's exactly why Dubai are spending their wealth rather cleverly"

          Actually it's most unlikely to be their oil and gas wealth, because Dubai doesn't have much in the way of oil and gas, although other emirates like Bahrain do (all part of the loose federation that is the UAE). And history shows that Dubai don't spend this borrowed money wisely, either.

          So not only is the Dubai property boom a case of building your house physically on sand, but financially as well. Back in 2009 Dubai World came a cropper after borrowing shedloads of money for vanity projects, and some $24bn of debt was "restructured" down to around $14bn. As you'd expect, arseholes like Royal Bank of Scotland had big buckets of exposure to the Dubai property boom, so British taxpayers ended up bailing a load of the Dubai World debts out for idiot London bankers. In addition to the writeoffs by international lenders, Dubai was bailed out by the oil and gas wealth of fellow emirates Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

          Clearly property investors have learned nothing, banks have learned that the more stupid their lending decision, the more likely it is that they will get bailed out, and I think the same lesson has been concluded by the rulers of Dubai, so we're now back to business as usual.

          Now, we can beg to differ, but personally I think that building a mercantilist economy and a global retail destination is actually a huge risk if people believe that oil will start to run out. How will people get there if there's no airlines or no affordable fares? And what's the point in zillions of square feet in retail space if the only customers are a handful of Russian oligarch's wives who flew in on private jets? Meanwhile, the other oil states are doing two far more sensible things - trying to build conventional economies to keep a fast growing and increasingly bored population happy, and using the surplus to buy relatively safe and diversified foreign assets.

          1. Gavin 2

            Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

            Small point - Bahrain is a separate country and not part of the UAE, you might be thinking of Abu Dhabi - they have have oil & gas

          2. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

            As far as I know Dubai isn't just building mega-skyscrapers and vanity projects but also heavily investing in solar and working on a nuclear power station as well, they'll be OK for energy when the oil runs out.

            I agree they might not be educating their children to look after any of the technical stuff that keeps life going, but if they can sustainably profit from other activities they can just continue hiring foreigners to do this work for them as they are doing now.

            The "if they can sustainably profit from other activities" part is of course an unknown but at least they are willing to explore new concepts

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

            might be a good idea to brush up on geography; and geopolitics while you're at it

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

          Sorry, I lived in Dubai for 8 years, and if you think this kind of thing is spending money wisely, rather than in the rulers' own self interest, you're deluded.

          There is nothing but worthless desert there, there is nothing sustainable beyond when the oil runs out. The locals have had oil money for 40 years, and they still cannot educate and instil a work ethic in their kids so they can fly their own airliners or engineer their own oil production. Why bother, when you can just pay foreigners to do these things? This is not Singapore or HK or China, countries that value education, hard work and doing things themselves, despite the great wealth they've come by. It's a lottery win, that they're busy frittering away and having a good time with while pretending their business people.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

            "...while pretending they're business people."

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Perfect

    The setting for "Final Fantasy 2016: The ISIS within"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, it's almost like someone sat down and thought "I wonder how I can use more energy". I'm sure it'll be amazing when it's complete but I'm not sure it'll be able to pull in enough money to be self sustaining. Perhaps I'm underestimating how many rich people there are in the world that want to fly to Dubai for a face lift. If I was running Dubai I would be pumping money into setting my country up as a leading producer of hydrogen and renewable power, something that will always have value.

    1. SW

      We already have 100MW of solar power here with a heck of a lot more to come.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "We already have 100MW of solar power here with a heck of a lot more to come."

        Not much against the 9.7 GW of thermal plant that Dubai relies on, though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If I was running Dubai I would be pumping money into setting my country up as a leading producer of hydrogen and renewable power"

      AAAAHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Sorry, but that was possibly the dumbest and most uninformed comment I have read on this site...and that's saying ALOT!!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        jake, please.

    3. Psyx

      "Wow, it's almost like someone sat down and thought "I wonder how I can use more energy"."

      The energy is free for them. Pump up enough oil and you get plenty of gas. There's enough of that to make electricity (and hence de-sal water) effectively free in the Gulf States. Utilities cost a negligible amount.

  6. Denarius Silver badge
    Alert

    Elysium on Earth ?

    the mega rich have the ultimate gated community ? I think they deserve each other. BTW guys, any further info on whether the NSA really classes ElReg as Bad Guys (tm)

    1. Don Dumb
      Terminator

      Re: Elysium on Earth ?

      It is interesting that it does sound absolutely horrific but I can't help thinking that the fact they are doing it in Dubai makes it seem that way. I wonder if they were doing this in Japan it might seem to be much cooler.

      From the article - "Additional districts within the project will include .... a cultural celebration district " I'm guessing not many cultures will be celebrated. Can't imagine they'll be having a pride march.

  7. DropBear
    Joke

    Fools! If that dome is ever breached anywhere, everyone will suffo... huh? It's not...? Really, air? Oh, ok never mind then. Carry on...!

  8. Andy Tunnah

    Power usage..

    With all their money, and knowing fossil fuels won't last forever, I'm surprised they haven't gone for building a nuclear plant

    1. SW

      Re: Power usage..

      @Andy Tunnah - It's already under construction. Reactor vessel construction this year and expected fueling in 2016.

  9. Anomalous Cowshed

    The indoor city will use environmental technology to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions

    This is like when they say: "We're building this massive skyscraper in London / Dubai / My Dong, and it is designed with environmentally friendly techniques approved by [insert name of highly respectable yet bogus smelling organisation] to dramatically cut its energy consumption" conveniently omitting that the construction and running of the thing will cause enormous expenditure of energy and environmental damage, which in most cases, but for the lining of the pockets of developers and their associates, could have been avoided.

    As my respected cousin, Anonymous Coward, wrote a little higher, Dubai could really throw a trump card by producing masses of electricity / drinking water / hydrogen / what-have-you using the massive quantities of sunshine which they are blessed with. Or at least, build this indoor city to fleece the rich of this world but with solar panels all over it on heat insulation panels, with a narrow gaps between them to provide gentle sunlight below, so as not to waste the space or the energy. Now that would make sense.

  10. Martijn Otto

    This could be the model example of where to use renewable energy

    Most cooling would be needed when the sun is heating strongest. Solar panels would thus simply deliver most energy when most is needed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3M square feet is only 0.1 square miles -- that doesn't seem very large.

    1. SoaG

      3M is just for the medical zone, another 8M just for shopping. Offices, residential, etc. or an overall total are all unspecified in the article.

  12. Frankee Llonnygog

    The geopolitical equivalent of blowing your lottery money on drugs, booze, ciggies and sex

    Only not nearly so much fun

    1. Monty Burns

      Re: The geopolitical equivalent of blowing your lottery money on drugs, booze, ciggies and sex

      Which is odd Frankee, given that all are available in Dubai, even the last item ;)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had a break in Dubai, last year

    On the way back from a business trip to an African destination. It's a miserable, sterile place already, and now it's getting someone's idea of Elysium, complete with an "Absence of Culture" zone.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: I had a break in Dubai, last year

      I just had a work gig there, and it struck me as being in a city on Mars. You can't really step outside and inside the only thing to do is work or shop. It is a place for money, by money. Save for the slave-labour it is built with and runs on, it's a great place if you want to divorce yourself from anything real and meaningful. It didn't take me a moment to turn down the offer of a full-time gig there.

      1. Defrost

        Re: I had a break in Dubai, last year

        Summer's hell but during winter time the weather is actually pretty cool, from nov to march I must say it's maybe the best weather I did found around the world. Still, after a couple times around the desert and a couple of swims, everything became pretty much boring as you said. I did turn down an offer of a full-time gig as well. But maybe they just paid me not THAT much.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I had a break in Dubai, last year

          Ah yes.

          I also visited and was offered a job, but decided to turn it down and come back to Gateshead to sign on.

          1. Hellcat
            Joke

            Re: I had a break in Dubai, last year

            I was offered a job there and turned it down; and so did my wife.

          2. Queasy Rider

            Re: I had a break in Dubai, last year

            Of course you wouldn't want to work in Dubai. The place is traditionally highly stratified socially, with their rich upper classes lording over the common workers, while in Britain you could be working for a fraction of Dubai wages while the rich upper classes... oh wait, never mind, it's the climate, right?

  14. JDX Gold badge

    or indeed that it is perfectly survivable anyway

    Dubai in summer is right on the edge of being survivable. It's horrible.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: or indeed that it is perfectly survivable anyway

      This dome will be no better. I walked into a Dubai shopping centre. It was 40°C and humid outside, then I walked into a wall of ice. It was 18°C and dry inside. That was an almost painful transition. Although not as bad as walking back out through the doors into the heat was.

      And I was there in October. In July/August it hits 50!

      1. JLV
        Happy

        >wall of ice

        I woulda sworn an ex-employer's offices were set up that way.

        Chilly in winter, but they kept it even colder in summer. It wasn't the servers, they were in their own room, but just stupid management.

        Dubai? It would be an ok idea to diversify, if they could bother their own citizens to have the skills necessary to make money from those diversified businesses. Or at least be employed by them.

        As it is, a few rich Doobies will scam money out of it, some expats will milk it, many more Indians & Bengladeshis will be treated abusively to build them. The average Dubai citizen will remain on their version of the dole.

        Album Elephantum indeed.

        P.S.

        "responsible for a lot of carbon emissions"

        did Lewis really express concern about CO2? Must. Fix. My. Brain. ;-)

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: >wall of ice

          >>"did Lewis really express concern about CO2? Must. Fix. My. Brain. ;-)"

          No, he said if global warming resumes. AGW skepticism isn't about pretending climate doesn't change, it's questioning whether human activity is the primary factor and, following on from that, whether models predicting future catastrophic change are accurate.

    2. Monty Burns

      Re: or indeed that it is perfectly survivable anyway

      I had no trouble riding from Muscat to Dubai a few times this summer. People over exaggerate the heat, or need to "man up".

  15. Cliff

    Not just the air

    UAE relies on fossil fuels to desalinate the drinking water - when the fuel starts running short and water scarce it'll empty out in a heartbeat.

    As stupid as air conditioning the desert is, it may be that putting a lid over the buildings isn't massively more inefficient than all the individually cooled buildings - they all lose their cool individually, but if the cooler air leaks into a contained space as opposed to hot streets, it may not be quite as stupid as it first appears.

    1. Don Dumb
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not just the air

      @Cliff -

      "As stupid as air conditioning the desert is, it may be that putting a lid over the buildings isn't massively more inefficient than all the individually cooled buildings - they all lose their cool individually, but if the cooler air leaks into a contained space as opposed to hot streets, it may not be quite as stupid as it first appears."

      It's a good point but it would only work if the whole city is built accordingly. Or will the 'outside' - the streets and communal areas be set at a higher temperature than the inside of buildings? So they still end up air conditioning the buildings separately anyway.

      It seems that in most places people prefer a higher temperature outside than they do inside. (We go to hot places for their nice weather but still end up air conditioning the hotel rooms because we don't want that temperature when we sleep!)

  16. BB

    The future

    As the human population grows, it's not so far-fetched to think that our descendants will need to turn to artificial environments once nature can't provide enough to support us all.

    If the Sheik's dome in Dubai interests you, I'd recommend reading Steel Beach by John Varley. It's a fun piece of fiction, and everyone in the novel is living in domes on the moon. Any Earth-based natural environment is non-existent, although various biomes have been replicated in city-sized domed "Disneylands".

    1. Dave Robinson

      Re: The future

      Yes, a handy prototype for when we've completely f***ed up the planet.

  17. heyrick Silver badge
    Coat

    Romdeau

    I trust that they're going to call this city Romdeau.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Romdeau

      Diaspar, surely?

      In other news, is there any way of harvesting energy from all those glass panels? Can you make them with tubes inside so you can run fluid through, then through a heat exchanger? Would take a lot of energy out of the rays before they get inside.

      Hmm, going to have to look that up now.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Romdeau

        You can get solar panels to mount on the side of buildings. But they're not transparent.

        You could easily have a glycol and water mix wandering around tubes in the glass dome. I guess if you made the channels small enough, they wouldn't be too visible. You'd need a bloody big heat store though. Moden solar-thermal panels can get up to 300°C (although they're black) - so if you don't keep removing heat from the system they cook their own circulating pumps. This means when sized wrong they often have to go into shutdown in the hottest part of the day, and can't switch on again until the sun's gone down.

  18. Buzzword

    No worse than Las Vegas, surely?

    Isn't this just a clone of Las Vegas? There the hotels have light blue sky-ceilings instead of glass, but otherwise it's the same concept. Vegas has miles of shops, huge hotels, ample parking, a barely-used monorail, and no culture. Granted Dubai's version seems a little more controlled, but it's the same principle.

    1. Bob Wheeler
      Paris Hilton

      Re: No worse than Las Vegas, surely?

      Las Vegas is a very 'different' place to anywhere else I have ever been to!

      Wife and I, walking around the hotels taking in all the sights, as you do. Went looking for the canals - I thought I would get extra points for the romance!! - so I kept saying they must be on the lowest floor, I mean who would build a canal upstairs on the 3rd floor. come on, who builds a canal, with so many million gallons of water on the 3rd floor.... who does that?????

    2. Levente Szileszky

      Re: No worse than Las Vegas, surely?

      No because in Vegas nobody wants to air condition the streets or entire neighborhoods.

  19. LucreLout
    Go

    Love it

    Sorry to the environmentalists who I know will hate it, but I think it's kinda cool. We've developed sufficient technology to air condition a desert such that you can stuff ski slopes in it, or allow people to wander about in the midday sun with zero risk of discomfort or death.

    If, big if, MMGW/ACC are real, we're going to be spending a lot more of our resources ameliorating the impact. This then makes a good R&D project for things the west might need in 100 years.

    If, big if, the oil starts to run low, UAE can always buy the latest generation of solar cells at that time, rather than buy some now and replace them again in 50 years for something that works well enough to be called efficient. I suspect though, that they'd go for nuclear in preference.

    1. AbelSoul
      Trollface

      Re: Love it

      Sorry to the environmentalists who I know will hate it, but I think it's kinda cool.

      I see what you did there.

    2. Geoff Campbell
      Facepalm

      Re: "If, big if, the oil starts to run low"

      Um, "If"? It's a finite resource, which we're burning through at a quite astonishing rate. How are you proposing to re-stock the reserves?

      GJC

      1. LucreLout

        Re: "If, big if, the oil starts to run low"

        Well, one alternative is we burn all the oil and run out.

        More realistic is that we replace burning oil with a better fuel(s) sometime between today, and the 30/40/50 years of reserves we know we have (depending on who you listen to).

        In the latter scenario, UAE still have oil, its just that nobody uses it for much... Sort of like how they have lots of sand but that currently doesn't have much value.

    3. cyfahead

      Re: Love it

      I think you are closer to the truth than you realise! Or even the Sheikh realises.

      A system that sucks a little value off to just a few people from every piece of sweat expended by any one who works for a living producing stuff quickly gets to the point where their is too much value in the skim to recycle it into productive investment opportunities.

      Then what do you do with it? Hold it and the interest rates go down. That hits your previous investments. A lot of that is in banks who have already lent out as much as they can to the wage earners. So they are indentured to keep working to pay you back for the next 20 years. AND they have spent all the stuff you lent to them on today's and yesterday's consumption. So Can't fund more lending. The demand isn't there. Not that with capital ratio requirement rules in banking you actually need money to lend it! That's how you create the stuff in 97% of cases

      The ONLY thing you can do is effectively destroy it to keep up the value of what you already have. It is obviously less painful if you can do it with flair!

      A good war always worked wonders, space races, cold wars or highly speculative and expensive R&D as now in Dome City. The important thing is that whatever pointless thing you do it must need lots of stuff to do it. That takes lots of workers to pay with your money, that means wages, that means more consumption demands, that means more lending opportunities, that raises the demand for borrowing money... and VOILA! that helps keep interest rates up and the value of my previous investments and other holdings making up my wealth.

      It's like letting off steam from a boiling kettle through a safety valve. Have you noticed how its always in times of relative peace that we get either the wipe-out business catastrophes, which call on you and I to contribute to lose some 'wealth', or the grandiose 'follies', expeditions and uncontrolled transfers of foreign aid (nice expensive weaponry being much more 'jobs efficient' than sack loads of food or agricultural equipment)?

    4. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Love it

      You think solar cells will be cheap once the oil is gone? Everybody will need lots of them by that time, the chemicals and raw materials to make them rely on fossils, aand good luck getting your savings back from the banks. Nuclear works the same way, only worse: it takes a lot of fossils to chew up a mountain to extract the uranium!

  20. hamsterXjam
    Pint

    Here's an idea

    When it's finished, take the whole thing and stick it in the sea instead, deep in the Persian Gulf. And maybe call it... oh I don't know, how about Rapture?

    I'd book my tickets tomorrow if I knew they were going to do that.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Burj Khalifa: Cost USD $ 1.5 billion

    One World Trade Center: Cost US$ 3.9 billion

    I think the logic is sound. Build while its still cheap, make money later.

    But our smug media clearly prefers other projects

    A trillion on an unwinnable war, untold billions on spying on allies and own citizens, bailing out banks etc. Much better options judging by peoples reactions...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Burj Khalifa: Cost USD $ 1.5 billion, One World Trade Center: Cost US$ 3.9 billion. I think the logic is sound. Build while its still cheap, make money later.

      The reason that Burj cost a mere $1.5bn was because it was built by very poorly paid immigrant labourers earning less than ten dollars a day (and when you check this out, you'll also come across the realities of immigrant workers' total lack of rights and protections in Dubai, and their servitude to employers).

      Be careful what you wish for.

      1. Cliff

        Also, in fairness, the build quality of many UAE buildings is somewhat questionable behind the marble facades.

  22. ukgnome

    It will be called Mega-City and will be policed by judges

    *perhaps

  23. ElNumbre
    Thumb Up

    Bender

    I'm going to build my own gigamall, with blackjack, and hookers.

    Ahh forget the gigamall.

  24. John Tserkezis

    If this is anything like "Under The Dome", it's going to end badly. On the upside, the vast wasteland that is the result of the explosions and exhaust gases, here, will be on the OUTSIDE of the dome. So, that's allright then.

  25. Rob
    Coat

    Childish I know...

    ... but the graphic in the article looks like 'Hotel and wellness' means getting a hand shandy from a masseur, no doubt that would definitely lend something to wellness.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Childish I know...

      For me at least, I dunno about wellness derived from a handjob given by a masseur.

      Now, by a masseuse, on the other hand...

  26. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Walk...

    Oh I thought they would have travelators everywhere

  27. Billa Bong

    Office arguments over the air-con controls

    I can see it now on a very grand scale...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Office arguments over the air-con controls

      There will be no arguments. This is Dubai. Air-con will be set to massively, amazingly, astonishingly fucking freezing. And you can lump it.

  28. gregthecanuck

    Reminds me of ....

    Logan's Run.

    Watching the vid was rather spooky.

  29. RISC OS

    I wonder

    if this will be used to keep rich people in or poor people out... lets hope they don't get sued by the simpsons

    1. Cliff

      Re: I wonder

      It will be, by default. The locals and westerners are rich and 'in', the majority immigrant labour would just know not to enter - it's not built for them, they can't afford anything inside it, much like homeless people going to Harrods. And anyway, at the bottom end they will tend to live in labour camps way out of the city with limited access to independent transport and work all hours.

  30. Whiskers

    Xanadu

    Unaccountable rulers tend to self aggrandisement of this sort; but if you can't abide living anywhere but in your ancestral lands despite the unbearable climate, I suppose there's a certain logic to installing air-conditioning over as much of it as possible. The essential technology certainly exists, even if no-one so far has tried to enclose such a large area all at once. (Eden Project in Cornwall: about 250,000 sq ft total in two "biomes". Great Glasshouse in the National Botanical Garden of Wales: 15,300 sq ft under one glass dome.)

    They'll have to let some poor people in, to tend to the rich ones.

  31. Matthew Taylor

    Will the slaves used to construct it be allowed to press their noses up against the outside of the glass dome?

    Also, if it's a "city", why do they call it MALL of the world? Someone should let Dubai know that there's more to a city than endless gaudy designer label shops.

  32. Tom 7 Silver badge

    How much for my giant teaspoon?

    And mega-soldiers?

  33. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Years ago...

    Buckmaster Fuller wanted to build a geodesic dome over the city of East St. Louis. A lot of mirth and merriment about "yes, build it and then lock the doors". I think the same thing applies here. Build it, when it's full.. lock the doors and turn off the power.

  34. TimeMaster T

    More slave labor

    Anyone who thinks Dubai is some a great place needs to read this

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html

    Dubai representative of course claimed it wasn't accurate, then later they said the situation had improved and the original article was no longer true.

    I'm looking forward to watching Dubai collapse. They don't have their own oil reserves and are dependent on tourism and have been unable to pay back the loan from Abu Dhabi

    http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/finance/abu-dhabi-to-refinance-20-billion-dubai-loans-at-lower-rate

    I think the only reason Abu Dhabi is helping is that they don't want a revolution next door, seeing as how revolution tend to leak across boarders.

  35. Adam Inistrator

    bilious commentards

    I think most of the bile here is based on incomprehension, ignorance and fear. For example the prat who has so much to say about the subject but is so clueless as to think the country of Bahrain is one of the states of UAE. If you want real shockery go to the slums in India. Nothing like that exists in UAE. Even Islam is relatively tolerant in UAE. But I guess people will just hate on all Arabs regardless.

    Source: Lived and worked there on and off for 20 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: bilious commentards

      "If you want real shockery go to the slums in India. Nothing like that exists in UAE"

      Most assuredly does. http://goo.gl/181J4B - in the time I have worked in Dubai and AD I have witnessed both the slums of old (and new!) Dubai and the labour camps. And have witnessed the famous 49C weather kill people.

      "Even Islam is relatively tolerant in UAE. "

      No it isn't. It's hypocritical. They choose what to enforce and when - for their own means & benefits. They (The Emirati) are exceptionally good at looking the other way when it suits them.

      There is some major differences between the law and its implementation.

      1. Adam Inistrator

        Re: bilious commentards

        Bullshit. Slums in india are VAST. Slums in UAE are non-existent. And emiratiis are no more hypocritical than most of the world. You wanna hate arabs? Pick on any other than the emiratiis esp. Dubai who are golden by comparison with the primitives in the rest of the region. You have no ffing clue.

  36. Queasy Rider

    I must be missing something...

    ...because nobody has mentioned what seems obvious to me, namely, wouldn't there be a huge greenhouse effect within such a vast dome, necessitating even more petroleum being consumed to a/c the joint?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...What everyone seems to be missing is this ...

    ...Dubai is a pressure cooker, one that's uninhabitable 6 months of the year! All the people flocking to buy property there at bloated prices are loony. I worked there as a tax free Expat, but I'd never live there for any other reason, and I'd never buy property there! People are asking questions about the summertime World Cup in Qatar hitting 50 degrees, but Dubai is no better. So ridiculous aspirations aside, the reality is if they don't put a dome over Dubai, it won't habitable in 50 years...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not the heat

    It's the sandstorms that get pretty tiresome during the summer.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What everyone seems to be missing is this ...

    Dubai is a pressure cooker, one that's uninhabitable 6 months of the year! All the people flocking to buy property there at bloated prices are loony. I worked there as a tax free Expat, but I'd never live there for any other reason, and I'd never buy property there! People are asking questions about the summertime World Cup in Qatar hitting 50 degrees, but Dubai is no better. So ridiculous aspirations aside, the reality is if they don't put a dome over Dubai, it won't be habitable in 50 years...

  40. Levente Szileszky

    At this point why don't they just BUY/BUILD A NEW COUNTRY...

    ...somewhere else? You know, some place where weather is actually suitable for humans all year long and you can live without completely *&^%$ing up the climate with your emissions, energy needs etc?

    Seriously, just BUY AN ISLAND and fill it up with your (tempting, luscious, alluring) camels, people then just KEEP MAKING IT BIGGER, build it out, under nice climate - it's a much better way to piss away large sums of money on stupid things!

    Just think about it: you could still keep your old Dubai as your cash cow with its oil output and horrible living condition while enjoying the New Dubai Island with its filtered, neutralized populace - hey, you could even split your slave labor between them, only bringing the rape-worthy 'domestic help' and 'service industry' hands to your new place (even less possibility for an outsider to get wind of what's going on there) and keeping the industry laborers, normally held like animals in containers, in your Old Country... doesn't it sound great?

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