Dubai: Behind an Urban Spectacle

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-08-24
  • Publisher: Routledge

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For many, the image of Dubai is of islands shaped like palm trees, luxurious shopping malls and the iconic building in the shape of a dhow's sail - the Burj al Arab. In Dubai: Behind an Urban Spectacle, Yasser Elsheshtawy reveals a very different city, a place full of aspirations, struggles and encounters taking place in all sorts of settings. It represents, he argues, a new form of urbanity, which cannot be explored by looking only at spectacular developments. One must move into the lesser known spaces of Dubai's traditional neighbourhoods, for they constitute the essence of the city and where its unique urban experiment is played out.

Author Biography

Yasser Elsheshtawy is Associate Professor of Architecture at the UAE University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
The Emerging Urbanity of Dubaip. 1
The scope of the bookp. 4
Existing literaturep. 5
The structure of the bookp. 6
Concluding thoughts: returning to the original visionp. 9
Epilogue: the city of the future is Dubaip. 14
Arab Cities and Globalizationp. 17
The meaning of globalizationp. 19
The dimensions of globalization: economic, social, culturalp. 20
The spatial dimension: definition of the global cityp. 21
The global city hypothesis and social polarizationp. 23
Critique of the model: transnationalism/globalization from belowp. 25
Sustainability and globalizationp. 26
Urban governancep. 27
Status of the Arab city: the great economic dividep. 29
The Other Dubai: A Photo Essayp. 32
The Illusive History of Dubaip. 60
Origins and developmentsp. 62
The foundation of modern Dubaip. 63
Forms of resistance and anti-colonialismp. 65
Travellers' accountsp. 67
Dubai in the mediap. 71
The Bastakiy'ya districtp. 75
Souq Kabirp. 83
The Hindu Templep. 84
Special Ustadi Restaurantp. 88
Baniyas Squarep. 90
Inventing history and creating identityp. 95
The Transformation of Dubai or Towards the Age of Megastructuresp. 102
Dubai in the 1970s: the emergence of a modern cityp. 105
From Masterplan to Structural Plan to Urban Development Frameworkp. 107
Dubai's urban morphology: transient urbanismp. 121
The creation of a global imagep. 123
Exclusive cityp. 130
Spectacular Architecture and Urbanismp. 133
The theory of the spectaclep. 134
The Burj Al Arab or Tower of the Arabsp. 137
The Palm Island(s)p. 142
The tallest building in the world: Burj Dubai or Tower of Dubaip. 151
Conclusion: perpetuating an illusionp. 164
The Spectacular and the Everyday: Dubai's Retail Landscapep. 171
Problematizing the retail experiencep. 172
Spectacular shopping in Dubaip. 178
Informal Dubaip. 187
Dangerous spectaclesp. 201
Transient City: Dubai's Forgotten Urban Spacesp. 206
Globalization and citiesp. 208
Dubai, a migrant city?p. 212
Surveying the city's urban public spaces: transitory settingsp. 216
The other cityp. 229
Transnational cities - transnational spacesp. 241
Global Dubai or Dubaizationp. 249
The Dubai model?p. 250
Dubaization in the Middle Eastp. 256
The case of Cairop. 262
Conclusion: the true Dubai modelp. 273
Bibliographyp. 280
Indexp. 286
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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