Aerial rendering of Burj Jumeira (all images courtesy Dubai Holding Media)

Aerial rendering of Burj Jumeira (all images courtesy Dubai Holding Media)

This week in dystopia, it appears that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, plans to leave his mark on the city in the form of a giant fingerprint. Designs for a 550-meter tower, Burj Jumeirah, in Dubai have been released by the Dubai Media Office, with the base of the building bearing the fingerprint of Sheikh Mohammed.

Rendering of Burj Jumeira

The building itself is oval-shaped, cut in two halves that meet in the middle, but aerial images show the building and surrounding area looking like a scene out of a dark, dystopian film. The fingerprint takes center-screen, with the building emerging out of the middle, like the evil headquarters for a cartoon movie villain. All around are some of Dubai’s other, smaller buildings, paling in comparison to the gargantuan structure in the middle. But even more odd is the coloring of the photo, with the streets and border of the fingerprint shaded in orange and red, as though the city itself, aside from the oddly-shaped tower, were engulfed in flames.

“The future is more spectacular than you think,” says a video released by the Dubai Media Office and posted on their Twitter page, with dramatic instrumental music playing in the background. In the first shot, a finger, presumably meant to be Sheikh Mohammed’s, can be seen pressing down on an electronic fingerprint machine, and the print is shown lit up from multiple angles on screen, before the building appears, almost as an afterthought.

Rendering of Burj Jumeira

Construction on the tower will begin immediately, with the first phase of the project set to complete in 2023. The building will be in the Al Sufough area of Dubai, close to Burj Al Arab, and the surrounding area will become a residential and commercial zone referred to as “Downtown Jumeira,” according to an article in CNN.

The site is set to become a major tourist attraction, with Sheikh Mohammed permanently marking his territory onto the city.

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Deena ElGenaidi

Deena ElGenaidi is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden in 2016, and her work has appeared in Longreads, Electric Literature,...

One reply on “Fingerprint of Dubai Ruler Becomes the Ominous Foundation of New Skyscraper”

  1. Dystopian is the word.
    We need Sam Beckett or Tom Wolfe or Juvenal to help understand this planned gesture.
    What matters more in life?
    Yet another grand fanciful futile exercise in mindless entertaining distraction?
    Or the kindness, civility of a stranger?

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