The word “Dubai” has pretty much become synonymous with “bubble” these days, with stories you heard just a few years ago about the country’s grand projects and epic ambitions replaced by stories of empty offices and halted construction.
Since 2008, property prices have dropped as much as 65 per cent and hundreds of developments halted. Dubai has over $100 billion worth of debt and the jewel in its crown — the enormous Burj Khalifa skyscraper — is said to have been a complete flop with buyers.
Dubai’s leaders, however, are planning a comeback.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, told reporters Monday that Dubai was ready to take “carry on” with its plans and take risks to reach its “ultimate goal.”
“Impossible is not in the UAE’s dictionary,” Al Maktoum said, according to Arabian Business.
When asked why Dubai always had to be number one, he replied. “We should always be number one because nobody remembers number two.”
Those plans to be “number one” are already becoming apparent. Dubai announced earlier this year that it is planning to build the world’s largest mall.
There are also new plans for a replica of India’s Taj Mahal — which would be the same except four times bigger than the original.
The renewed investment seems to be making a difference. Peter Bill of the London Evening Standard reports that home prices are rising fast enough that the government is trying to restrict mortgages to half a property’s value, and hotel-room completions are expected to triple this year as tourism returns.
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