Recent trip to Dubai

I just got back from Dubai.  My initial reaction was that it looked very much like a larger scale Las Vegas.  There are a tremendous amount of new buildings that have been built.  There are even MORE new buildings being built (apparently, I heard that by next year, there will be 40% more building/capacity or another 10,500 rooms). 

I also went to neighboring Abu Dhabi as well and its easy to see many differences even though they are part of the same UAE.

Some comments, the city of Abu Dhabi “feels” more mature.  It is greener, but if I had to think what made it more “mature”, it was the age of the trees.  The trees were obviously older and larger.  It was interesting to see how it made the city feel different.

Coming back to Dubai, the city looks like it is trying very hard to become modern.  Therefore, the architecture has no consistency and the buildings all look like they are trying to out do each other in terms of grandeur and shock value.

Unfortunately, I could not climb the worlds tallest building (at least of this writing) Burj Dubai (aka Burj Khalifa) because of some electrical/mechanical failure in the elevator system.  This happened a month ago and would have hoped it would have been fixed by now.  Unfortunately, no go.  I also couldn’t go to the new Giorgio Armani hotel housed in the skyscraper.  Apparently, it has 160 guest rooms, 144 private residences and 8 restaurants.

The mall next to Burj Dubai called the “Mall of Dubai” (also where you enter to take the elevator to the top of Burj Dubai) is HUGE.  Since it probably just opened, about 1/4 of the shops were empty or under construction.

In fact, the whole city of Dubai seems to be “under construction” and all the tourist guides/books label various attractions “under construction” when some of them have clearly been abandoned.

Anyway, I have several hundred random pictures that I took of Dubai here.  Sorry for too many pictures of the Burj Dubai as it was REALLY difficult to get the whole building in one frame.  I was even using a 35mm lens on my Leica from several blocks away and still failed.

By the way, here is a great 45-gigapixel panorama (not by me) of Dubai. http://gigapan.org/gigapans/48492/

Your comments are always welcome.

William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming at an early age and started his own company in high school. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm and consultancy that identifies innovative technologies, develops global talent and helps entrepreneurs become successful. In 2013, Saito was appointed a Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

Similarly, in 2012 he served as a council member on national strategy for the Cabinet-level National Policy Unit, and prior to that, was named as the Chief Technology Officer for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC). He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and has been named by the WEF as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has also served as an advisor to METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, AIST, IPA and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others.

He teaches at multiple universities, serves on several corporate boards, appears as a commentator on national TV and is the author of numerous publications in addition to writing a weekly column for a prominent Japanese business newspaper. His best-selling management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP in 2012, his follow-on book, Is Your Thinking up to Global Standards?, was published by Daiwa Shobo in late 2013 and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

Posted by whsaito

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *