Map Middle East 2006 was held this year in Dubai, which I discovered is one of the most remarkable places in the world. First of all it has literally risen out of the desert in the last ten years. Everywhere you look there is construction. If you look closely at this picture, you'll notice that every one of the buildings in the distance is surrounded by cranes because all are under construction. There is a shortage of office space and residential space, and buildings are going up at a phenomenal rate. One evening Haris Kurtagic, GM of SL-King and an Autodesk partner, and I went to the Dubai Marina for dinner, and not only was there a major building under construction every direction you looked, but at 22:00 at night construction was continuing at all of these sites. It looks like construction is 24 x 7 in Dubai. An incredible statistic that I heard was that right now over 15% of the world's cranes are in Dubai.
The result is a skyline that changes nightly. At Map Middle East Haris and I were fortunate to meet Rana Mostafa Mnini who is In-charge of the drawing offices of the Health and Medical Services Department of the Government of Dubai and an Autodesk user. Rana explained that one of the reasons that makes it possible for buildings to go up at this frenetic pace is incredible pressure to deliver and that a critical part of this are reliable design tools that enable people to be productive.