France

Dubai Weirdness Watch

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The Sunday Times describes plans for yet another bizarre proprietary community in Dubai—a reproduction of Lyons:

Inspiration struck [Dubai businessman Saeed] al-Gandhi while he was drawing up plans to build a French-language university in Dubai in partnership with the University of Lyons. Not wanting to be outdone by Abu Dhabi, another Arab emirate, which has announced it will build its own version of the Louvre, al-Gandhi hit upon the idea of "Lyons-Dubai City", as the new metropolis will be known, or "Lyons's oriental little sister", as they call it in the French town hall.

Lyons and Dubai had already signed a "pact of cooperation and friendship" but al-Gandhi's idea adds a new twist to twinning: the new Lyons will cover an area of about 700 acres, roughly the size of the Latin Quarter of Paris, and will contain squares, restaurants, cafes and museums.

Al-Gandhi could have picked a worse place. Famed as the home of gastronomy and the birthplace of cinema, Lyons sits between two of France's best-known wine-growing regions. Even so, Dubai is unlikely to want to copy the decrepit tower blocks that ring the real city, symbols of the urban violence that periodically plagues France.

For more from reason on Dubai's building boom, go here and here.

[Via bOING bOING.]

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  1. I’m confused, it just sounds like a development project. What’s the weird part?

  2. Wait a second… this isn’t about Ron Paul’s newsletter! I’m cancelling my subscription.

  3. Will Ron Paul’s newsletters be available in the town library?

    ———-

    Matt Welch is a vile racist.

  4. I had thought about moving to Dubai depending on the outcome of this election.

  5. I’m confused, it just sounds like a development project. What’s the weird part?

    I’m guessing that this has to do with it:

    Even so, Dubai is unlikely to want to copy the decrepit tower blocks that ring the real city, symbols of the urban violence that periodically plagues France.

    Maybe the irony of reproducing a French city surrounded by primarily Muslim/Arab slum ghettos in a Muslim Arab country?

    Or am I just reaching?

  6. If al-Gandhi’s deal falls through, will he go on al-hungerstrike?

  7. I’m confused, it just sounds like a development project. What’s the weird part?

    That this entry isn’t about the Ron Paul newsletters.
    ———-

    Matt Welch is a vile racist.

  8. I’m confused, it just sounds like a development project. What’s the weird part?

    It’s a furries-only community.

  9. Tough crowd. You don’t think building a reproduction of Lyons in the Middle East is a little strange?

  10. Meanwhile , out at the World Archipelago construction site, offshore from the UAE’s ‘Disneyland Lite’. how much do they want for the caffeine free crystal diet island of Utah ?

  11. Jesse –

    it’s the perfect scenario for DUNDEROOO. He’d imagine Froggie socialism in the midst of Islamofascism.

    just mention secular education and “socialized medicine”, and you’ll really nail him 🙂

  12. You don’t think building a reproduction of Lyons in the Middle East is a little strange?

    Not when Las Vegas has a mini-me verson of Egypt, Venice and New York within the same 2 square miles.

  13. This is supposed to be more elaborate than that. But for the record, I think Las Vegas is a little strange, too.

  14. You don’t think building a reproduction of Lyons in the Middle East is a little strange?

    There’s a 1/3 scale reproduction of a Parisian tower in Ashland, Virginia.

    And pseudo-bavarian village in Tidewater.

    So, no, not really

  15. damn abdul beat me to it

  16. “Tough crowd. You don’t think building a reproduction of Lyons in the Middle East is a little strange?”

    No stranger than building an indoor ski run in the middle of the desert with hopes of someday fielding an olympic ski team. I watched an episode of Build It Bigger on that thing. It is amazing. You have to give the Dubaiites (or is it Dubaiis?) credit. They have a lot of money but they sure spend it in style.

  17. Of course it’s strange. Disney has built miniature versions of famous cities, and at one point planned on building a replica of Key West in Orlando. But these are theme park gimmicks for people trying to escape the real world. Al-Gandhi’s plan looks like he wants to build a regular, day-to-day development.

    Building a whole neighborhood for the purpose of escaping reality is, to me, strange.

  18. You don’t think building a reproduction of Lyons in the Middle East is a little strange?

    Why not? They seem to be reproducing the Middle East around Lyon.

  19. You know, if they built a replica of the city of Tours, France in the United States in a decidedly less windy+humid+cold climate, I would totally move there.

  20. Jesse, I’m originally from Las Vegas; I guess that’s why it didn’t strike me as strange.
    if i were a developer, i’d replica This:
    http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/download.php?Number=118166

  21. Lyon is a restaurant-lover’s dream. And it’s spelled Lyon, not Lyons.

  22. ah – bungalow is from L’York Novelle

  23. it’s spelled Lyon, not Lyons.

    In English it’s “Lyons” — kind of like “Lisbon” and “Lisboa.”

  24. What would really freak Jesse out is a mini-Vegas in Dubai . . . especially going the mini-Luxor inside that mini-Vegas.

  25. You don’t think building a reproduction of Lyons in the Middle East is a little strange?

    I live in Florida, home of Disney World.
    Nothing is strange to me.

  26. Or…what all the others pointed out before me.

  27. In English it’s “Lyons”

    -10 COSMO POINTS

  28. I think Ayn Rand would love this concept. I guess I find it inspiring (less than she would). Guess this says something about the median reader of the magazine. 🙂

  29. There’s a 1/3 scale reproduction of a Parisian tower in Ashland, Virginia.

    That’s Doswell, not Ashland. I believe the foundation is full-scale, but they’ve reduced the height by 2/3.

    Tough crowd.

    You expected different? Who are you and what have you done with the real JW?

    Maybe the irony of reproducing a French city surrounded by primarily Muslim/Arab slum ghettos in a Muslim Arab country?

    Schweet! Episiarch wins the thread.

    And everyone drink because you won’t be able to do that in Lyons-on-the-Gulf.

  30. Ah, you’re right King’s Dominion is in Doswell (for that matter, it *is* Doswell). I think the sign for the exit off the interstate might have had Ashland on it or something like that

  31. And everyone drink because you won’t be able to do that in Lyons-on-the-Gulf.

    Tell that to all the UAE “liquor license” owners who can go to Spinneys and other stores to buy their own. Or they can just go to the hotel down the street and have anything they want at one of the fine restaurants inside.

  32. The Iraqis drink to. The no drinking thing is really more of a Saudi thing. Dubai, although hotter than the third plane of hell, is reputed to be a pretty interesting place and not a bad place. If you could just get rid of the jhihadists, the middle east would be great. It has a lot of very endearing qualities. There is a reason why the old British stiff upper lip colonials like Lawrence used to go native all the time.

  33. Dubai is kitschy as hell, and as a result is kinda creepy, but fascinating. The traffic is absolutely hellacious.

    Of course, like any city, it has its secrets that the officials would rather not have the tourists see. Fer instance, the labor riots in October…and the ridiculous skyrocketing cost of living…and the massive disparities in income (puts all the whining about the US in crystal clear perspective).

    On top of that, it’s possibly the brownest, most depressing-looking-yet-sunny inhabited place on earth. At least Abu Dhabi has some greenery, even if it’s due to the world’s most wasteful irrigation system.

  34. “It has a lot of very endearing qualities. There is a reason why the old British stiff upper lip colonials like Lawrence used to go native all the time.”

    Yeah, but, like, do you get to see boobies and stuff there?

  35. Oooops. My goof. Didn’t Lawrence bat for the other team? Maybe he didn’t need boobies and stuff.

  36. “On top of that, it’s possibly the brownest, most depressing-looking-yet-sunny inhabited place on earth.”

    That distinction belongs to Kuwait, a country without a single natural body of water. The other problem the gulf states have is that whole concept that you pick up your garbage and put it in a dump rather than throwing it around the countryside seems to have escaped them.

  37. “Oooops. My goof. Didn’t Lawrence bat for the other team? Maybe he didn’t need boobies and stuff.”

    There were rumors that he might have enjoyed being tortured by the Turks a little more than he let on, but nothing more. I don’t think he actually batted for the other side.

  38. Didn’t Lawrence bat for the other team?

    The Lawrence of Texas did, not sure about the one of Arabia

  39. The Lawrence of Texas did, not sure about the one of Arabia

    Groan. Good one.

    There is certainly some suspicion that TE Lawrence was gay, but it’s never been proved definitively. He did like being beaten, though. That he got men to beat him may have been more about practicality than preference.

  40. He did like being beaten, though.

    He’s Mel Gibson’s role-model.

  41. Speaking of being beaten, he went to Jesus College. Not sure if he majored in being beaten.

  42. In English it’s “Lyons”

    Dammit.

    Why not? They seem to be reproducing the Middle East around Lyon Lyons.

    Fixed.

  43. You gotta hand it to those Emirs. I’d have bet that you could never make Vegas work without all the booze, gambling, and sex, but they’re doing it.

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