Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dubai Buy Bye

It did always strike me as a bit of a strange place, Dubai. But I always thought it was going to be the petrochemical industry's version of Brasilia: The people in charge find a spot in the middle of nowhere and declare, "This is where it all will happen." Their employees don't have a choice and go obligingly to the middle of nowhere and get to work.

Apparently not.

Apparently, Dubai was supposed to be the Muslim world's version of Las Vegas: Get rich people to come out to the middle of the desert to have fun and spend vast quantities of money. Only with no gambling, no prostitutes... no real expectation of any kind of off-the-wall "what happens in Dubai stays in Dubai" experiences.


What Dubai actually is... or was: Branson, Missouri for billionaires.

This article sums it up nicely:
Dubai is a place for the shallow and fickle. Tabloid celebrities and worn out sports stars are sponsored by swollen faced, botox injected, perma-tanned European property developers to encourage the type of people who are impressed by fame itself, rather than what originated it, to inhabit pastiche Mediterranean villas on fake islands. Its a grotesquely leveraged version of time-share where people are sold a life in the same way as being peddled a set of steak knives.
Now the Dubai real estate market is crashing in a big way. Investors and homeowners are literally fleeing the country as they realize that they face jail time if they default on their mortgages. It'll probably become the world's biggest ghost town (putting the 213,000 Filipinos living there out of work). The nice thing is that apartments in the world's tallest building (twice as tall as the Sears Tower), the Burj Dubai, may actually become affordable.

By the way, here's an excellent forecast by some economic experts about what to expect from the worldwide economy over the next decade. It ain't pretty.

1 comment:

Issarat said...

Fasinating article and it seems to be very accurate.
In my opinion; if the USA is to lead the world in a financial turnaround (as the article suggests) what is needed is a strong leader (Mr. Obama) to come out and TELL the public what to do. The citizens are financialy illiterate and just need to be pointed in the right direction more than a blanket political statement that says "buy american".