Photo credit: Gulf News
Yesterday was a historic day for the UAE, especially for Dubai. The world’s tallest building Burj Dubai* was officially opened with an inauguration ceremony that could surpass all inauguration ceremonies for a long time. Thousands of fireworks lit up the cool desert night, witnessed by thousands of people from the UAE and abroad.
It was not a special holiday yesterday although it would have been great if it was. In my opinion, every Dubai resident would have loved to get out there and witness that piece of history in the making. I had work until 6 pm and by the time I got out of the office, all roads leading to The Dubai Mall (the huge mall beside Burj Dubai*) already looked like a huge parking space. A part of the main arterial road Sheikh Zayed Road was closed. Crowds have gathered near the promenade as early as 2 or 3 pm!
Image Credit: Oliver Clarke/Gulf News
We always watch the beautiful Dubai Fountain show from this side but yesterday, there was no way we could get near: the parking areas were full and there could never be a foot space for us who come late (damn work!!). One of us would eventually carry Pristine (she’s 20 kgs heavy) so she could see.
M appeased me by trying to find a place where the tower can be seen, a little bit far but still a good view. We ended up watching it from Ras Al Khor. So many people parked their cars on the side of the road, even police cars! We couldn’t see the special fountain show from where we were or but the firework display was grandiose.
Pristine was so excited that she kept shouting “Happy New Year!! Happy New Year!!” and jumping up and down. Oh well, even if it wasn’t New Year’s Eve, it’s still the 4th of January and the new year just rolled in. In a sense, I feel that 2010 will be a new year for the UAE and for Dubai, after the much talked about credit crisis last year that paved way for Dubai bashers to celebrate, with more bashing than ever before.
I didn’t take photos because it would not look good from where I stood but I took a video. I’m still uploading it and while we wait for that, here’s some awesome photos of the big event courtesy of Gulf News:
I am not from this country but I feel proud. I love the UAE – I’ve never been to a place where people of more than 200 nationalities live and work together in harmony. People of different religions and sect who respect each other and love their adoptive country like their own. I love Dubai, the city with all possibilities of growth no matter how others view or criticize it.
* I logged in to Twitter as soon as I came home and surprised to know that the newly opened tallest tower in the world, known as Burj Dubai had been RENAMED to “BURJ KHALIFA”, in honor of the UAE’s president and Abu Dhabi Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Burj Dubai —–>>> Burj Khalifa.
It just doesn’t sound right! JUST. DOESN’T.
It should be as is, “Burj Dubai” because it IS located in Dubai. When hearing the words “Burj Khalifa”, I bet people will go like, “Burj what? Where is that!?”
Is this what Dubai has to pay for Richie Rich Abu Dhabi’s redemption of Dubai’s massive debt last year (and in the coming years)? And just the start of Abu Dhabi showing control over the Emirate?
UPDATE: Here’s a video I took that won’t give even a fraction of judgment to the real thing. If there’s going to be another inauguration of any Dubai feat in the future, I’ll skip work and be there early.