Archive for June, 2007

Road toll activated July 1st

The country’s first-ever road toll is due to be activated in Dubai on July 1st, covering a stretch of Sheikh Zayed Road. That’s the main artery, a freeway joining Dubai with Abu Dhabi which takes the heaviest traffic.
Because of high rents in Dubai very many people live in neighbouring Sharjah, or even further in Ajman & Umm Al Quwain, meaning that mornings and evenings the road is choked because they’re commuting.

There are two automatic tollgates, one near Mall of the Emirates in ‘New Dubai’, the other near Garhoud Bridge in Deira.


Hot water from the cold tap.

We’re moving into summer now and the weather is starting to reach uncomfortable levels. Daytime we’re getting a degree or two either side of 40C (104F) in the shade and nightime down to around 30C (86F). That’s OK but we get high humidity with it, the ‘discomfort factor’, and that’s staring to build too. We had 90% a couple of days ago and that’s really uncomfortable.

Air conditioners are being used much more than a few weeks ago but we save electricity another way…we don’t need to fire-up the water heaters. All you have to do is run the cold tap/faucet until the water in the pipes within the building has run off. As the water from pipes outside, underground, reaches the tap/faucet it comes out hot enough to shower comfortably.

It still seems wierd to me – I’m used to running off cold water until the warm comes through but it’s difficult to adjust to it being the other way around!

Astonishing speed of construction.

On April 12th I posted that Burj Dubai, which will be the world’s tallest building when completed, had reached 120 storeys, which made it the building with the most floors in the world.

Well folks, six and a half weeks later it’s reached 130 stories. The speed of construction is amazing, you can almost watch it rising with the naked eye. Ten floors in six and a half weeks. Excavation of the site started only 175 weeks ago and it’s now the second tallest building in the world.


At 468 metres Burj Dubai is almost as high as the world’s tallest, Taipei 101 which is 509 metres, which it will soon overtake but then it will keep soaring because it still has a long way to go to be topped-off.

On the way, Burj Dubai set another world record – and you have to just pause to think about this – for pumping concrete vertically 460 metres. Just think of the power it takes to pump concrete vertically more than a quarter of a mile!

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