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Dubai-bye
January 20, 2009 1:15 PM   Subscribe

The real estate crisis has started to hit the fantasyland capital of real estate, Dubai. Projects are being abandoned and workers skipping town just the Dubai tower tops out at 818 meters. Pre-vi-ous-ly.
posted by dances_with_sneetches (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Base Jumping of the Burj Dubai
posted by the cuban at 1:19 PM on January 20, 2009


I've always thought skyscrapers looked cooler in their uncompleted state. I love the way the Burj looks with all that scaffolding and whatnot.
posted by delmoi at 1:22 PM on January 20, 2009


Someone tell Doctor Who.
posted by Artw at 1:46 PM on January 20, 2009


Projects are being abandoned

Yeah, that's what their Emperor is telling our Bothan spies.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:50 PM on January 20, 2009


Why am I not feeling bad about this?
posted by HuronBob at 1:53 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dubai always seemed like one big Ponzi scheme which just happened to have a lot of local, rich suckers to start with. But they always end up the same way.
posted by GuyZero at 1:55 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hmm. Perfect setting for a screenplay of Daniel Keys Moran's The Long Run.
posted by Kikkoman at 1:58 PM on January 20, 2009


Projects are being abandoned

I lived in Saudi Arabia from '76 to '78. By, "Abandoned," they mean that literally. I saw construction equipment get eaten up by the desert...roads just turn into dirt...signs get half-completed, buildings that just stopped being built.

I think it is a law that you can't touch someone else's property, so if you crashed your car, it was your property, and you needed to pick it up - some vehicles were left in the road for months at a time.

Awesome.
posted by Chuffy at 2:03 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have a couple of friends who listen and believe any and every get-rich-quick scheme they hear. Back in '06 they started getting into real estate. Before that I'm pretty sure they were in a few MLMs and Power of Motivated Success-type schemes.

So, naturally, the second they started talking about moving to Dubai and making millions, I knew that the end was near.
posted by lekvar at 2:44 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


lekvar writes "I have a couple of friends who listen and believe any and every get-rich-quick scheme they hear. Back in '06 they started getting into real estate."

Ah, ten years earlier and they would have been very smart, as long as they got out in '06. Sometimes it's a matter of timing whether one appears smart or dumb. Of course, getting in the game that late is really dumb.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:54 PM on January 20, 2009


This probably explains all of the weird "Dubai - Non stop!" ads I've been seeing on taxis all over SF recently.

They suddenly realized that it's all fine and good to get the wealthy jet-set visiting, but wealthy jet-setters are total penny-pinching bastards, which is how they got wealthy in the first place. Regular tourists, not so much - but regular American tourists are fickle, and not likely to travel to the other side of the world to some barren seaside desert just to kick it in an expensive hotel.

However, I'm pretty sure almost everyone in SF is too smart for Dubai. "What do you mean I can't bring my Medical Marijuana and my gay boyfriend/girlfriend and make out on the beach? Fuck you fucking guys! I'm going to Hawaii."
posted by loquacious at 3:33 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah, ten years earlier and they would have been very smart, as long as they got out in '06. Sometimes it's a matter of timing whether one appears smart or dumb. Of course, getting in the game that late is really dumb.

The thing is, in the lifecycle of every bubble there's a point where "everyone" knows about the market and "everyone" is making money. The tech bubble, the the real estate bubble, etc. Once "everyone" knows about it, it's basically over. I think what lekvar meant was that his friends were good proxies for "everyone" and once they managed to get wind of something every idiot was making money and it was about to go bust.
posted by delmoi at 3:42 PM on January 20, 2009


As long as they get to keep their solid gold Rolls Royces, Dubai's leaders will be okay.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:14 PM on January 20, 2009


Ah, ten years earlier and they would have been very smart, as long as they got out in '06.

Ah, but in 1996, no one in their right mind would have thought to get involved in real estate, because the real estate market was still just only beginning to recover from the early 90s recession. It isn't until everyone is invested in the real estate (or any) market and the people in the industry have to aggressively go in search of more marks that people like lekvar's friends start to hear about it and pursue those opportunities.
posted by deanc at 6:38 PM on January 20, 2009


Ah, ten years earlier and they would have been very smart, as long as they got out in '06. Sometimes it's a matter of timing whether one appears smart or dumb. Of course, getting in the game that late is really dumb.

This is just about what my family and I did. We bought heavily in the very early days of 2002-2003 when no-one had heard of Dubai and when seriously nice apartments were going for a few $100,000s. As soon as I started seeing newspaper advertisements back home in Holland and in England advertising the 'fortunes' to be made here I sold all but one.

I'll be interested to see what happens here over the next 24 months or so, the amount that the traffic congestion has cleared up is way more than be explained by the reported number of job losses. Construction especially is fucked.
Note though that neighbouring Abu Dhabi has a lot of oil. The UAE federal budget reaches fiscal breakeven at $30/barrel and they've got lots of money in reserve too. So we're seeing a lot of govt. fiscal stimulus.
posted by atrazine at 7:55 PM on January 20, 2009


deanc writes "Ah, but in 1996, no one in their right mind would have thought to get involved in real estate, because the real estate market was still just only beginning to recover from the early 90s recession."

Actually, it would be people in exactly their right mind. It's smart to get in at that point, if it's for investment. Like now. Or maybe in a year or two. Although I have a feeling this market will take a while, and some areas won't recover.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:53 PM on January 20, 2009


Follow-on from Chuffy - my parents and I lived in Saudi from '83 to "up to '98" (varies by family member). There were many buildings that were half completed when the developer ran out of cash, and the building would just sit there in its unfinished state.

Best example of not touching other people's property was The Bus Pillar. along the highway between Jubail and Al Khobar there was a quarry; a broken-down bus was on the land, and rather than get rid of the bus, they dug around it. Many storys down. As such, it looked like a bizarre sculpture celebrating the slow decay of public transit technology. As a kid it was a highlight of the road trip.
posted by lowlife at 7:11 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


wasting away again in MargaritaVille
posted by celerystick at 7:53 AM on January 22, 2009


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