The modern tourist resort is by definition a constructed one. The tourist’s perception seems to have shifted away from the pictorial 18th century: there is no longer the desire for the panoramic view. The excessively visual contemporary culture has made everything look familiar. Contemporary tourists are looking for familiarity: they want to feel at home in a strange place.
This has led to concentrated tourist infrastructures and mega-structure complexes (containing hotel + apartments + mall + cinema + expo + anything goes), which are clustered together. In this sense, architecture and landscape are part of a single system, characterized by stratification and controlled spatial experience.
_In Dubai there is little difference between holiday accommodation and housing. Architectural programs are becoming fused and undifferentiated. The morphology of the landscape and seascape is becoming fabricated to the point that it may soon be difficult to differentiate between the natural and the constructed. Dubai’s natural beachfront is 45km long. Artificial islands will add another 1,500km of beachfront, turning the coastline and the city into an inexhaustible holiday resort. This constructed landscape, like a stage set, provides edited scenes of adventure and entertainment. _
Extract from the essay titled Dubai: Photoshop Urbanism by George
above: CNN interview