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Dubai-a new architectural destination with culture

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Dubai-modern city, architectural design

Dubai Architecture Gets Religion

Dubai, the Arabian kingdom best-known as a playground of the rich and famous, appears to be finding its spiritual side.  Yes, we are talking about the same municipality that hosts the world's first six-star hotel, along with an entire lagoon full of manmade, private islands built for billionaires.  But there's another side to Dubai, one that is moving beyond its trademark temples to the great god of capitalism.  Today, the government is turning to a higher authority, spending AED 23 million dollars to design and build a new religious institute in the "Academic City" located in Al Ruwayya.

Expected to be completed by August of 2009, the project could not be more different than Dubai's better-known architectural feats.  Unlike the 321-metre high Burj Al Arab Hotel, the religious institute's main building will rise a modest two stories, which will contain 28 classrooms to accommodate approximately 700 students.  The institute's architectural design will reflect on Dubai's traditional building heritage, which apparently does not include the giant flying sails and creatively-shaped islands that recently put the hotspot on the architectural map.  Does this mean the institute is destined for architectural obscurity?  We'll have to wait until next year's scheduled opening to find out.      

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