How would you feel about living next door to a “mega-city”?
Earlier this week, the Ruler of Dubai announced plans for a new “mega-city” in Dubai. This is one of the things I love most about Dubai – the constant reinvention; the fact that nothing stays the same; the ambition; the growth; the potential for new “stuff”; and the constant buzz of anticipation in the air.
It’s an exciting place to live. There’s always a frisson of something going on.
And the new “mega-city” looks amazing, it really does. It’s going to be home to the world’s largest shopping mall (take that, Dubai Mall, you tiny little mega-mall!), and it’ll have a park that’s 30 per cent larger than London’s Hyde Park (take that, London, with your pocket handkerchiefs of green!). It’ll also have 100 hotels, the largest area for art galleries in the Middle East and a Universal Studios.
Alongside that, it’ll be home to the world’s largest fake-desert-in-the-desert, the world’s largest Mercedes-Benz dealer, the world’s largest car park, the world’s largest indoor circus and world’s largest nail salon (not really any of those: I got carried away there, but you get the gist).
(If only it would have the world’s largest Tesco.)
The funny thing about this “mega-city”, though, is that it’s right outside my house; kind of right slap-bang in the way of my taxi ride to Downtown for a night out, if you know what I mean. And I can’t help but wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Certainly, it’ll mean more traffic. Will it thwart my ability to reach The Rivington Grill at Souk Al Bahar by 8pm, when hopping in a taxi, half made-up at 7.40pm? And, almost as critically, does it mean masses more people, more traffic, more jams and more frustration between our house and the children’s school (which is, somehow, scarily on the edge of all this)?
Or does it just mean plenty more five-star watering holes a little closer to home?
I throw it back to you: Wherever in the world you live, how would you feel if a new “mega-city” popped up on your doorstep?