Saudi Arabia following Dubai’s footsteps

jeddah Pictures, Images and Photos
Saudi Arabia is planning to build the world’s tallest skyscraper. Although the exact height is a secret, it is said that it will be at least 1,000 meters tall. The current tallest structure is the Burj Dubai, but it hasn’t even been two years and Saudi Arabia plans on beating it. Oddly enough, the construction company that will build this tower is the Bin Laden group (yes, they are related to Osama). This is according to a report by the Financial Post (click here to read it and see a picture of the tower).

This plan comes in part to show the Saudi citizens that they are making investments domestically in an effort to avert a revolt that is sweeping the rest of the Middle East. It will be built in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second largest city. This plan suggests that Saudi Arabia is trying to follow in Dubai’s footsteps of investing the oil dollars in amazing structures that will hopefully lure tourism and respect. Obviously, they will need more than just one skyscraper and they understand this as well. That’s why they plan further investments in infrastructure and other projects, some of which have already been announced.

Although Dubai has built up many incredible architectural structures including skyscrapers, malls and an indoor ski hill (in the desert), the tourism is not what other major cities like Paris and New York enjoy. I actually think that it will never reach that level and neither will Saudi Arabia. The fact is that these places are geographically not convenient from the West or even for China. They also do not have the history that places like London, Paris and New York have which is a major factor in tourism. On top of all that, these places are too culturally conservative. A conservative society is not really a hot selling point for a family or couple looking to get away on a relaxing vacation.

I agree with Saudi Arabia’s investment in its own people (although the biggest investments need to be made in accurate education). However, they better not count on tourism dollars for their return on investment because they will be in for a very long wait.