Mine is bigger!

The race for the tallest building has never abated, I don’t think, since man started building abodes, but now it is just getting silly:

But Burj Dubai may not hold the record for long. Another Dubai skyscraper, Al Burj, is slated to begin this year with a rumoured height of 1.2 kilometres. More tentatively, two other kilometre-tall towers are planned in the region: the 1001-metre Mubarak al-Kabeer in Kuwait and a 1022-metre tower in Manama, Bahrain.

World tallest buildings
click for larger

We don’t even have the infrastructure to handle the cars on the roads – and by “we” I include all the Arab countries – and we are lacking in just about every other necessary infrastructural and health and safety not to mention human rights and political representation – oh for God’s sake, let’s forget all of those intangibles for a minute, do we just have the fire-fighting and emergency capabilities to deal with such heights? Or should we presume that the fire and emergency services are going to wait downstairs until the mitigating circumstance just disappears before intervention?

God help those who are in the taller buildings in Bahrain. And doubly so for those in the tallest ones.

Somehow I think the priorities are bit screwed up in our countries.


  1. Magnus

    It amazes me too. I’m not in construction, but seems a bit dubious to be, to be building such structures in low-lying areas, close to the coast, on what seems to amount to just sand 🙄

  2. Ammar

    Manama? Thats just ridiculous Mahmood. I mean, I was suprised when I heard Burj Dubai was being built. And then more so when I heard about another tower in Dubai 50km away, and the Kuwait tower to compete with it.

    But Bahrain? Come on. If you put anymore weight on our island it would sink. Thank god for the Saudi Causeway to hold us up huh?

    On a more serious note though; why? Again, our so called Gulf Countries Co-operation are beating each other up to stick with title of tallest building. We can’t handle it. I can make an exception for Dubai, at least they’re way further down the line than we are; but Kuwait and Bahrain should steer clear from it. I doubt the Qatari’s and Saudi’s won’t start getting ideas in their head pretty soon.

    But, this is just another sign that judgement day is moving closer upon us:

    Of the Minor Signs of the coming of The Last Hour:

    “The Shepherds of Arabia will compete in the construction of tall buildings.”

    Ahem. Thats us dude.

    This amongst others signs which have become oh so obvious. Yup, were all but doomed my friend.

  3. Proud Bahraini

    Does size really matter?

    My own priority is working on human resources and as I care for the wealth and well living of each and every human but as you know if you go anywhere in the world you’d see lots of monuments but have they considered developing or enhancing education here at least health care since education enhancement is a far fetched dream in the Arabic countries and especially the Gulf.

    I will never admit one my children in a government school, no need to mention the safety procedures here, how many school classes you see that have enough ventilation or emergency exits or for God’s sake fire sprinklers in their ceiling?

  4. Eyad the Great

    this is part something I wrote a while back on my blog (one of the few times I write something) after Guno hit Oman.

    Our contingency plans, our systems, Hospitals, Rescue, medicine/food/water supply, extraction teams, fire brigade, infrastructure all that and far beyond.

    None of that is prepared for mass crisis such as “acts of god” as we like to call them in this part of the world, and as a simple example of how many things aren’t planned well in our countries is all the Skyscrapers that are being built but no one wondered if the fire departments can actually put fire 40-50 stories above the ground, another example, August 23, 2000 Flight 072 from Cairo to Bahrain carrying 143 passengers and crew crashed in the shallow waters near the cost of Muharaq bla bla bla, every one from the flight died, leaving the MOH in a big saga, where do we keep the bodies?? Today, 7 years after the incident what did the MOH do, nothing at all we still have the same Facility.

  5. Anonymous

    I see nothing wrong in building a 1022m skyscraper in Bahrain 👿 if fire-fighting and emergency capabilities to deal with such heights is established. It makes more sense to build it in Bahrain than Saudi or Dubai cos we have a shortage in suitable investment land or even land in general.

  6. John Burgess

    Make lemonade out of lemons!

    Start investing now in companies that make submarine elevators. As the building slowly sinks into the Gulf, it will need those devices. Take a tip from the Boy Scouts and ‘Be Prepared!’

  7. Yousif

    The real question is…

    Is there enough demand in the market (particularly in Bahrain) to make a 2000+ft skyscraper a worthwhile investment? I mean we don’t even have any clue whether the Bahrain Financial Harbor/The world trade center is a success or not. Last time I checked, there is ample office space in BFH up for grabs. Isn’t there better ways to invest money than this?

    If the money overlords don’t know what to do with the cash they got from their latest money printers, they can give me some and i’ll show them how besides building skyscrapers 😀

  8. exclamation mark

    In Bahrain,the money spent to build such scrapers could be spent be on other things…

    Roads may be ? 💡

  9. Ehsan

    Building the world’s next tallest skyscraper is no longer an ego issue in Dubai. It’s completely sustainable as a business venture due to the huge demand generated from high buzz projects (largest, tallest, longest, weirdest). They’re all sold out before construction begins.

    The fire fighting standards are not only some of the best in the world, but new higher standards are created and implemented just for Dubai.

    The human rights and political issues, I have no answer for.

    Disclaimer: My job is building development in Dubai.

  10. Darth

    We won’t have a 1022M Tower in Bahrain. It doesn’t make sense, its not like we won’t find some idiot in the Gulf that is willing to build it. Its that we aren’t stupid enough to allow it. I mean we do tend to be stupid and stupid things I admit. But this won’t happen because it won’t be good for Bahrain. Economies don’t grow over real estate, and even a supply of real estate helps attracts investments etc.. this kind of unsustainable building design has more negatives than positives, traffic – infrastructure strain to mention a few…. I’d rather see Manama, and Seef fill up, and have decent good looking medium density buildings with a few iconic and strategic buildings…only an idiot would allow such a thing to go up. I really hope we stick to a long term vision of planning that is more coherent and based on economic studies, and sustainability rather then a 1000M building. Bahrain should focus on quality and not quantity or size.

  11. howard_coward

    Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Mahmood. It’s a guy thing. Nothing can be done.

  12. Anonymous

    Of the Minor Signs of the coming of The Last Hour:

    “The Shepherds of Arabia will compete in the construction of tall buildings.”

    I’m fascinated. Where can I find the source
    of this quote?

  13. Abu Arron

    This is exactly what we need in Manama!

    a 1022 metre high multi storey car park!

    That’s funny. The tallest (and emptiest) car park in the world. It would never be used as it’s easier to double/triple park right outside the shop. OR, quadruple park and sit on the horn until some hapless asian worker comes out to be shouted at.

    I wish Dubai every success, but I do worry about the level of showing off that goes on. I used to love living in Dubai, but was glad to leave 2 years ago when it got to the point that a two hour traffic jam was the norm. The roads just cannot cope with the rate of building construction.

  14. Anonymous

    Thanks Ammar,

    So it’s a hadith thing. Interesting. How
    did they know?

    Or did these developers undertake these
    projects with these words buried in their
    memories, revealing a deeply-buried
    self-destructive impulse :^)

  15. Aliandra

    One of these ‘tallest’ buildings erected a few years ago (not sure if it was Malaysia or Indonesia) couldn’t get enough tenants to fill the floors.

    The safety aspect looks worrisome. Who wants to work in a building that needs 3 hours to evacuate in an emergency?

  16. Post

    Can you also imagine the elevator times to get to an office? Rush hour traffic will have another meaning.

  17. Anonymous

    Can you also imagine the elevator times to get to an office?

    Imagining getting down to the bottom, 5
    minutes late for work, and then remembering
    that you left your mobile in the kitchen.
    Little things like that can really irritate
    a person.

  18. Ammar

    By the way, just because a building is built, don’t automatically assume that its safe enough to stay up.

    We think, hey, there’s definately been enough studies in physics, enertia, construction, etc to guarantee this building will stay up.

    Well, remember, people are trying to keep costs down, and remember the Warsaw Tower that collapsed in 1991 (at the time the worlds tallest structure).

    And yes, just getting up and down has got to be a headache. But imagine the view from an office on the top floor. Its got to be scary; cant look good at all.

  19. Pingback: Yagoob’s Dome » Blog Archive » Things to do with a 1022 metre high building…

  20. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Bahrain: Does A PlayStation 2 Gun Count As A Weapon?

  21. Ayedee

    What on earth will elevators do when they will be cut off from electric supply for any reason, if there is any real benifit in building skyscrapers then it can be justified, if its just ‘who’s taller’ then we’re going to repeat the same mistakes all over again


Comments are closed.