There’s a mass migration to Dubai which is this recession’s escapist paradise.
If you’re young, ambitious, looking for work, you could do worse than joining the masses moving here, which oddly are comprised of many, many Texas blondes.
And, if things all goes to pot, at least you’ve stayed alive for a bit longer than your American counterparts, and got to enjoy it in paradise.
NY Mag:…Over the past several months, as the U.S. economy has deteriorated and the credit crunch has spread around the world, American interest in Dubai has peaked. Anyone in a position of even moderate professional authority has been hearing from friends, relatives, colleagues, and classmates wondering if there is work available. “Once or twice a week since I’ve been here, I’ve gotten calls from New York from people looking for jobs,” says James Ruiz, a 42-year-old banker who has been in Dubai since April. “But in the last few months? From August on? It’s just snowballed.” Esther Tang, a 26-year-old employee of one of Dubai’s sprawling government-run conglomerates, currently receives as many as fifteen résumés a week. Tang is an active member of the Cornell alumni association’s Dubai chapter. At the end of 2007, the association had 6 members; as of last month, it had 70.
The allure of Dubai isn’t hard to understand. In the midst of epochal global anxieties, Dubai, which rose from a sand-swept regional trading post into an international centre of finance and tourism in less than a decade, continues to flex its muscles. This fall, as the U.S. Treasury Department took equity stakes in major U.S. banks to forestall their collapse, Dubai’s leaders were hailing the opening of Atlantis, a $1.5 billion seaside resort, and announcing massive new construction projects—lush, sprawling, skyscraping cities-within-cities.
Which is not to say that Dubai is immune from the global financial crisis. The local stock exchange has plummeted along with everyone else’s, and real-estate prices and sales have fallen by as much as 40 per cent in the past month. Yet compared to the rest of the world, the mood in Dubai has remained startlingly calm. “Most people aren’t saying, ‘Dubai is done,’ ” K.S., an Iranian-American businessman and employee of one of Dubai’s major real-estate developers, wrote in an e-mail last week (he asked to be identified only by his initials). “What they are saying is, ‘The USA economic policies destroyed the whole world and dragged us down with it; once that enormous weight is off the world economy’s shoulders, Dubai will bounce right back.’ ” This almost otherworldly confidence stems from the determination of the city’s leadership to maintain its status, which it has the means to do. Dubai is a monarchy with a centrally controlled economy. All the major corporations that make up what has been called “Dubai Inc.” fall under the umbrella of the government. This stabilizes the economy to an extent that leads many to believe that Dubai could even benefit from the global crisis, as it becomes recognised as a safe haven for capital. Certainly it is one of the few places in the world where consumer confidence does not appear to be collapsing. On November 4, the city unveiled a giant new mall with an ice-skating rink and an aquarium. The place, not yet fully open, has been crowded; a big draw has been the Taco Bell, where one day last week the wait was 45 minutes.
And who makes up the most visible part of the expat community, working in sales jobs?
“For the first couple years I was here, I didn’t have any American friends at all,” he [a young Arab guy working in Dubai] said, a plate of lasagne balanced on his lap. “I’ve met more Americans in the last six or seven months than in all the time before that.” Then, shrugging, he continued: “A lot of them seem to be girls from Texas.”
Image via NY Mag.
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