Dubai is Dead

Posted by Mark

Looks like a total meltdown over there. On the plus side, there will be less traffic and cheaper rent once it turns into a ghost town. Here is a link to a really harsh (but probably very true) article entitled “Goodbye Dubai”. [Link]

via Boing Boing


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50 comments, add your own...


  1. Realist says:

    Looks like many family businesses are going under in Kuwait. 2009 will certainly be a memorable year.

  2. 3azeez says:

    they were already overpriced. things will go back and become normal reasonable prices. this is natural cycle.

  3. Bashar says:

    Since I first visited it, I always thought Dubai is a timed bomb waiting to explode. Here goes. Happened much faster than expected

  4. zaydoun says:

    That article and the comments were spot on. Both for and against Dubai

  5. Nobu says:

    Remove the booze and Dubai is nothing.

  6. hilaliya says:

    Dubai is a schizophrenic city, on one side a glitzy marketing-driven nouveau riche entity that appeals to the worst aspects of Euro and Arab trash and on the other a city that more so often than not modernizes its internal processes via electronic govt, streamlining bureacracy, effective human resources elements in the private sector and government (education, environmental laws, municipality controls on food and safety etc).

    Even though the bubble has burst in Dubai, there is still much Kuwait can learn from the succesful implementation of an effective government bureacracy that serves people and not vice versa (i.e tax free zones, forming businesses in record time etc).

  7. wi-fi says:

    Kuwait will NEVER be like Dubai for one reason .. Democrasy .

  8. Marzouq says:

    I have to agree with Hilaliya on a few points..

    on the other hand, Dubai itself is setup for a full recovery once things get going again even though it might not be at the same rate. People need to realize that Dubai has built an excellent infrastructure which will always be there.

    I hope that things shape up and they get back on their saddle

  9. BoBader says:

    Bye bye Dubai.

  10. Kataku says:

    When things go up, they’re bound to come down at some point. When a bubble over-inflates, you will anticipate its burst any moment. And then things get rolling back up again and again until another bubble forms. Its called a “Correction”.

    “Dubai is Dead” .. That’s the funniest thing I heard today. It’s just correcting!!! So people, just wait for the right chance to buy low.

  11. Dubai says:

    There was a real estate speculative bubble that expanded rapidly in Dubai, in the past 1-2 years especially. The global economic turmoil has helped to pop that bubble (and about time too) but that’s not the end of Dubai. Dubai was in business before the recent property boom and will continue, although there might be some pain. Foreign press articles that get their facts wrong are just as unhelpful as local press trying to avoid negative reporting. Funny that Markus Giebel is now a “Real Estate Agent”. He used to be the head of a large Dubai property developer. I wonder if he knows of his demotion.

  12. rad-dude81 says:

    Whoa! I never thought Dubai would implode from the first hit. That shows you that you cannot judge a book by its cover. A lot of Kuwaitis wanted Kuwait to follow suit of what Dubai did in the last 10 years in terms of attracting foreign investors and easing off the red-tape. I guess, Dubai’s economy depended heavily on foreign investment, which is quite the opposite of Kuwait’s case as the latter depends on oil.

    Hopefully, they’ll recover. However, I still think that things were crazy there with the overpriced real estate and all. It might take time.

  13. Mr.pedro says:

    i would end up buying a villa in Palms if they dropped the price to 9mill dirhams

  14. ISF-Man (ALD) says:

    The bubble is bursting. as expected

  15. Zorbon says:

    Honestly, I think that article is not worth the bytes typed…
    It is more of a personal grudge.

    I have been in Dubai ONCE only…and I would probably visit it again as a tourist, but would never live there. But that does not mean that it is a true example of how anything can be done “WITHOUT sex, drugs and rock n’ roll”.

    Yes, the real estate bubble is bursting hard, same as everywhere else on the globe… Beleive you me, if Dubai falls, Vegas WILL follow… they connected by this world economic catastrophe.

    The end may be at hand for Dubai…But what this person wrote is more out of his hate and despise…Nothing else.

  16. Lucky_Boy says:

    I hope Dubai recover from this one day. And when they do they better start realize that the idea of becoming the ME financial center is a joke for a state that has no reliable income. Focus more on the tourism potential they have and less blowing money on projects that will turn into ghost towns.

  17. Rasha AlMutawa says:

    Interesting how all of you are such experts on our country’s rise and fall when you aren’t even here to see it! Right on with the genius comments!! =D

  18. ohyeah says:

    this will slow down the process of dubai development (and i think it was very fast before!!) but for sure they will recover because UAE is rich country in the first place and still the have great infrastructure which can be used in the future

  19. Realist says:

    Great cities are those that are build on social struggles with “naturalized” citizens as it’s base not bengali construction workers, not german real estate agents, not russian hookers, not palestinian engineers, not lebanese managers, not english architects!

    I suggest everyone watches the PBS documentary New York to get a better idea of how great cities form.

  20. Danielle says:

    I just moved back to Dubai from Kuwait after 2 years being away- it’s way more crowded than in 2006- the malls are still full- traffic is still bad- yes, there is truth to the matter economically and real estate wide- but those articles are hyperbole at the same time.

  21. nyx says:

    Haw haw! Just one of the reasons I prefer Kuwait to Dubai.

  22. roxas says:

    LOL lets buy a mansion when its a ghost country:P

  23. holla says:

    This is awesome news, Dubai will be cool to go to now!

  24. Q80Warlock says:

    Dubai needs to go back to the roots, as a commercial trading capital and a not a piece of land that anybody with millions of $$$ can buy.

  25. holla says:

    BTW that article is awesome. An extremely good argument on both sides, Admin vs Tom s.

  26. fadibou says:

    Dubai didn’t start in 2003, the project started mid 80s and this is just a hickup. You have to see things beyond the entertainment and the booze.

    Dubai remains the only place in the gulf where a human is treated on par with the locals and is given his basic right to live, work and create.
    Some people are madly envious of the idea and forget to look at the place they come from or the palce that they live in.

    The idiot who wrote this must be the most envious person on the planet. Probably living in Afghanistan or even worse. Probably never made cash from the real estate or worse, bet his savings on it and greedily was waiting for something more than 6X his/her capital.

    Out of most of the comments here, I think Marzouq (#8) which is not surpirising, made the best comment.

    I have lived in Dubai for the past 14 years and I have seen the transformation of the city, it is passing through a tough time, BUT WHO ISN’T ?

    FYI:
    I still pass through traffic to go home
    I am still waiting for house prices to fall down so i can buy one.
    I know 10 people who lost their jobs, only one of them is still jobless
    I couldn’t find a parking spot in Mall of the Emirates on friday and saturday
    I am in the airport right now and can’t find a place on the flight to Dubai.
    First empty seat is on the 10pm flight

  27. TweeZ says:

    @ wi-fi

    Why do we always strive to be “like” something? Why can’t we be better?

    That aside, you think that what Dubai has done to itself is bad? To the contrary, I can;t think of a another place on this planet that has put itself on the map and opened its doors for investment oppurtunities like Dubai.

    But I have to give you credit for your suggestion.

  28. desertsky says:

    If all the oil in the Middle East were depleted,Dubai would be the only city in the region to sustain its economy.

  29. Queen Bee says:

    Goodbye Dubai- hello Kuwait?

  30. fadibou says:

    to Wi-fi

    Its Democracy and not Democrasy
    and do you know in the UAE they elect the parliament just like you do and they have many women in their parliament.

    As for Kuwait, we all hope it can be like Dubai or even better.
    But you will never be better if you just watch Dubai and make fun of what they achieved and you are doing nothing. The smart thing is to learn from their mistakes and avoid them.

  31. ~LE~ says:

    Hmmmm…perfect time to go villa shopping I guess..

  32. James says:

    It’s called a global economical crisis for a reason, even almighty dubai is going to suffer. I dont see why the writer of the BIAST article specifically pin-pointed dubai when the crashing american, canadian, british, japanese etc.real estate markets are in fact doing just as bad. Simply put, its a knee-jerk reaction that will fade with time. And when all is done and over, dubai will prosper again as investors and tourists will flock back and in the long-term run the uae will be more than fine especially when we compare it to its neighboring countries and see that its economy does not soley rely on oil exportation like the majority of the gulf countries. As a matter of fact, I plan to buy a condo there in the following month or two and take advantage of the real estate price decline.

    @fadibou

    “Dubai remains the only place in the gulf where a human is treated on par with the locals and is given his basic right to live, work and create.”

    Couldnt agree more.

  33. Khaled says:

    I found this article very true, a bit exaggerated though. Dubai is not going to collapse, things are bad now everywhere, and as they improve things in Dubai will also improve. I”m pretty sure that it will never be the same as before thought .. and that is just normal … because the boom that was going on in Dubai in the past few years was just insane ..

  34. nyx says:

    What goes up must come down!

  35. nyx says:

    @31 Fadibou:
    I think wi-fi’s pun was intended. Democracy is indeed crassy (crass) nowadays.
    wi-fi: one helluva word coined. Democra”s”y, Ha ha!

  36. sfsa78 says:

    This is happening all over the world.. its a global economic crisis for godness sakes.

  37. desertsky says:

    @ nyx.There’s a big difference between being witty and being dyslexic.

  38. fadibou says:

    I asked an Omani friend on what he thinks are the effects of the crisis on his country, he replied “We never went up to go down !!!”

  39. nyx says:

    dsrtksy: Cnat Hlep ti!

  40. TI3GIB says:

    I don’t think Dubai has anything to worry over. The real estate market boomed out of money laundering and prostitution rings. These people love and want their money, so money being pumped into Dubai is not likely to stop.

    The western media should stop their scaremongering. The recession in Europe and the states isn’t universal yet.

  41. TweeZ says:

    @ TI3GIB

    lol, come on man! The real estate market boomed in Dubai boomed because expats could own land and run their own businesses. How?Basicaly, Dubai does not have the kafeel policy.

  42. nyx says:

    Dubai doesnt have a kafeel policy. Agreed! But owning property doesnt actually qualifies you get life long residency.
    Plus owning property in the UAE or for that matter even Kuwait is on a 99 year lease with the state, not freehold unlike other nations who offer this sop.
    And if you dig deeper you are going to find that majority of home owners e.g. Europeans and other nationals who own property in Dubai are the neuve riche. Recently aflush with tch tching and have certainly no class.

    When it comes to Business’, one certainly requires an Emirati to sponsor it whatever the partnership agreement maybe.

  43. fahad says:

    some thing unbelievable..sure prices will never stay the same..who is the crazy to spend all this money on a tiny small apartment !! what is happening is normal ..what was happening was up normal .I think prices should come back again to normal.Prices so far are still high..but with the comparison of the prices before the crises !!..it is right went down..the prices should go down 20-40% of the recent prices .at least to form the right and logical prices in the area. !!! it is global crises it might be good for normal people !!!! the people who work and wait for their salaries to the end of the month .. to live and survive with their families.

  44. moocherx says:

    She says “there are plenty of bargains right now”. No, there aren’t. The 800,000 euros would buy a good 200m2 apartment in Paris. And that’s Paris, not.. well, Dubai. Prices have gone down 10%? Even at 50% I’d only barely consider the place worth buying.

  45. fadibou says:

    Prices have gone down, but all indications are they will still go down lower.

    3 Bed villa in springs:

    launch price 650 K Dhs
    2006 price is 2.3 M Dhs
    2008 Oct Price is 3.5 M Dhs
    current price is 2.1 M Dhs
    Current cost of Construction is 1.1 M Dhs

    Almost everyone is taking my approach of waiting to see prices go down more, which is further sinking the market.

    The cost of construction has gone down by 65% which puts any new project at a very competitive edge.

  46. aishah says:

    I own land in the palm Jebel Ali before the global economic crisis i was frequently called(like everyday) to sell them for around 6.5MDHS when i bought the house for 2.4M today the houses are back to the selling price of 2.4 and yes there are buyers!! alot actually are asking for this price. but i also have an apartment in London and guess what the prices have gone down alot didnt ask but what i heard it was like 30 to 50 percnt depending on location; even the price of my house in dubai has gone down!!! No its not dubai thats in trouble the whole world is!!
    but you know what the difference between Dubai and Kuwait that makes me feel safe investing in it rather than my hometown?? Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid A.K.A the Government of Dubai knows that he is having problems and is working on solving them on the other hand Kuwait mayadroon wain allah ga6hom :P

  47. Lisan says:

    im not religious or anything but i think there was something in there about not building your house on sand :/

    the wealth in dubai is not real, its flash. real wealth is having a house on a piece of land with tenant farmers who till it for you, living off the grid. because most arab countries dont allow usury because of their religion they ducked a lot of this mess, not all of it, dubai is near death because the old money is moving from petrodollars to aquadollars, water will be the new oil,

    dubai is just overly planned and artificial everyone left because they had no roots, dubai needs people with roots, families and not just a bunch of clubhopping accountants who pay for female attention also the getting locked up in debtor’s prison spells “get outta dodge” unlike anything else, Kuwait is like someone’s ancestral home, dubai is like their long island apartment

  48. tariq syed says:

    People who are talented, enterprising, intelligent, and equally understanding will find that no where else on the planet there is a place like Dubai, that lets you what you wanna be. I have lived here for past 14 years, and experienced travelling across three continents, europe, africa and most of the hong kongs in all of asia, but no one really learns one thing: how to make things work with limited resources that dont depend upon petro dollar. Dubai today is a miracle formula that has allowed others to grow and envision development. A perfect leadership. Its not that economy is doomed, its people who have doomed with their short term vision. The potential in Dubai remains where it has always been, the sky is the limit.

  49. rakesh says:

    dubai will not recover until 2015.the development in dubai was very fast.dubai mainly depends on trading and tourism.and if dubai wants to recover they will have to bring the tourist back.tourist come for enjoyment.what type of enjoyment you get in a desert?


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