Thursday, November 8, 2007

Their taxis have masseuses...

What's the coolest (sorry) thing about the Wild Wadi Water Park in Dubai? As you can see from the picture below, it's definitely not the design. So what is it? The 33 metre high Jumeirah Sceirah water ride? Their Flowrider surfable wave? The Master Blaster uphill water roller coaster?

Nope. It's the air conditioned bus stop outside.

With more than 500 of them planned for the architecture-crazy city, everyone is crying environmental foul. Poppycock.

Numero Uno: Summer averages dance in triple digits, with the August record pushing 120 degrees! I think that would justify a need for air conditioning.

Numero Dos: They're installing these to help the environment.


Yep. Help the environment. Think about it. How many bus takers are going to wake up, put on their kandura, and wait for 30 minutes in 112 degree weather? Not to mention, traffic jams are already commonplace in Dubai. Just last year, the situation was so bad that they started using satellites to monitor the city streets. And while a new interchange for the Dubai Marina and Emirates Hills is alleviating a portion of the problem, the city continues to expand at more-than-rapid pace.

The Jumeriah Beach Residence has more than 6,000 residential units and the Jumeirah Lake Towers are on the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road. The Palm Jumeriah has 3,000 villas. There's 50+ story residences like the 21st Century Tower. You've got the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. There's tourism at the Burj and plenty of other people staying at one of the many 1,000 unit 5-star hotels. Hoardes of people working and living in 60+ story buildings, like the Rose Tower, Al Yaquob Tower, and the HHH Tower.

That's a lot of people in one place.

The Salik road tolls are in place and, as mentioned, the interchange is alleviating some problems. But the Dubai Metro ($3.89 Billion!), the abras, and the city streets are only going to be able to handle so much. The more people on the bus, the better.