Friday, December 12, 2008

Burj Dubai stands tall amid crisis

Yes, the world is in financial turmoil. Yes, almost every country has a sliding stock and property market, interest rate and confidence level. And yes, jobs are being lost.

But it seems the world around us would rather hammer this all home every waking moment, than allow us to drift away in blissful ignorance. Every TV channel, newspaper, and conversation is bursting with 2008's most-abused phrase – credit crunch. It's like a toothache that won't relent. But there is always room for positive stories – and going by last week's most-popular online features, readers agree.

Amid all the mayhem, there will always be a silver lining. While we're far from thrilled that major proposed developments around the world have slowed, we were proud that the consequence is Burj Dubai will likely stand uncontested as the world's tallest building for at least a decade, as we reported.

The Emaar skyscraper truly is the masterpiece of Dubai's architectural prowess and gives everyone who lives here a reason to stand proud. That's precisely why it was this week's most read online story.

The world may shudder at the emirate's staggering pace of development and may throw taunts of manufactured glory and status. But isn't that convenient hypocrisy? The London Eye observation wheel in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and every other structure that countries hold close to their heart are all products of creative, structural genius inspiring man-made wonders.

So we'll embrace Burj Dubai as ours. We'll make multiple visits there with our friends and families and tag ourselves in Facebook photos that reveal our pride of being here.

Elsewhere in last week's online reads, reporter Ryan Harrison's look into what Christmas has in store for us this year was the next most clicked-on feature. With many people running low on the dough, it's always nice to know what and where the best offers are.

It's the season of super-saver deals, where low end trumps high end, and value additions are bid farewell. However, few would want to share the retail industry's predicament. With shopping volume down, they want to cut advertising to reduce costs and yet still try to make every offer visible. It's like ensuring Britney Spears tops the charts without buying radio and video airtime and massive PR. It doesn't work.

A surprising third was John McAuley's detailed look at Damac's Lake Terrace in Jumeirah Lake Towers. It seems there are quite a few shrewd investors who still have enough stashed away to grab fantastic square footage off the property market. This fact was cemented when we learnt the fourth most read piece was Make Your Money Goa Further.

Escaping gloom is a fantastic tourism opportunity, but people keen to invest in places that offer sun and sand and little less, is quite intriguing. So, while funds are low, could Goa replace the beach destinations of Europe and the West?

From beaches to flowers, not only did the Homes pull-out deliver beautiful distractions, it also delivered three of this week's top five stories. Kate Copsey's article offered valuable insight on just that - how to grow roses in your own desert garden.

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