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« on: Oct 06, 2008 08:04 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

Amazing when you think how far up we can go but we’ll all end up six foot under…..

If the sky’s the limit, Nakheel is coming pretty close. Yesterday it announced plans to build a skyscraper more than a kilometre high, hundreds of metres more than the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai, which is just 10 minutes down the road.

The structure, which has been on the drawing board for more than three years, is to be the centrepiece of the Nakheel Harbour and Tower development. It will be built near the Ibn Battuta Mall on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Industry insiders have said that the tower, nicknamed Tall Tower, could reach 1.4 kilometres. That would make it almost double the projected 800 metres of Burj Dubai, and five times higher than the Burj Al Arab, the emirate’s iconic sail-shaped, seven-star hotel.

Nakheel, the Dubai Government’s property developer, declined to say how much the tower would cost or the overall value of the development. Designed by the Australian architects Woods Bagot, it is to include 40 other towers, between 20 and 90 floors each, a canal system and harbour.

“It will truly be a magnificent engineering feat,” said Chris O’Donnell, the chief executive of Nakheel.

Work on the tower’s foundations is already under way and is expected to take three years.

Nakheel will finance the development by pre-selling apartments and the 270 hectares of land surrounding the project, as well as bank loans, it said.

Despite the global credit crunch and a slowdown in financing for construction projects, Mr O’Donnell said Tall Tower would proceed because it was being developed over a decade.

“What’s happening globally is just a normal economic cycle,” he said. “There might be a slowdown but there definitely won’t be a crash as the fundamentals of the Middle East market are just too strong. A building project of this type was always going to take 10 years, and we will monitor the economic climate over that period when determining funding for the project.”

Mr O’Donnell added that the global economic slowdown would result in a more sophisticated investor. “Dubai has matured rapidly and property buyers are becoming increasingly discerning,” he said. “They will choose to buy property that is by the water, close to transport hubs or within an iconic project. In these times there will also be a flight to quality.”

Dubai’s property sector already has a number of world records to its name. The Burj Dubai, which is just under a year away from completion, set the record as the world’s tallest free-standing structure on Sept 12 last year when it surpassed the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. Seven months later, it took over the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota to become the tallest man-made structure on earth, while only three weeks ago it was announced that the Burj’s height was more than 688 metres, making it the tallest man-made structure ever built. The Burj will also feature the world’s fastest lift, rising and descending at 18 metres a second. Some 56 lifts will carry roughly 40 people at a time.

Palm Deira, which is also being developed by Nakheel, is destined to be the largest man-made island in the world, five times bigger than The Palm Jebel Ali and more than seven times bigger than the almost-finished Palm Jumeirah. Nakheel has said it will be half the size of Paris when completed.

Standing at the foot of the Burj Dubai in the emirate’s new downtown district is the Dubai Mall, which will surpass all its rivals to become the largest mall – and set a number of other records – when it opens on Oct 30. Providing 1.12 million square metres of floor space, the building will feature 10 to 15 smaller malls with 1,200 shops. The mall will also have the world’s largest aquarium and largest gold souk, with more than 200 retailers, a 79,000sq/m fashion island with 70 outlets dedicated to high-end clothing, a Les Galeries Lafayette department store – the first outside Europe – and an Olympic-sized ice skating rink.

But Nakheel could be outshone this week at Cityscape if Meraas Investment Company, the private equity firm of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announces the Dubai City Tower. That structure is rumoured to be 2.41km high, to be built in an area called “Vertical City”.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, kilometre-high towers are planned in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait’s City of Silk development.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2008 11:30 AM »


wow. does anyone remember the hadith about 'bedouin arabs competing over building the tallest buildings'

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "That slave women give birth to their mistresses; and that you see barefoot, unclothed, beginning shepherds competing in the construction of tall buildings." part of fuller hadith in sahih muslim.

Among the signs of the Hour mentioned by the Noble Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him and his Family and Companions - in Sahih al-Bukhari is "when the destitute (al-buhm) camelherds compete in building tall structures." Another version in al-Bukhari has: "when the barefoot and the naked are the top leaders (lit. "heads") of the people." In Sahih Muslim: "you shall see the barefoot, naked, indigent (al-`âla) shepherds compete in building tall structures." Another version in Muslim states: "when the naked and barefoot are the top leaders of the people." A third version in Muslim has: "when you see that the barefoot and naked, the deaf and dumb are the kings of the earth."

Ibn Hajar said in commenting this passage of the hadith in Fath al-Bari:

It was said that "bear-foot and naked," "deaf and dumb" are their attributes by way of hyperbole, showing how coarse they are. That is, they did not use their hearing or sight in anything concerning their Religion even though they are of perfectly sound senses. The Prophet's (saws) words: "The heads of the people" means the kings of the earth. Abu Farwas' narration names the kings explicitly. What is meant by them is the people of the desert country, as was made explicit in Sulayman al-Taymi's and other narrations: "Who are the barefoot and naked?" He answered: "The Bedouin Arabs."

Al-Tabarani relates through Abu Hamza, on the authority of Ibn `Abbas from the Prophet Muhammad, sallahu alayhi wa sallam, that "one of the signs of the change of the Religion is the affectation of eloquence by the rabble and their betaking to palaces in big cities."

Al-Qurtubi said: "What is meant here is the prediction of a reversal in society whereby the people of the desert country will take over the conduct of affairs and rule every region by force. They will become extremely rich and their primary concern will be to erect tall building and take pride in them. We have witnessed this in our time as well as the import of the hadith: "The hour will not rise until the happiest man will be the depraved son of a depraved father (lukka` ibn lukka`)," and also "if the leadership is entrusted to those unfit for it, then expect the hour," both found in the authentic collections."
« Reply #2 on: Oct 14, 2008 08:18 PM »

  Saudi Arabia to build world's tallest building
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 01:39
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A Saudi prince plans to build the world's tallest building at around 1,000 metres.

Al-Waleed bin Talal says the tower will be more than a kilometre high and will cost approximately $40bn to be built.

The tower will be built in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.

The world's tallest man-made structure is currently the Burj Dubai skyscraper in Dubai which is still under construction but already stands at more than 680 metres in height.

However, it is not yet known exactly how high the tower in Jeddah will be as Mr Al-Waleed is remaining tight-lipped about the details.

"I don't want to say [the exact height] right now," said the prince. To do so would give other developers a specific height to surpass, he explained, hinting at the race taking place in the Middle East to build the world's tallest building.

The building will, however, be more than a kilometre high and is part of a larger multibillion project to develop Jeddah.

The project, called Kingdom City, will span 23 million square metres and will include luxury homes, hotels and offices.

Prince Al-Waleed's business, Kingdom Holding Company, is in charge of the project.

Forbes estimates his personal fortune to be $21bn, making him the 19th richest man in the world.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2008 05:27 AM »

Salam Jannah

But we already know that the hour is near Smiley Look around us...we see fitnah widespread instead of 'amal. We see Muslims by the millions but we also see Islam being attacked. I feel sad, because the Prophet SAW said that when the hour is near, there will be many Muslims but we will be like the foams on waves. We will be weak and we disappear when the strong waves crash into shore. It scares me that I might be one of those foam, a'udzubillah.

This is definitely the time to reflect and repent.


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« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2008 02:42 PM »


Is it me, or can one see the entire hadith reflected in real life, or even being discussed on the threads on this forum as it has coem true?? Shocked

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "That slave women give birth to their mistresses; and that you see barefoot, unclothed, beginning shepherds competing in the construction of tall buildings." part of fuller hadith in sahih muslim.


And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 20, 2008 05:43 AM »

Building to the skys on the backs of slaves. This is so sad. And why are Muslims in the forefront of this? Just so wrong. Major reforms need to be made in the Muslim world. Anyone who thinks the Muslim world is perfect needs to read this. -- J.



'We need slaves to build monuments'

It is already home to the world's glitziest buildings, man-made islands and mega-malls - now Dubai plans to build the tallest tower. But behind the dizzying construction boom is an army of migrant labourers lured into a life of squalor and exploitation. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports

Workers sleep on the street in Dubai

The sun is setting and its dying rays cast triangles of light on to the bodies of the Indian workers. Two are washing themselves, scooping water from tubs in a small yard next to the labour camp's toilets. Others queue for their turn. One man stands stamping his feet in a bucket, turned into a human washing machine. The heat is suffocating and the sandy wind whips our faces. The sprinkles of water from men drying their clothes fall like welcome summer rain.

All around, a city of labour camps stretches out in the middle of the Arabian desert, a jumble of low, concrete barracks, corrugated iron, chicken-mesh walls, barbed wire, scrap metal, empty paint cans, rusted machinery and thousands of men with tired and gloomy faces.

I have left Dubai's spiralling towers, man-made islands and mega-malls behind and driven through the desert to the outskirts of the neighbouring city of Abu Dhabi. Turn right before the Zaha Hadid bridge, and a few hundred metres takes you to the heart of Mousafah, a ghetto-like neighbourhood of camps hidden away from the eyes of tourists. It is just one of many areas around the Gulf set aside for an army of labourers building the icons of architecture that are mushrooming all over the region.

Behind the showers, in a yard paved with metal sheets, a line of men stands silently in front of grease-blackened pans, preparing their dinner. Sweat rolls down their heads and necks, their soaked shirts stuck to their backs. A heavy smell of spices and body odour fills the air.

Next to a heap of rubbish, a man holds a plate containing his meal: a few chillies, an onion and three tomatoes, to be fried with spices and eaten with a piece of bread.

In a neighbouring camp, a group of Pakistani workers from north and south Waziristan sit exhaustedly sipping tea while one of them cooks outside. In the middle of the cramped room in which 10 men sleep, one worker in a filthy robe sits on the floor grinding garlic and onions with a mortar and pestle while staring into the void.

Hamidullah, a thin Afghan from Maydan, a village on the outskirts of Kabul, tells me: "I spent five years in Iran and one year here, and one year here feels like 10 years. When I left Afghanistan I thought I would be back in a few months, but now I don't know when I will be back." Another worker on a bunk bed next to him adds: "He called his home yesterday and they told him that three people from his village were killed in fighting. This is why we are here."

Hamidullah earns around 450 dirhams (£70) a month as a construction worker.

How is life, I ask.

"What life? We have no life here. We are prisoners. We wake up at five, arrive to work at seven and are back at the camp at nine in the evening, day in and day out."

Outside in the yard, another man sits on a chair made of salvaged wood, in front of a broken mirror, a plastic sheet wrapped around his neck, while the camp barber trims his thick beard. Despite the air of misery, tonight is a night of celebration. One of the men is back from a two-week break in his home village in Pakistan, bringing with him a big sack of rice, and is cooking pilau rice with meat. Rice is affordable at weekends only: already wretched incomes have been eroded by the weak dollar and rising food prices. "Life is worse now," one worker told me. "Before, we could get by on 140 dirhams [£22] a month; now we need 320 to 350."

The dozen or so men sit on newspapers advertising luxury watches, mobile phones and high-rise towers. When three plastic trays arrive, filled with yellowish rice and tiny cubes of meat, each offers the rare shreds of meat to his neighbours.

All of these men are part of a huge scam that is helping the construction boom in the Gulf. Like hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, they each paid more than £1,000 to employment agents in India and Pakistan. They were promised double the wages they are actually getting, plus plane tickets to visit their families once a year, but none of the men in the room had actually read their contract. Only two of them knew how to read.

"They lied to us," a worker with a long beard says. "They told us lies to bring us here. Some of us sold their land; others took big loans to come and work here."

Once they arrive in the United Arab Emirates, migrant workers are treated little better than cattle, with no access to healthcare and many other basic rights. The company that sponsors them holds on to their passports - and often a month or two of their wages to make sure that they keep working. And for this some will earn just 400 dirhams (£62) a month.

A group of construction engineers told me, with no apparent shame, that if a worker becomes too ill to work he will be sent home after a few days. "They are the cheapest commodity here. Steel, concrete, everything is up, but workers are the same."

As they eat, the men talk more about their lives. "My shift is eight hours and two overtime, but in reality we work 18 hours," one says. "The supervisors treat us like animals. I don't know if the owners [of the company] know."

"There is no war, and the police treat us well," another chips in, "but the salary is not good."

"That man hasn't been home for four years," says Ahmad, the chef for the night, pointing at a well-built young man. "He has no money to pay for the flight."

A steel worker says he doesn't know who is supposed to pay for his ticket back home. At the recruiting agency they told him it would be the construction company - but he didn't get anything in writing.

One experienced worker with spectacles and a prayer cap on his head tells me that things are much better than they used to be. Five years ago, when he first came, the company gave him nothing. There was no air conditioning in the room and sometimes no electricity. "Now, they give AC to each room and a mattress for each worker."

Immigrant workers have no right to form unions, but that didn't stop strikes and riots spreading across the region recently - something unheard of few years ago. Elsewhere in Mousafah, I encounter one of the very few illegal unions, where workers have established a form of underground insurance scheme, based on the tribal structure back home. "When we come here," one member of the scheme tells me, "we register with our tribal elders, and when one of us is injured and is sent home, or dies, the elders collect 30 dirhams from each of us and send the money home to his family."

In a way, the men at Mousafah are the lucky ones. Down in the Diera quarter of old Dubai, where many of the city's illegal workers live, 20 men are often crammed into one small room.

UN agencies estimate that there are up to 300,000 illegal workers in the emirates.

On another hot evening, hundreds of men congregate in filthy alleyways at the end of a day's work, sipping tea and sitting on broken chairs. One man rests his back on the handles of his pushcart, silently eating his dinner next to a huge pile of garbage.

In one of the houses, a man is hanging his laundry over the kitchen sink, a reeking smell coming from a nearby toilet. Next door, men lie on the floor. They tell me they are all illegal and they are scared and that I have to leave.

Outside, a fistfight breaks out between Pakistani workers and Sri Lankans.

The alleyways are dotted with sweatshops, where Indian men stay until late at night, bending over small tables sewing on beads.

A couple of miles away, the slave market becomes more ugly. Outside a glitzy hotel, with a marble and glass facade, dozens of prostitutes congregate according to their ethnic groups: Asians to the right, next to them Africans, and, on the left, blondes from the former Soviet Union. There are some Arab women. Iranians, I am told, are in great demand. They charge much higher prices and are found only in luxury hotels.

Like the rest of the Gulf region, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are being built by expat workers. They are strictly segregated, and a hierarchy worthy of previous centuries prevails.

At the top, floating around in their black or white robes, are the locals with their oil money. Immaculate and pampered, they own everything. Outside the "free zones", where the rules are looser, no one can start a business in the UAE without a partner from the emirates, who often does nothing apart from lending his name. No one can get a work permit without a local sponsor.

Under the locals come the western foreigners, the experts and advisers, making double the salaries they make back home, all tax free. Beneath them are the Arabs - Lebanese and Palestinians, Egyptians and Syrians. What unites these groups is a mixture of pretension and racism.

"Unrealistic things happen to your mind when you come here," a Lebanese woman who frequently visits Dubai tells me as she drives her new black SUV. "Suddenly, you can make $5,000 [£2,800] a month. You can get credit so easy, you buy the car of your dreams, you shop and you think it's a great bargain; when you go to dinner, you go to a hotel ... nowhere else can you live like this."

Down at the base of the pyramid are the labourers, waiters, hotel employees and unskilled workers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, the Philippines and beyond. They move deferentially around the huge malls, cafes, bars and restaurants, bowing down and calling people sir and madam. In the middle of the day, during the hottest hours, you can see them sleeping in public gardens under trees, or on the marble floors of the Dubai Mosque, on benches or pieces of cardboard on side streets. These are the victims of the racism that is not only flourishing in the UAE but is increasingly being exported to the rest of the Middle East. Sometimes it reminds you of the American south in the 1930s.

One evening in Abu Dhabi, I have dinner with my friend Ali, a charming Iraqi engineer whom I have known for two decades. After the meal, as his wife serves saffron-flavoured tea, he pushes back his chair and lights a cigar. We talk about stock markets, investment and the Middle East, and then the issue of race comes up.

"We will never use the new metro if it's not segregated," he tells me, referring to the state-of-the-art underground system being built in neighbouring Dubai. "We will never sit next to Indians and Pakistanis with their smell," his wife explains.

Not for the first time, I am told that while the immigrant workers are living in appalling conditions, they would be even worse off back home - as if poverty in one place can justify exploitation in the other.

"We need slaves," my friend says. "We need slaves to build monuments. Look who built the pyramids - they were slaves."

Sharla Musabih, a human rights campaigner who runs the City of Hope shelter for abused women, is familiar with such sentiments. "Once you get rich on the back of the poor," she says, "it's not easy to let go of that lifestyle. They are devaluing human beings," she says. "The workers might eat once a day back home, but they have their family around them, they have respect. They are not asking for a room in a hotel - all they are asking for is respect for their humanity."

Towards the end of another day, on a fabulous sandy beach near the Dubai marina, the waves wash calmly over the beautiful sand. A couple are paragliding over the blue sea; on the new islands, gigantic concrete structures stand like spaceships. As tourists laze on the beach, Filipino, Indian and Pakistani workers, stand silently watching from a dune, cut off from the holidaymakers by an invisible wall.

Behind them rise more brand-new towers.

"It's a Green Zone mentality," a young Arab working in IT tells me. "People come to make money. They live in bubbles. They all want to make as much money as possible and leave."

Back at the Mousafah camps, a Pakistani worker walks me through his neighbourhood. On both sides of the dusty lane stand concrete barracks and the familiar detritus: raw sewage, garbage, scrap metal. A man washes his car, and in a cage chickens flutter up and down.

We enter one of the rooms, flip-flops piled by the door.

Inside, a steelworker gets a pile of papers from a plastic envelope and shoves them into my lap. He is suing the company that employed him for unpaid wages. "I've been going to court for three months, and every time I go they tell me to come in two weeks." His friends nod their heads. "Last time the [company] lawyer told me, 'I am in the law here - you will not get anything."

Economically, Dubai has progressed a lot in the past 10 years, but socially it has stayed behind," says Musabih. "Labour conditions are like America in the 19th century - but that's not acceptable in the 21st century."
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