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In this blog post Fabian discusses cities that don’t possess a long history, but were built from scratch, often to fulfil a specific function. Fabian discusses the topic on examples of 3 cities-Chandigarh (India), Islamabad (Pakistan) and Putrajaya (Malaysia). All these cities share some similarities such as artificiality, as they never had a change to grow organically, but were designed and built in a relatively short period of time.

Another interesting example of a city that emerged from scratch is Dubai, UAE. This rather controversial city is surrounded by desert and stands on the shore of Persian Gulf. Only some decades ago Dubai was a small settlement. However, everything changed when oil was discovered in large amounts in 1966. This became a turning point for Dubai which started to grow and expand.

Dubai in the 1990s and now

At the moment Dubai represents a tax-free trade zone which makes it a world’s shopping centre which attracts tourists from all over the world. Construction boom in Dubai resulted in many distinctive buildings built. Excessive amount of investments available this city competes with other world centres in monumental architecture which represents a marvel of modern civic engineering. One of the most well-known buildings in Dubai is the highest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa, with total height of 828 m. Another interesting attraction is Dubai Musical Fountain which attracts hundreds of tourists ever day. The success of construction boom in Dubai was so incredible that the city now almost entirely relies on tourism, trading and shopping with oil and gas being only 1.5% of its GDP

In such way, unlike many other cities that were built from scratch Dubai not only managed to survive through decades, but also gained its independency from oil and gas money by developing tourism and trading.

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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