"But the Astana skyline still looks more surreal than real - with its marble palaces, shining skyscrapers, metal structures and abstract statues, all surrounded by vast, snow covered emptiness."
After this huge glass tent is built, this capital city will look even more surreal than now. Technologically, it may be a huge achievement to build it and some claim it is to change the image of Kazakhstan as a poor and backwater country. Supposedly its aim also is to show that this country is not as primitive seen in the "Borat" movie but whether this is going to be achieved in this way is debatable. No-nonsense and pragmatical approach would work fine. How practical is it though to build a huge expensive glass dome in a desert called the capital when people in other parts of this country are poor? No doubt they are poor villages in Kazakhstan.
Money spent on this project comes from oil industry. Still, the decision to spend it this way was made by the president. I would like to know what the ordinary Kazakh people think about it. Those in Astana may be happy to use the dome but then make the president build such domes in other Kazakh cities too.
I find Dubai projects more appealing somehow.