Category Archives: Dubai

Psychopathic æsthetic arrogance

Repulsive and barbaric

Repulsive and barbaric

The Shard (2012), writes Dalrymple, is

grossly incompetent.


unbalances an already much damaged skyline

and is an example of

the devastation wrought by barbaric architects.

The egotist Renzo Piano imagines that

his adolescent rebellion is something to be proud of.

Technical advancement,

for which gigantism is often a metonym, is mistaken for improvement.

The Shard would, says Dalrymple,

be perfect for Dubai: its glassy vulgarity would hardly attract notice there. But London is not Dubai even if its prosperity is built, metaphorically, on sand.


is the most fleeting of qualities, and useless for assessing the worth of anything. Fascism and nylon shirts were once modern, but no one would now call them the finest flower of the human mind or spirit.

Excellence of Emirates

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 09.02.52Dalrymple writes of the Dubai carrier:

No one who had the choice would fly anything else; all North American and European airlines, by comparison, are wretched.

The airline is very profitable,

if official figures are to be believed. (Some claim the profits are subsidised by preferential landing fees at Dubai, though this is denied.)


poses an interesting challenge to those who say that, under any circumstances, a state-owned company cannot be efficiently run or provide good service.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 09.08.53

The barbarians

Piano lesson

I’m going to do this to your pleasant little market town. It’s my vision, you see

They want to turn the whole world into Dubai

Renzo Piano (pictured) is a barbarian.

Jean Nouvel is a barbarian.

The greatest barbarian-desecrator of them all is Lord Foster. The buildings Foster foists on us are of course modern — grotesquely, charmlessly, incongruously, inhumanly so. But he is broadminded where his own person is concerned, for he also likes ancient stuff, such as his title. He is Baron Foster of Thames Bank. (The rank was introduced in England by William I.)

These architects, writes Dalrymple, like the ISIS iconoclasts or the Chinese Cultural Revolutionists,

are barbarians, albeit using a slightly subtler method of destruction, namely that of entire townscapes in order to impose their so-called vision, which is indeed visually inescapable, on what already exists, thereby in effect destroying it, turning the whole world into Dubai.