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.]