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Old March 17th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #421
sarbaze tabarestan
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DUBAI (AFP) -- "Dubai is the most Iranian of cities," said Mohammad Reza, an Iranian expatriate who has lived in the Gulf emirate across the waters from the Islamic Republic since 1998. Not many could argue with him. It was Friday lunchtime and the 29-year-old engineer was about to enter the city's impressive turquoise-domed Imam Hussein mosque. Hundreds of his compatriots followed as the call to prayer echoed.

In a city known for glass and steel skyscrapers and industrial free zones, this little enclave in one of Dubai's older districts could be known as "Irantown."

Adjacent to the mosque sits one of Iran's largest consulates. Opposite, people mill around an Iranian hospital ordained with intricate Persian scriptures.

"Iranians were among the first to set up business in the United Arab Emirates," a federation of seven emirates, said Salah Salmeen at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

"The oil boom and development of shipping facilities to Iran created further opportunities for maximizing trade between the two countries."

According to the Iranian consulate in Dubai, at least 400,000 of the UAE's 4.1 million residents are Iranian.

The numbers have almost doubled since 2003. Iran's status as an international pariah, which has increased since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election in 2005, has forced many nationals overseas.

Heavy taxation and the difficulty of acquiring letters of credit have given businessmen few options but to seek opportunities elsewhere.

"If an Iranian company deals with European companies, the European side is always more comfortable dealing with a Dubai-based company as the rules and regulations are not volatile like in Iran," said Mohammad Safavi, general manager at trading firm The Link.

Located just 170 kilometers across the Strait of Hormuz, Dubai has become a satellite state for Iranian capital.

The DCCI has 8,050 Iranian companies registered. The Iranian Business Council's (IBC) numbers are closer to 10,000 businesses, ranging from banking to real estate and oil.

Iranians are also major investors in property developments. The DCCI estimates Dubai's non-oil trade with Iran was worth $8 billion last year, a 30-percent rise since 2004.

"We estimate accumulated assets of Iranians in the UAE to be about $300 billion, while trade between the UAE and Iran was about $11 billion in 2006," said IBC vice-president Nasser Hashempour. http://www.dailystar.com.lb

Dubai has become so important to Iran that senior Iranian government officials are rumored to have set up front companies in the emirate.

"We've heard a lot about non-private sector companies or people belonging to the government investing in Dubai," said Hashempour.

The UAE is by far Iran's largest global trade partner, with exchanges reaching nearly three times those with Germany.

"Dubai is essential to Iran," said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, professor of political science at UAE University.

"Iran needs Dubai more than the other way round ... It can deal with the outside world from here and it will need it more and more if there are [trade] sanctions imposed [over Tehran's nuclear program]."

The conflict between Washington and arch-foe Tehran has put Dubai's relationship with its neighbor in the spotlight. At a recent conference in the emirate, Stuart Levey, US undersecretary at the Treasury, suggested the UAE would need to think carefully in the future.

The United States, which is known to use Dubai as a listening post to monitor Iranian activity, is a staunch UAE ally.

"We have been successful in balancing both sides," said Abdulla. "The Americans and Iranians know they have been given leeway here to do things they couldn't do elsewhere. I hope they do not tamper with the stability and security that this country is providing everybody."

The United Arab Emirates prides itself on its diplomacy, and relations with the Islamic Republic are thriving despite a 30-year feud over three Gulf islands, which the UAE considers occupied by Iran.

The federation, whose natives are mostly Sunnis, also sees the large presence of Shiite Iranians as another example of its social tolerance.

"In terms of the Shiite-Sunni conflict, the UAE, with its large Iranian population, [shows] that it is possible to maintain a cohesive relationship between the two parties," said Narayanappa Janardhan, political analyst at the strategic think tank Gulf Research Center.

"Dubai is a platform where you don't worry about sectarianism," he added.



but my intention is not to ruin this tread!respect to emiratis who are turning their city into a world class metropolis!
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Old March 18th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #422
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They are not ... but still they don't know the geography, demographics, weather and city development progress/history to fully understand why and how.
I am aware that Dubai is a city in a pretty arid hot climate, thats why I said that something like a Central Park OR some other usage other than a multi lane highway traffic hell. Of course you have to consider the possibilities a city in this region has, but I sincerely doubt that such a highway is the only option for such a central location (in regards of the new very high density developments).

Yes I dislike highways going through central or high rise city areas in any part of the world.
What is so unbelievable about an opinion like this?

I know that many people like the idea of such highways, but I never could fully understand what could be so nice about them.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #423
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The highway didn't go through the highrise clusters, the clusters were build around it because of the easy access the highway provides for them.

Would you transfer Vienna's Ring underground and replace it with a park (I'm not even going further far from the Zentrum, to the Guertel road). Would you demolish the heavy rail tracks crossing Vienna all around?
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Old March 18th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #424
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But you can't deny that a gigantic highway is an eyesore.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:12 PM   #425
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It's just a wider road ... for no other it creates space between the towers, that otherwise will not be there ... not mentioning facilitating the life of the entire city.

SZR is not a eyesore, SZR is cool and one of the most impressive sights on town. Stop thinking so narrowly, what might work some place doesn't neccessarily works some place else.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 02:02 AM   #426
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i agree with the others... SZR highway is totally an eyesore and one of the more embarrassing amenities of Dubai.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 06:50 AM   #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AltinD View Post
It's just a wider road ... for no other it creates space between the towers, that otherwise will not be there ... not mentioning facilitating the life of the entire city.

SZR is not a eyesore, SZR is cool and one of the most impressive sights on town. Stop thinking so narrowly, what might work some place doesn't neccessarily works some place else.
Trust me, a time will come when that highways will look like eyesores.

Probably when oil becomes scarce, which could be never or could be soon, but it'll take awhile before y'all put the pedestrian before the car.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #428
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Yeah, I'm sure someone will walk 40 km to his destination. You talk as if in your city you walk for miles everyday. You don't otherwise you'll not have a think for the public transport.

I live in the city proper and I walk to do my regular shopping, but I drive to other places that are further away or to the work place that is 40km away. If I had no car I would take the public transport or hail a cab. What makes us any different? What does the existence of the highway have anything to do with it? For one thing it facilitates the overall traffic which means also the public transport buses will faces lesser traffic on the routes they operate, therefore the service will be better.

Oh, and Mass Transit will never be so great if the Government will not subsidies it and indirectly charge the population, even those who might not be using it. Put the REAL price of an ticket for every traveler to pay and we'll see how much all of you will love the public transport.

All I'm saying that you don't seams to gasp is that the highway was there before and the development happened on that part because of the highway. For the same reason why cities developed on the coast or near the rivers: Easy Access.

Oh, and you lost any "credibility" in your "arguments" the moment you had to bring up oil reserves.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #429
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Roads are an eyesore. Hahaha. Replace roads with parks. I haven't laughed so much in years.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AltinD View Post
The highway didn't go through the highrise clusters, the clusters were build around it because of the easy access the highway provides for them.

Would you transfer Vienna's Ring underground and replace it with a park (I'm not even going further far from the Zentrum, to the Guertel road). Would you demolish the heavy rail tracks crossing Vienna all around?
I know that, what does it change? The result is the same, the highway goes through the highrise cluster.

To compare the Wiener Ring, a three lane one way road (with pedestrian crossings every stone throw) with a 12 lane highway is quite entertaining.

The Gürtel might be a better comparision. Its at least an 8 lane road with an overground/underground (but then it has pedestrian crossings every block as well). But as the example of the Gürtel already showed, this is already on the edge of making an urban neighborhood unpleasing. Only large efforts managed in the last years to help the neighborhood to recover again. Part of this effort was to reduce the traffic and improve pedestrian and bicycle access considerably. I know this can not be translated directly to Dubai, also due to the climate, but it shows how terrible already the Gürtel could be for urban life quality, not to even start thinking about 12 lane highways.

Actually there were real plans of transforming the Gürtel into an inner city highway, with connection to the Ring at the States Opera. Yupee, if realized (which it nearly would have been), that would have made any revival of the western Gürtel impossible. It would be now a decayed urban desert in the middle of the city.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #431
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Oh, and Mass Transit will never be so great if the Government will not subsidies it and indirectly charge the population, even those who might not be using it. Put the REAL price of an ticket for every traveler to pay and we'll see how much all of you will love the public transport.
You would be surprised how much you would pay, if you had to pay the full price for all car infrastructure directly as well. (Roads, Highways, parking lots and houses etc). The point is that PT in urban surroundings can have the same capacities as car based infrastructure with only a small part of the space requirements. Less space requirements enable shorter ways, which is also important for saving resources.

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All I'm saying that you don't seams to gasp is that the highway was there before and the development happened on that part because of the highway. For the same reason why cities developed on the coast or near the rivers: Easy Access.
Your arguments sound so much like 1960's. Everyone was argumenting like this in the 60's in the developed world. Then those dreams were fulfilled by large infrastructure projects. It was only afterwards that people realized that while everyone could now go easily into the urban core, lesser and lesser actually wanted to do so, which led nearly to the downfall of urbanity. Dubai makes the impression to me, at least in its center, as it would embrace density and urbanity, well, maybe it will find out the same then eventually as well.

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Roads are an eyesore. Hahaha. Replace roads with parks. I haven't laughed so much in years.
If you are incapable of differentiating between a two lane road and a 12 lane highway I guess, you would not care if you life or work directly next two a two lane road or 12 lane highway. A road is a road, isn't it?
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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #432
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Once again you are ignoring the geography of Dubai. The Highway does NOT split the city proper in two. It's not different that Vienna's highrise development on the opposite (UN) side of the Danube.

The fact that the highway was first there and the towers poped up later is a very important argument and has totally no similarities with the US development of the car-culture in the 60s.

Here's a satellite map of Dubai and i have marked with red the Sheik Zayed Road highway. Tell me how it splits the entire city in two

[IMG]http://i40.************/286sg7r.jpg[/IMG]
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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #433
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i agree with the others... SZR highway is totally an eyesore and one of the more embarrassing amenities of Dubai.
And you like the others "know" the city only because of SSC
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Old March 19th, 2009, 09:54 PM   #434
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Once again you are ignoring the geography of Dubai. The Highway does NOT split the city proper in two. It's not different that Vienna's highrise development on the opposite (UN) side of the Danube.
The Donaucity is built above the highway and therefore the highway is not visible nor acoustically a disturbance. I don't want to draw too many parallels as I know that also the Donaucity is quite different from the example in Dubai. Having that said, I am not a big fan of this part of Vienna, but at least they got the thing with the highway right.

I did not claim that the highway is splitting the city proper into two. It is however a large geographical barrier between the two sides of a major ultra dense high rise cluster. A sort of barrier that cities in developed countries (even in the US) are trying with lots of money to overcome again, at least partially.

Quote:
The fact that the highway was first there and the towers poped up later is a very important argument and has totally no similarities with the US development of the car-culture in the 60s.

Here's a satellite map of Dubai and i have marked with red the Sheik Zayed Road highway. Tell me how it splits the entire city in two

http://i40.************/286sg7r.jpg
You are constructing a straw man. I am not claiming it splits "the city" in two. I say its a large barrier in that new high rise cluster, one of the densest development areas in the entire city.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:11 PM   #435
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^although the width of the road is an annoyance and does detract from pedestrian friendliness, its effect on dubai shouldn't be blown out of proportion. freeways mar the landscape of manhattan and hong kong too, but they don't stop those places from being 'urban'. it's basically impossible to find any city WITHOUT these intrusive roads. some of them may be narrower, but in large urban areas, urbanity is always compromised for the needs of vehicular transport.

dubai is auto-centric and does have an overall low density. these factors are much more important than simply just one wide road. you still need to applaud dubai's efforts to build PT (as opposed to most other places in the world), and despite the criticism of many on this thread, its famous nodes of high density skyscrapers are more favorable to PT use.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:29 PM   #436
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The Donaucity is built above the highway and therefore the highway is not visible nor acoustically a disturbance. I don't want to draw too many parallels as I know that also the Donaucity is quite different from the example in Dubai. Having that said, I am not a big fan of this part of Vienna, but at least they got the thing with the highway right.

I did not claim that the highway is splitting the city proper into two. It is however a large geographical barrier between the two sides of a major ultra dense high rise cluster. A sort of barrier that cities in developed countries (even in the US) are trying with lots of money to overcome again, at least partially.



You are constructing a straw man. I am not claiming it splits "the city" in two. I say its a large barrier in that new high rise cluster, one of the densest development areas in the entire city.

What exactly is your alternative? the SZR is the life of the city, if this road closed for one day, a major chunk of the city will become a nightmare to get to. Before you make comments about the city, please learn its limitations!!

Practically speaking, even if SZR is an eye sore, it will still remain the most important road in Dubai even after the metro opens. The simple reason for this is that like it or not, most of the new developments did develop around it because it was close to the coast and far enough away from the (real) desert!! we cannot suddenly get rid of it because we think it looks bad!!! that would effectively cripple the city!!

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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #437
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^that's what i was thinking. you're not going to close off FDR drive (and many other roads in every other large city) in manhattan either. and that's one hell of an eyesore too.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #438
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What exactly is your alternative? the SZR is the life of the city, if this road closed for one day, a major chunk of the city will become a nightmare to get to. Before you make comments about the city, please learn its limitations!!

Practically speaking, even if SZR is an eye sore, it will still remain the most important road in Dubai even after the metro opens. The simple reason for this is that like it or not, most of the new developments did develop around it because it was close to the coast and far enough away from the (real) desert!! we cannot suddenly get rid of it because we think it looks bad!!! that would effectively cripple the city!!
I did not claim that you could so easily get rid of it. Actually I agree with you that it is now hard to change much about it. I mean if Dubai would spend quite some money it could do something similar as Boston, build a plate about the part where the SZR leads through extremely dense areas (after all it would not be such a huge part of the SZR). I am not sure however if it would be rational to do so. I guess Dubai has just to live with it. It can however, and it should try improve the PT system continuously by doing so it will be able to contain traffic at least at todays levels even with further development going on. I think thats what the city is currently doing and I appreciate it. Its just that it comes at a rather late stage I ask myself if it would not have been more efficient and better if PT plans would have played an important role right from the start in all enlargement plans.

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^although the width of the road is an annoyance and does detract from pedestrian friendliness, its effect on dubai shouldn't be blown out of proportion. freeways mar the landscape of manhattan and hong kong too, but they don't stop those places from being 'urban'. it's basically impossible to find any city WITHOUT these intrusive roads. some of them may be narrower, but in large urban areas, urbanity is always compromised for the needs of vehicular transport.
Well but as far as I know in Manhattan for example the are largely banned to the periphery. Manhattan probably also has done pretty much all it could to reduce car traffic by running a pretty efficient massive PT system.

On a lighter note, I am lucky that Vienna is surprisingly little effected by highways in dense neighborhoods. Even if there are some examples they are pretty in the periphery.

Quote:
dubai is auto-centric and does have an overall low density. these factors are much more important than simply just one wide road. you still need to applaud dubai's efforts to build PT (as opposed to most other places in the world), and despite the criticism of many on this thread, its famous nodes of high density skyscrapers are more favorable to PT use.
Well I actually agree. I guess my small comment got bloated up out of proportions. Of course that single highway is not Dubais largest problem, I want to make that clear, that I don't believe that.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #439
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^the big dig is a money pit.

the existence of wide roads does not completely kill the urbanity of the areas around it. it's not great for aesthetics, but its impact should not be overstated either. i personally don't care if dubai's roads are in its famous area. every other city in the world has heavily trafficked roads. cities with the roads tucked away aren't necessarily better. they're just better at hiding them.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #440
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^the big dig is a money pit.

the existence of wide roads does not completely kill the urbanity of the areas around it. it's not great for aesthetics, but its impact should not be overstated either.
I do not agree. Areas next to highways normally experience a considerable drag down by the fact. They may still be successful - sometimes - but thats often nonetheless because of other factors that are stronger.

I have seen what happened to the formerly nice bourgouise neighborhoods around the western Gürtel in Vienna, and that was not even a highway. If it would have been transformed into one, as planned, you could have definitely forgot that area for good.

Quote:
i personally don't care if dubai's roads are in its famous area. every other city in the world has heavily trafficked roads. cities with the roads tucked away aren't necessarily better. they're just better at hiding them.
Well reducing traffic through PT and better efficiency is one side. Granting the people of a city better life of quality by reducing the effect traffic has on them is another side. I think both should be tried of course money plays a role thats no question. I am not saying one should start throwing money out of the windows (even though Dubai looked once like it could afford exactly that)
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