A bit of Dubai in Dorset
Where in the world is there a palm-shaped promontory off the coast featuring a high-end hotel, a shopping mall, a marina and even a place to land one’s helicopter? The answer might seem obvious, but if a developer in England gets his way, Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah will face competition for the title.
The development proposed for Sandbanks, near Poole on England’s southern coast, offers the sincerest form of flattery to the iconic Dubai archipelago, albeit on a rather more modest scale.
Despite the ridicule the scheme has prompted in some media – one report described Dubai as “sun drenched” and Dorset as “regularly drenched” – there are some parallels with the UAE. Land prices on the Sandbanks peninsula, for example, are among the highest in the world and the hotel is designed to look like a bird. In this case, the avian inspiration is a seagull, as opposed the UAE’s fondness for falcons.
But it is the associated mall that should demonstrate just how far the Dubai inspiration goes. Given the existence of Ski Dubai in a city that has never seen real snow, will the mall in Dorset feature an area with artificial dunes baking under heat lamps?
Updated: July 19, 2014 04:00 AM