November 26th, 2009
01:52 PM GMT
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The old adage, “timing is everything” certainly rings true with the request by the Dubai Government for a standstill on payments by Dubai World for a period of a half year.

Investor confidence in Dubai, exemplified by developments like the palm islands, has been shaken.
Investor confidence in Dubai, exemplified by developments like the palm islands, has been shaken.

As timing goes, it was curious at best, coming just before the Eid el Adha holidays in the region and the long Thanksgiving break in the United States. Adding to the intrigue is that Dubai successfully raised $5 billion in a bond offering taken up by two Abu Dhabi government controlled banks the same day

This left investors scratching their heads wondering what the motivation was. I spoke to a number of fund managers and bankers with investments in the Emirate and, like most politics in the region, there is more to it than meets the eye.

As one fund manager said,  Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE, is playing hardball. He is out to “teach a lessons to his boys.” His “boys” are the names which have become well-known power brokers in the build up of Dubai Inc. over the past two decades.

It has been a busy week for Dubai Inc.

Sheikh Mohammed cleared out his advisory board at the Investment Corporation of Dubai and pushed out the respected head of the Dubai International Financial Center who also served as Vice Governor of the UAE Central Bank.

The names on his advisory board included Sultan Bin Sulayem the Chairman of Dubai World and its property arm Nakheel. This I am certain was not an easy move by the Ruler.

Dubai’s rapid development was closely linked to the Palm and World property developments. I am sure we have all looked at their images offshore on Google earth at least once. Dubai World was also the force behind the high profile dust up in Washington with the P&O ports buyout.

Many I spoke to believe Dubai World is being singled out for good reason. Of the total $80 billion debt on the books, $59 billion of that comes under its leaky umbrella.

In fact, others within Sheikh Mohammed’s inner circle seemed to think it is only right for Dubai World to clean up their books like everyone else has been asked to do. That task is underway today with the help of accountancy firm Deloitte.

The other question being raised amongst global investors is the level of bench strength for Sheikh Mohammed or who he is turning to during this shake-up. Names at the forefront today include Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of Dubai Ruler's court and Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

They were in Sheikh Mohammed's delegation during this week’s visit to London and the response to their moves has been positive so far, according to bankers and investors I spoke with.

There is a sense of irony after what has gone on this week. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown congratulated the Dubai ruler for the actions taken to respond to the debt challenges during the bi-lateral meeting. It is something the PM knows a great deal about, with U.K. government debt soaring to 12 percent of GDP.

That nod of goodwill came before Dubai’s request for a standstill agreement, and left investors wondering what is next.  As one regional economist said this was a “disappointment in a way.” Dubai Inc. had cleared all the hurdles on the path to recovery but appears to have stumbled on this one.

soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Taras

    Just visted Dubai Oct 19th. It is a virtual ghost town. Very little traffic on the roads, no lights on in many resident apartments in the early evenings, etc. $1000 dollar rooms going for a few hundred less and companies moving out in droves. The busiest place is the airport mostly due to the Emirates hub.

    I suspect, the high flying Dubai companies have been put on notice by the many western financial institutions that brokered the infrastructure builds known as " build it and they will come". Rumour has it oil revenues have been dismal for the Sheiks and and not only was it over priced, but nothing there to go but second class treatment.

    What makes a desirable destination is friendly local people and a friendly envirornment . They had to import the first (all the service workers) and tried to buy and artifically provide the second.

    November 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  2. Jon Reece

    Dubai: just a lot of hot air! No wonder it sinks back into the sand.

    November 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Vincent

    these guys are spending fortunes on prestige buildings and do not produce wonder they find themselves in such a situation!

    by the way, is uk debt 12 or 120 percents of gdp?

    November 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  4. P Sundaramurthy

    This is not out of the Blue. When ? was the only question. Big bubble theory is a chain reaction in today's world economy. However, recovery more depends on the investors psychology and patience rather than anything else. It may be disappointing and painful but the need of the hour is to stand together and look for a win-win situation at a later date. Otherwise signalling from the investors will crash everything leaving to guess everyone about the final result.

    November 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  5. Robertneo

    The only safe haven is gold and silver. USA dollar and bond? Wake up!

    November 27, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  6. sam

    Agree with Vincent.The emirates have lots of money (used to be ) but little grey matters.God have shown them that prestige and money counts for nothing if they do not help their brothers in need of help.I for one will not shed a tear for them if they go down.

    November 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  7. Saeed Al Mehairbi

    Arab will not let Dubai to go back into the sand. Dubai Learn thier leasson and be sure we will back in better way. Because Money is everything and we have money. H H Sheikh Kalifa Al Nahyan will build U.A.E. once again.

    November 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  8. Mark

    Saeed Al Mehairbi, you need to get your acts right. The Arab countries have only oil , nothing else wait till the oil dries up and you guys will be in deep trouble. And Money is not everything , since you guys gave importance only to money and treat the other people like slaves , especially the talented Asians who have built your country thats why Dubai is in deep trouble.

    All I can say is,all the best Dubai.Hope you recover,which I doubt.

    November 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  9. vt_yousef

    Media made a big fuss over this debt situation...Dubai is a wonderful, one of a kind modern city captured in a bad situation (hick up)...Dubai's sister (oil rich) emirate Abu Dhabi and neighboring strategic partners will bail it and we will hear the news soon!

    November 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  10. Yunus Dohadwala

    Don't be in a hurry to write off the Dubai Inc. Dubai will come out stronger from this crisis. It is a great city with plenty of entrepreneur skills. It has encouraged risk taking and has rewarded hard work. Like everything else in life, you cannot expect to win all races. But the true leaders learn from failures and go on to score bigger victories.

    November 28, 2009 at 4:30 am |
  11. Terry

    In response to Taras – Dubai is not a ghost town. I live there and have lived there for the last 14 years. Traffic is as crazy as ever. Like every where else in the world Dubai has been affected by the global crises. But it will come through. Many people just want to see Dubai crash! I don't know why. Hotels are busy – definitely not as expensive as years past – but busy anyway. Restaurants are full, and life goes on. It's tragic that so many people have lost their jobs and have had to go back to their home countries – but job loss has happened every where.

    November 28, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  12. barrycollin

    If Dubai is smart they will turn their Emirate into an innovation nexus, bringing together brilliant minds from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and throughout the world. Use some of that amazing housing to motivate the world’s best people to work, develop, design, and innovate in Dubai. Not for the indoor skiing, but for the opportunity to create something great in a work culture like no other in the world.

    I’m not talking about the various technical centers already in place — the need is for a unique innovation nexus that spans all sciences, mathematics and technologies so they literally cannot be pigeon-holed into Internet, Media, or Studio Cities (free economic zones). With a completely new approach to designing an omni- and cross-disciplined innovation nexus with “discipline diversity” and an entirely commercial orientation, there would be little need to fear about oil — or hotel — revenue. The Middle East needs a center like that to compete with centers in the West and emerging centers in the Far East.

    Over the next perhaps 100 years — and truly indefinitely — there will be an increasing need for innovation to solve problems at the individual, community, national and global levels. By assembling a cross-section of the world’s brightest seasoned and new minds, enormous heights can be reached. And that will be most profitable indeed.

    Oil will run out, and hotel rooms will be empty as the next “hot” region comes into play. But building Dubai into an innovation nexus is something that would feed and grow itself — without eating its own tail. All while creating fortunes for those involved.

    The "tallest building" will never be the real draw Dubai needs now that the global downturn has changed perceptions of what is “reasonable.” This recession is rather unique whereby the super-wealthy have seriously cut back — devastating for any ultra-premium location.

    There is an amazing opportunity here for Dubai — but like any company, they will have to focus on need and value. Only that will build the Emirate — and any company — into all it can and should be.

    This same logic applies to any company now that is willing to look beyond old plans and see where they can change themselves, change their plans, and change the world.

    November 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  13. Ajai D' Silva

    For many years Dubai has provided a good life to the people who have put their hard work into its growth. For those who where driven by greed it has given them their just desert.

    I believe this to be a correction that is driven by global forces and is justified when one looks at the long term health of the regions economy. The people of Dubai (Locals and Expat) strongly believe that the values that drive Dubai are sound and will continue to its goal as the Hub of the Middle East.

    To Taras: I’m in one of the malls of Dubai as I write this comment. "ghost town" you must be in the wrong part of town !!

    November 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  14. DFB

    What does Dubai produce besides services? There is no middle class from which every society gains its affluence. There are the rich and the imported work force. You cannot do a manufacturing business on another continent and expect to be able to control your business from Dubai. Dubai World is a commercial mirage build on sand and without sustaining substance.

    November 28, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  15. Prarthana K

    I think people are taking this news to get back at Dubai for whatever the reasons. It is true a correction in the real estate sector was inevitable and what we are now seeing is the domino effect. They are is nothing wrong with the way Sheikh Mohamed built this country, his visions were strategic and achievable. There can never be development espcially in this nature without a hiccup or two.

    For those who say it is a ghost town please leave us alone for sometime. There are many professionals both locals and expats who will bring back the glory of Dubai and when it happens it will of course be bigger and better.

    November 29, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  16. Darwin

    Dubai's mid-term and long-term strategy pivoted on turning the emirate to what amounts to an extensive theme park in hopes of changing its economy to one more oriented to tourism. It has been called a Disney Land... but Walt Disney apparently had a better grasp of economics than these people, Walt Disney's business plan was to make the proletariat (who are many) feel like kings... for a reasonable fee . These people are trying a reverse strategy of catering to the elites (who are few) while supported by exhorbitant prices...

    Whether they pump more oil from the well and fix their accounting problems is independent of the fact that there is, never was, and never will be enough demand for the "product" they have over-supplied at the price they market. This is a structural flaw in their economic strategy and the end result will be a city full of empty towers.

    November 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  17. Vincent

    Ahlan, ya Saeed! Indeed, you do have money in plenty. And I do feel you could do much more for the world with it...

    Gulf states store hundreds of billions of dollars (or euros, or whatever) in their sovereign funds, yet when it comes to spending for development, food aid, human rights or so, it is always the U.S. and the E.U. – the so-called "rich countries" – who lay the cash.

    To me, your vision is cynical and egoistic. You could change the world for the better but do not seem to have the slightest interest in doing so.

    November 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  18. bill

    Maybe asmentioned that the Arabs will not let Dubai sink for the meantime..But the big question is, Who will kep up with the huge maintanance cost of all the structures...

    November 29, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  19. Moha AbuAjamieh

    I think all people who visited Dubai liked this city, it have all of all. Vincent, they work hardly. This development didn't come out of nothing, I do not think you know Dubai well. Thanks.

    November 30, 2009 at 12:42 am |
  20. Helen

    In this global community, no matter how rich and powerful we are, we can’t survive well without the others. If there is a problem somewhere in the earth, it will affect our life finally. The impact speed is faster than before as technology advanced. So please support my action of saving the world! I wish that I’ll get invitation of White House and make the speech for the congress people and senators ASAP for all government-run businesses issues. You may read my new book in Google books (100% viewable):

    November 30, 2009 at 6:42 am |
  21. Mohammad Al Ghandi

    dubai is a model city for middle eastern countries everybody following its path, dubai is too big now to fall, gcc wont allow it for sure, and the people who live in dubai either together with expats and locals, this city provide jobs to millions of workers from different continents, when your going to take a look at the real estate situation in dubai i think the main stream media made it worst but in real life you will see its not that bad at all you can find dubai property for sale on there are lots of listing the price stand still some are nakheel properties the one who has like 60billion debt, anyways nakheel is not dubai

    November 30, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  22. Moustafa Amin

    I really love Mr. John Defterios show but i had one small comment today you said that the stock market in Egypt is closed which is not true because its open and losing 6% since of some companies in Egypt work in UAE. Hope this comment is useful :D

    November 30, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  23. Imran Khan

    Being a resident for more than 30 years of Dubai. I have seen it grow from a sleepy town to a mark on the world map. The growth that I have seen in the last few years in this city had even me fazed.

    The vision by the leader of Dubai was great and it was working well. People from all around the world started investing, buying up assests, parking their funds, etc. And I was feeling left out with all the new money, lavish spending, great escapades,etc.

    Well the global crisis came and affected the most affuent economy of the world i.e. US and boom we have the trickling effect. So i see it as no one was prepared for the downturn or even planned a contingency if things went sour.

    Well now we all stare at this reality and I think the emirate will bounce back but ofcourse not the same way but it will be slow and steady.
    I wish the ruler and its people all the sucess and pray that they emerege out of this crisis soon.

    P.S. the government of Dubai should be more transparent with its citizens on whats happening so every one can stop panicking!

    November 30, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  24. Satish Kumar

    Greed I call is the main reason for whole of todays casue , but it should start from a very comon man , a building worker to grocery , to cafteria , supermarket , arab landlords and then some sindhi money mafias, and Goras selling dreams ,fake real estate companies , all this could have been taken with realty for future vision ther could have been some good sense. but the greed smoked everyones eyes, the realty truned in relative chain reaction , the after effects of which is still to reverse flow , when many will losse jobs , real estate companies will shut down , rents will crash , tenents would exit, grocers and cafetarias will die , and back to square one , Dreams with open eyes turning to dust.

    November 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  25. Moustafa Amin

    Thanks for showing it :D

    November 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  26. JPM

    Leave aside debt fiasco which will be definitely sorted out to the satisfaction of all concerned, Dubai, UAE is the best place to live. All the shopping malls, restaurants, cinema halls, parks, night clubs are full. You need good time to find a parking place. Everything is available and reasonably priced. No taxes. No interference. . All nationalities are living in harmony. There is no fear, no fraud, hardly any crime with common men/women. People respect each other's feelings. Expats living here find it like heaven, whether they are westerns or easterns. Anybody criticising Dubai, UAE should experience Dubai, UAE so their eyes are opened and mouth shut.....

    November 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  27. Ayman Ragai

    I surely wish Dubai will recover and I do believe it will. The bailout will however come at quite a painful cost. I won't be surprised to see Dubai World becoming Saudi World or Kuwait World. It won't be at all surprising to see a bidding war for Dubai's assets involving Abu Dhabi, Saudi, Qatari and Kuwaiti money. The money will come and Dubai will be bailed out but they will have to pay the price for many many years of excesses.

    December 1, 2009 at 6:13 am |
  28. sakkel

    Pleas stop the blaming,

    Being the part of this great nation, UAE, it is not fair to criticize each and everything. It is reflection of global financial meltdown .considering the fact that heavy rely on real estate project, we should not ignore other infrastructural movements done by Dubai. Trade and tourism still not dried out.
    In addition, all above the hope of the people who come all they from different part of the world for substance?
    Giving an opinion here and there on past and mistake easiest way to be a smart boy.

    This is the time get-together and think and act retrieve from the situation, not make the people panic.

    Do not forget Dubai is part of UAE not an isolated nation.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  29. Cooldude

    You cannot take away what was built in the last 10-20 years from Dubai. It was aggressive, determined and focussed.

    Dubai Metro, Emirates airline/airport, Dubai as a travel hub, Burj Al Arab, Burj dubai, the Palm etc etc. It is a great achievement. Can you guys name any other country that has done this?

    The recession is the main culprit here. Of course there was a real estate correction that was also long overdue. But all that aside, Dubai has come a long way due to Sheikh Mohammed's vision. He has put Dubai on the world map. People want to see, visit, live in Dubai. Most expats who work here call it their home.

    I am sure Dubai will come back stronger than before. It just takes patience and determination.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  30. krishan alexander

    The cause for all of this is greed nothing else. Dubai should have proper regulations for any industry operating in the country. Where there is no regulation it is inevitable that a bubble will form destroying the hard work people have put in.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  31. david

    I am really tried of all the westners complaining that the UAE treats asian workers like slaves, France treats Arab immigrants like slaves, the US treats mexicans immigrants like dirt , Spain treats africans badly,the UK is only country I visited which offers equal opportunities for all ethnicities.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm |
  32. Louis Tango POH

    today’s global financial and economy situations,
    both governments and business organizations,
    should strongly consider
    strategic crisis (long term) management and implementations,
    toward the “benefits of all nations (populations) liquidities”,
    rather than being utilitarian.

    Emergency (short-term) planning
    and implement...ations,
    will only liquidate not only the nation and the country itself,
    but as well as its infrastructures,
    both locally and globally.

    Our primary objective is to
    have spending power!

    If one nation’s do not have enough spending power
    to sustain their daily livings,
    this will have a cycle effects
    within and towards its own nation, and other countries,
    as well as any other business organizations.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  33. T M

    Dubai is a wonderful place to live no doubt. But with success, comes responsibility and there is sometimes a feeling in the Emirate that the nationals rule supreme and the rest just need to tolerate it and get on with it. It sometimes feels like a Colony mentality – lots of moaning when the finger is pointed but it is ok to point at everyone else. No country or regime is perfect and I hope Dubai will learn from this experience. There needs to be an awakening that no where or no man is invincible and I think things just got a bit carried away. Debts need to be paid – the international community won't buy it. Rumours abound that firms have not been paid, which is dishonest. It will be fine in the long term but it seems it just needs to come clean about its issues quicker and realise we are all connected. People are giving it a hard time cos it wasn't very humble. And I really enjoyed Dubai while I was there so not an antagonist.

    December 2, 2009 at 4:18 am |
  34. Mariace

    Hi I am sure Dubai will come back stronger than before. It just takes patience and determination and do not forget Dubai is a part of UAE not an isolated nation pls don´t that bye for now...

    December 3, 2009 at 3:42 am |
  35. RP

    Next episode of the film The Mummy Return would be shooted in dubai.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  36. Mike Roger

    I do agree with vincent and mark. This is a very tiny place on earth with just a small pile of oil. until 15 years back they were happy with dired fish, dates and camel milk, and all of a sudden just because there was a demand for fuel they dreamt that they could capture the whole world. Talents and raw materials are imported. First this they should learn is to respect humans. please read this links reported by human rights and also see what the royals are doing to the innocent I am sure they dont deserve a damn credit. A smart investor will never invest in the country which is made on sand.

    December 5, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  37. Ralph

    Hello friends, dont just complain or point fingers at one another. there is a saying pick up the log from your eyes first and then from others. Please no one will die of hunger in this part of the world, they had come a long way and ofcourse through hard ships in life. they never stole or looted or captured any country like many did and claimed they are a super power today. Our rulers are examples to the future generation and our kids have a good life and they learn good morals. But what a child from west learn is filth and hatred. No one has imported people to work in this land. Because of our proud rulers there are million living in harmony.

    God bless UAE and Dubai and our rulers. May God bless them with good health and prosperity

    December 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  38. Hamila

    Dubai is good for brainless people, no culture at all, nothing, no history, only people thinking of money, talking of money, using slaves, taking away passports from poor workers. Such places built on speculative finance should dissapear from the earth.

    December 5, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  39. Edmondo Rahme

    I visited Dubai a few years ago and vowed never to go back – it is an awful, souless heap of greed, built on the back of slave labour practices and human exploitation on a grand scale. It deserves to sink back into the sand along with the investors and developers that have tried to profit without any thought to the human cost paid to build their dreams of untold of profits.

    December 8, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  40. CK

    Dubai was going great upto few years ago before the sudden boom started fulled by the over-ambitious plans. The Dubai rulers forgot that to sustain such high spending there needs to be some fundamental product which Dubai needs to sell, not just hype and vapourware. I would not like to write off Dubai, all it needs is to get back to reality, correct its fundamentals, build a solid economy on Arab-Asia innovation (as written earlier), trade and some solid products and it would come back to normal but surely not like the last couple of crazy years. Enough of the crazy tallest, largest, outrageous projects, hope the rulers focus on creating and investing in solid sustainable business.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  41. Dina Bern

    An excellent lesson for "western" bankers who invested in Dubai. Who would want to live in a place with a culture in which women are second class citizens, where children are used as slaves to ride horses and make the already rich Arab patriarchies even richer, where foreign laborers are abused and have no rights and housemaids commit suicide because they cannot endure the abuse they are subjected to at the hands of their male or female employers? I guess our "western" bankers must have a lot in common with the mentality of the rulers and the rich of Dubai even if our laws do not allow them to commit the same acts. The problem for the rest of is, that our bankers invested our money, not theirs.

    December 9, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  42. George OKACH

    This is an eye opener to the rulers and Managers who advise the ruling class that you have friends when you sit or perceived to be at the top with values up for exploits. The western (UK) media has over-dramatized the crisis in Dubai with such gusto and seal that should give any local Arab a second thought before adorations of living existence in white nosy skin colour with British twang.
    The Indian malbary and Pakistani patans who have toiled to buld Dubai in every aspect are treated like second class humans while such former colonial masters are perceived bright for every white colour jobs and facilities. Dubai owners should not turn blind aye to the basic Human values as is the case presently. What goes around comes around. It' s time to taste your own medicine Mr. Kandura.

    December 9, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  43. Talal

    To sam and hamila Dubai is better than tons of western cities in many ways at least they don’t let their own citizens sleep on the streets homeless look at NY London financial capitals of the words and animals get better treatment than citizens .
    Sam what so called Arab brothers what did they do or gave to Dubai and gulf countries 30 year ago? Nothing and look at what the gulf countries giving and building for these ungrateful people.
    I don’t hear an Indian for example wishing destructions and poverty for Dubai only Arabs have that hatred unfortunately.

    December 10, 2009 at 3:00 am |
  44. Loya

    As a Civil Engineer, I would advise Dubai Ruler to clean up the ugly Account Books fast. Because if the Iconic Burj, Atlantis Hotel and all those unfinished building structures giving unsightly view stalled tower cranes to the skyline are not completed, occupied and air conditioned in next 6 months time, saline humidity, 50c heat and desert will repossess them. Ruler should write a few checks quickly to open the vaults where he has stashed the money and pay off like a Noble Arab and keep his City running.

    December 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  45. HS

    Hi everyone, some of the people knowing nothing except writing nonsense comments like of Hamila. No one is forced to go to Dubai to work, most of the Asian workers leave there countries because of high level of corruption in there native countries also there are treated by there own people as slaves that why most of them tries to go else where to find jobs and send back money so they can feed they families and one day leave as normal. Now one is to criticize Taras because when you are asleep you can dream anything. Wake up please!

    December 10, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  46. Mariace

    Hello friends, I do agree with Ralp oh yes, I am living in harmony in UAE and Dubai land. God bless UAE and Dubai land bye for now.

    December 12, 2009 at 1:44 am |
  47. John Mundondo

    The castle made of mirrors.... Reality hits you..... and the glass of the mirrors became sand again. With leaders that only worry abouth themselves, horses and palaces.... Dubai has no future.

    Only rich peo[le will live in Future Dubai.... alone with their money

    Sorry little town you're the size of the brain of your leaders.......

    December 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  48. Siraj

    A very poor report... lacking depth and understanding.

    December 16, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  49. dennis

    Dubai will be strong again pls wait & see

    December 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  50. widowcreator

    It is so easy to point fingerS. I would like to answer you all, How did England or NewYork build its subway systems. How many people died during the process and are burried under those colums of Cement. You seem to have short memory. Adding to that, Check who does all the farming in America, they import Labor from Mexico, pay them minimum wage, no health care, no papers and no rights to complain. The corporations employ them for 5 years, then send them back with Brain Tumors from all the chemicals being used in the farming. I have worked in the US and these are all facts. So before you start slamming Dubai or the middle east, just go back and check your history or the reality that is going on as we speak. Plus if you want to talk about greed or selfish, look at the "Fat Cats", the bankers that are literally taking all the tax money to save their positions plus pay them selves the X millions of dollars as bonuses. The stealing all these millions and the public such as you guys can't do a thing about it. God Bless America.

    December 21, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  51. widowcreator

    Ops people in here talking about Human rights. Are you guys serious, do you the slightest idea what human rights is. Don't you guys even dare going through that avenue.

    December 21, 2009 at 6:46 am |
  52. liz

    After reading all of these comments – I find those that are only critical completely off base and those that only praise a bit naive. Yes, Dubai is new and has a lot to learn. But it has come quite far too. Dubai is a safe and fun place to live – it definitely is not a ghost town – I think this will be prove to be a much needed turning point for the city in its maturity. Yes, greed became the main driver – but didn't that happen on Wall street too?? Why is everyone in the gulf copying and trying to out do Dubai. Dubai always does things first and then Abu Dhabi or Doha follows. Give Dubai a chance to learn, grow and work through its problems. It has a lot going for it and i think the critics will be surprised. In the meantime we continue to live here and have a great life. I do hope the leaders will stop this silly – biggest and most competition and work on things that create a true society.

    December 22, 2009 at 8:39 pm |
  53. Russell

    Dubai is a place of culture and people who have strong vaues and respect for on another, its one of the most international cities in the word and has a great future.
    The recession has slowed many regions of the world and those with high consumer credit will be the slowest to recover, Dubai is not one of these and people internationally will soon rearlise its a good time to invest.
    Judge Dubai aginst the value of world debt and it would look feel like a few dollars in a jar.
    Dubai is patient, commercial and very well place for the future.
    I am international and live in Dubai, confidence is strong
    Good luck the rest of the world, you will soon need to catch up

    December 23, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  54. J.V.Thampy

    I lived in Dubai form 1977 until 1989 and enjoyed working and living there as an average white collar employee. However, after the demise of Sheikh Rashid, things changed and the approach of Dubai government towards the middle class expartriate workers and their welfare was not favourable. They courted only the richest from around the world, seeking money for their ambitious real estate projects. They failed to check the source of the imported richness from around the world – which comprised mainly of bad money from maphias around the world. The true value of life created and enriched by the late Shaikh Rashid is forgotten and the so called middle income group of expartriate workers were left alone to struggle for survival. The real estate maphias in Dubai made the situation worse by raising the rent to disproportionate levels while the government failed to control them.I am hopeful that Dubai will bounce back and the government should not let down the average common expartriate workers who built the so called Golden City.

    December 26, 2009 at 8:12 am |
  55. Bashar

    Some of the above comments are really pathetic and proves the point that some people are so naive and do not know what they are talking about! Firstly, for those who says that Dubai is a ghost town with very little traffic, I say, you are very’s still busy and vibrant and full of life! However, success has a price. Dubai is just like any other major city in the world that got affected with the global crises! Why all of this noise on Dubai? Is it because of all its mega achievements within a very short period of time???

    Trust me, Dubai is still number one for a lot of people…. whether the back stabbers like it or not!

    January 4, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  56. SH

    Dubai Never had oil for a start guys...its AbuDhabi which had oil...AbuDhbai aslo had a wise leader in Sheikh Zayed bin sultan al Nahyan...Dubai was watching as AbuDhabi grew slowly ...brick by brick so to say...Dubai on the other hand grew all of a sudden .....Heard of sand castles....They wanted the world to look in awe and awe they did...but as all things built with foundation...and will crumble ....It surely was a heare and tortoise story...mates in all know who won in the real story...and just need to translate that into real world...and you have the answers...

    Big high rise buildings were not a need was just a show...the show has ended and the curtains have to fall........RIP

    January 14, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  57. Mohamed Khaled

    Dubai is part of the U.A.E. For those who have any doubts and think that U.A.E will by stand and watch the state sink in sand they're just the typical ignorant American redneck stereotypes. For those who don't know a thing the native emaraties would not risk thier resources and buy overpriced apartments. British nationals are at the lead of buyer followed by several Asian nationalities like Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians former U.S.S.R states ...ect and they do that for one reason. Dubai succeeded in providing a safe haven for all those who want to escape the difficulties of their lives and make a better living.

    Natives of Dubai were traders from the get go(Dubai doesn't have oil), it's in thier blood. Location wise Dubai is the center hub for the Asian European and several markets. Currently the U.A.E is investing in renewable energy to reduce our reliance on oil and gas, it is true that we depend on oil but the country used this gift from god wisely into building a good infrastructure of roads hospitals and schools.

    Again what does America and Americans want? Here in the U.A.E you have a potential for a good model of moderate Islam and i think it should be fully supported by Americans first since moderate Islam is in their best interest!!!

    Again if Dubai falls, which will never happen as long there is U.A.E it will systematically mean that the world finance system failed to escape the jaws of the economic crisis beast and by other means the fall of the capitalist economic model. SO everyone should be aware what they’re wishing for.

    please post it

    January 20, 2010 at 5:15 am |
  58. Ahzzz

    Dubai World was meant to last the test of time, and to do so Dubai Inc. started to buy companies around the world or claim stake into holdings of several fortune 500 companies. There are three main entities...DP World, Dubai Holdings, and Emaar Development. Each of these has scoured the world investing. They are the third largest shareholder in DaimlerChrysler, and they own a huge percentage of General Electric. So god forbid (no pun intended) they should disappear into the sands in which they were created, if so then the citizens of our country and many around the world would feel the ripple, by closing companies and lost jobs. Dubai world is a monument to a company, it just happens to be an entire city rather than something smaller

    January 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  59. Mohamed Khaled

    All HRW reports are locking at certain aspects and deliberately ignored the efforts UAE has put in the last few years to improve the Human rights issues. I'm surprised why HRW does not criticize countries like India in which labors signed contracts with employments agencies and sold all their properties to follow the lies that has been told to them by cheat labor agencies.

    The problem of labors starts in their country of origin, they have too much depth back home and the high salary promised by the agencies in their country of origin were a lie.

    HRW is a very ignorant and politicaly orinted organization.

    February 1, 2010 at 4:10 am |
  60. Alireza Shokouhi

    I dont have a fancy degree in economics from top universities but I could predict this. Supply and demand equation seems to be left out by Arab princes with vast amount of petro dollars. You cant have the Pizza with only the toppings and no bread, same applies here you cant build that much commerce unless you have an industry. They have skipped over hundred years of industrial revolution and era and jumped to modern era with skyscrapers and service oriented economy. I advice them to start over with this steps. 1st agriculture,2nd industry,3rd commerce.

    February 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  61. Anton Chigur

    @ Mohamed Khaled "Dubai is part of the U.A.E. For those who have any doubts and think that U.A.E will by stand and watch the state sink in sand they're just the typical ignorant American redneck stereotypes."

    Most Americans could not even find their way out of their country. There are many wonderful things about the US but unfortunately, traveling globally is not a common thing. Without that, they only have what they see on TV which limits them from understanding and appreciating other cultures.

    There are good and bad things about every place in the world...

    February 23, 2010 at 7:03 am |
  62. Ali Fa

    They deserve whatever is coming! they think they can turn a country made of a desert based on Islamic rules into New York or Paris well guess what?? this will never happen, no matter how many towers and wonders they build if they still dont believe in human rights and if they still have a government based on a monarchy and Islamic law they will never reach anywhere, no foreigner would accept to leave their free countries and live in a prison like the Arab Islamic countries. Foreigners will move to dubai for a couple of years only, make money and leave! thats about it.... no one has future plans to live there forever! WAKE UP DUBAI AND UAE!!!! they treat people horribly especially the asian workers, many issues against human torture and human rights has been passed under the tables ofcourse because the king can do and control watever he wants to publicize and hide! I am born in Dubai and i have been living there for 2 decades now thank god i live in the freedom lands of civilization (Europe) no matter how many decade u have been in dubai u will never become a citizen, nor obtain nationality, how do they expect people to live there forever?? Its true its a tax haven but this will not last for so long, and you think people are going to pay taxes to the government and not get benefits in return? WAKE UP AGAIN DUBAI!!!! moreover, a country run by a monarchy that can change its mind and do watever it wants depending on the Kings mood or his wife's influence like what happened in the city Sharjah a couple of years ago is worrying and not attractive for settlers.

    March 2, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  63. frank

    the old saying about Dubai "from the camel to the mercedes" in a very short span of time. To develop a industry it takes time with ups and downs in the process.Tto develop a country from scratch one must take into account all aspects of development. Dubai went full speed in the last decade to match and even try to beat the west at their game. The basic mentality of the "bedu" local has hardly changed but they want to be just like the west on the outside in appreances. Dubai was known for being a gold smuggling center with expat entraprenous involved in trading activities. if they stick to those basic principals they will grow but if they think they can make Switzerlands, New Yorks and Paris on a sandy atol devoid of culture and heritage then they will sink faster than they realize.

    March 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  64. Frank707

    I agree with Ali Fa and Frank after having had personal experience of living and working in UAE for three decades. I blundered, and wasted the most productive part of my life in the quagmire, living lonely in the crowd of worthless people–locals and expatriates– having no taste, no love of labor, working like machines for money only, and opression aglore of Asian laborers living subhuman existence. Its a heartless environment, a cultural void; no classical music concerts, no theaters, no opera houses, no lakes, no rivers, no lush-green countrysides, no mountains,terrible weather; a virtual hell. What do you expect in the worthless Arabia Deserta, where no conquerer ever thought fit to go,rule and civilise the 'bedu'. Thank goodness I'm back where I belong.

    March 6, 2010 at 3:41 am |
  65. widowcreator

    Frank and Ali fa, guys i feel for you, the whole is suffering, but the bad news we will come out of it and you do not have to live there, very simple. Don't be so harsh, go live abroad and pay ur 50% tax, no one is forcing to come to Dubai or UAE. Bedu mantality haha very funny, you sound like kids honestly, the whole world is suffering look at Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the so called European union, they are in deep trouble, at least we can finance our way out of it.

    March 8, 2010 at 7:05 am |
  66. widowcreator

    Frank for your info Dubai was developed before they had this real eastate run, before you start writiing on forum get your facts right bro.

    March 8, 2010 at 7:21 am |
  67. Loya

    Please read my December 12, 2009 comments above. To day on March 25 2010 the Ruler Sheikh has at last listened to my advise. Opened his secret vault and pulled out $3.5B. To pay off next Bill of $9.5B due in April 2010, drawing $ 5.5B from Abu Dhabi's last bail out of $ 10B.
    The chivelerous Shaikh has climbed down from his horse with wobbling knees now. Has entered in to 8 years instalment payments with 6% interest compounded with British Banks for Principal Sum of $26 B debt. Nakheel Construction and World Dubai the biggest defaulters whom Shaikh had disowned as not his, have been accepted back as his lap as his sons to-day. He has promised to put brake on his extraveganzaz-.Restructuring his properties, means selling his burjs, palm Islands (if the Sea has not eaten them away)golf courses and even his horses...thats a good what about billions which greedy investors from round the world had sunk in your desrert to build buildings which are eating I said last Dec. unless you cover those unfinished concrete jungle and aircondition them, Dubai will be again sand to sand..and Folks ! keep away from ME. Recently I am reading in Media Behrain as next Paradise, the pearl of ME. In last 3 weeks I got 3 calls from Abroad to attend Seminars on Real Estate in Behrain ! If you are fooled twice shame on you ladies and gentlemen.
    No ME Country will give you Citizenship even you live there for 30 years and invest $$$B.

    March 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  68. Moe

    Somewhat agree, Loya

    March 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  69. Loya

    Sorry wrong Shaikh Nayhan has taken a dive in Morocco lake. Abu Dhabi has lost only Finance Wizard who had kept this rich Emirate from playing with horses like his cousin squandering foreigners' hush money.Abu Dhabi smells of maturity. Dubai carries essence booze caviear and oxides of rusting steel from unfinished buildings...Right now only players who are carrying smile on their faces in Dubai are CEOs of British Banks who will pocket $26 B interest on $ 26B Principle sum...and more is coming because total Debt is $65B and there is no tax or oil Revenue....Morale of the story: a Nation can not buy happiness from only hot sand – no oil and no taxes....

    March 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  70. Klaus Korzeng

    I am expat in Dubai for 5 years and from Germany. Saw the raise of property prices and how it went down for last 1,5 years. Saw the magnificence and modern development that is top class compared to any other Arab country and the world. Feel good about the way how European expats are treated and the servitude of the system. One can live well in Dubai. A matter of mutual respect of your personal goals and interest and what Dubai's vision is. We like Sheikh Mohammed. Klaus.

    April 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  71. Mohamed

    Why don't our European and American friends worry about fixing their own mess? Like the Greece problem or the Euro or unemployment in America.

    As a UAE national i think Dubai made a big mistake by opening doors to foreigners, all they do is get highly paid and they produce nothing but talks and at the end they pack their bags and shittt on their way out.

    Yes please leave Dubai and UAE because there are too many of you, its very sickening we're losing everything in the process and gaining nothing!! So I do agree everyone don’t spend your money here go shittt somewhere else!!!

    June 2, 2010 at 5:29 am |
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