Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. The resort is 22,500 sq. meters (equivalent to three football fields) covered in real snow all year round. There are five slopes that range in difficulty that people can go down, and Ski Dubai has the first ever indoor black diamond slope in the world. People coming to the resort have the option of skiing, snowboarding, or tobogganing. There is also an area where snowboarders can practice their tricks and stunts. Young children can also have fun in the 3,000 sq. meter interactive Snow Park.

People do not need to worry about bringing equipment or ski clothing, because the resort supplies everything. The temperatures inside the ski resort are kept at a chilly -1 to -2 degrees all year round. So no matter what it it is like outside, people can enjoy skiing all year round. The standard pricing, which includes everything, ranges from 180 AED to 300 AED, depending how long you plan to ski. The resort also offers skiing and snowboarding lessons to those who are not that experienced.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dubai's "The World" Project Failing

Dubai's dream to build "The World" is failing; out of the 300 man made islands sculpted from sand only one has been built on. The only island that has been built on is called "Greenland", it is a two story luxury villa surrounded by palm trees and the Persian Gulf. "The World" was supposed to have only been a five year project which started in May of 2003. The islands are about a 15 minute boat ride off the coast of Dubai. The islands were built inside a lagoon protected by a 17-mile breakwater made up of 34 million tons of rock.

Each island varies in size from the smallest being 120,000 sq ft to the largest being 450,000 sq ft, and each cost between 15 and 50 million dollars. The main developer of the project said that the whole project would cost around 14 billion dollars, and that 70% of the islands had already been sold (but that was not true). He pitched the idea to financiers , global banks, and investors saying that it would be a millionaires playground, but instead it is now 299 mounds of sand. The major developer Nakheel, blames the 2008 global financial crash as to why the project has haulted, and as why people are sceptical to invest in his project. Developers are hoping that the production will start back up soon and they will be able to finish the project shortly.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dubai's Attempts to Save Real Estate Market

A Dubai based real estate broker company, Choueri Real Estate, is working with real estate fund managers to put together 100 million dollars to help Dubai's real estate market. This money will be invested into residential, commercial, and hospitality real estates in order to help the decline in the real estate market. According to Choueri Real Estate, the fund will be a closed-ended fund, meaning that a fixed number of shares will be available. The funds will be coming from investors in the United States and Europe. The fund investors are not only looking for distressed assets, but also opportunistic properties as well.

Dubai's real estate market is seeing a price floor, but prices are still fluctuating on a weekly basis. Dubai feels that their real estate market today is showing signs of becoming more stable again like it was in previous years. Developers in Dubai are hoping that investors will take chances and invest on their real estate market, and to also realize investments made would be an economic gain for both participants.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dubai's GDP Growth

In 2009 Dubai's GDP reached to AED 174.6 billion dollars. In 2010 Dubai is expected to see a real GDP growth of 2.5%. Dubai's GDP growth has been growing at a steady pace over the past few years. In 1995 it was AED 41.3 billion, and by 2004 it had rose to AED 110.7 billion dollars.

According to Dr. Zainal Abideen Wafaee, a statistics expert at Dubai Municipality's Statistics Centre, Dubai should see changes in trade policies that will affect the emirate's trade performance. Wafaee stated that Dubai's economic growth is balanced and poised due the with wise economic policies that aimed at diversifying the sources of national income. The retail and wholesale trade sector played a pivotal role in the economic growth also. Wafaee suggested that for Dubai to keep up the pace of economic growth they should be more cooperation between local and federal organizations. Dubai believes that 2010 will be a recovery year due to increased investments in real estate.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Banks Fear Debt Repayment

The Bank creditors for Dubai World are concerned about the company's proposal to restructure its debts. This proposal came a day after they had stated to pay back its loans to the banks within eight years. There are seven banks that are negotiating with Dubai World, and the banks are saying they are concerned about the lack of clarity on payment of Interest to Dubai World Leaders. The banks feel that they will endure a big loss of debt repayment because Dubai World is giving preferential treatment to real estate developers.

These banks also sit on the co-ordination treatment, and some of the member's disagree with the proposal. The proposal was presented without agreement on interest payment. The committee is expected to present a response to the proposal Dubai World has made. Under the proposal Dubai World's creditors will receive their principle debt over five to eight years.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ongoing Investigation

The Dubai Police Force still has an ongoing investigation on the assassination of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, a high level Hamas Official. Mabhouh was found dead in his hotel room at the Al Bustan Rotana on January 19th. The most recent count of suspects Dubai has released is 27 people. A majority of the suspects were traveling on falsified European or Australian passports.

The plot thickened when Dubai Police connected major US media outlet reports to the crime. Many of those who were involved in the crime were connected to the USA and corporations based in the US and in Israel. According to the New York Times at least two of the assassin's had entered the United States after they had left Dubai. Dubai Official believe that the suspects connected to the US are most likely members of the Mossad's Worldwide Network. According to Police reports 14 of the suspects used credit cards from META Bank, a regional American Bank, to pay for hotel rooms and travel arrangements. The Vice President of META Bank responded with a statement saying that the credit cards used where prepaid cards. The prepaid cards are used by American Companies to pay expatriates, employees, and contractors of their company who live in the US and in foreign countries.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dubai World

Dubai World is a global company that focuses on the growth in areas of Transport and Logistics, Drydocks and Maritime, Urban Development, and Investment and Financial Services. It contains some of the world's largest companies in their industries. Their vision is to become the foremost holding company, playing a key role in the global economy, and to create an outstanding shareholder. Their plan is to generate global socio-economic growth and obtain wealth through diversified investments. The chairman of Dubai World is Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

One of the major global developers and operators for Dubai World is Economic Zones World. This company is helping Dubai World create a network of infrastructures and expanding its international customer base. Economic Zones World is also a major developer for Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


In recent news in Dubai a top official in the Palestinian militant group Hamas, was killed in a hotel there. The Dubai police have identified eleven suspects for the murder of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh. He was staying at the Al Bustan Rotana hotel and was found dead in his room on January 20th. Dubai has issued international arrest warrants for the eleven suspects. Dubai has a relatively low crime rate, but the city-state has had many high-profile murders in recent years. This is threatening its law-and-order reputation.

The militant group Hamas accuses the Israel spy agency the Mossad of carrying out the assassination. Mahmoud Al Mabhouh was a founding member of the movement Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which have carried out attacks against Israel. He was also a key link into smuggling Iranian weapons to Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dubai's Outlook for 2010

Dubai's economy is forecasted to remain in a recession for 2010. This will be the second year in a row that Dubai will experience a negative growth. A 'UAE Vision 2010' report stated that Dubai's economy would contract by 0.4% this year, following a 5% contraction last year. This will be mainly due to the declines in residential sale prices fallen by 61%, and Dubai's population fallen by 10%. The real estate market is expected to drop another 10%, which will result in a continued decline in population.

A resolution of Dubai's world debt will be the main catalyst for economic growth within the country. Dubai's government is trying to look at the broader picture when doing negotiations and trying to look at the effect it will have on their economic growth. Dubai is also trying to strengthen their reputation with International Capital Markets and local banks.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Downward Sprial

Dubai's economy is one of the most unique and unusual in the world. It is an entrepot (free port), and there are no taxes on imported goods. It is also a free trade zone, which allows 100 percent foreign ownership and sales. The companies earnings and private income are exempt from any form of taxation. Because if this it is home to many companies such as Arabia, Cisco, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.

90 percent of Dubai's population is foreign workers. Because of the financial crisis Dubai is now facing, many of the foreign workers are being laid off and having to leave the country. People here are losing their work visas and then they most leave the country with in a month.A local newspaper in Dubai reported that the government was cancelling 1,500 work visas every day. Many of the foreigners are fleeing Dubai, and they could be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills before they fled. Right now Dubai's economy is in free fall, creating many vacant houses and lowered real estate prices. Loads of Dubai's major construction projects have either been suspended or cancelled.

Dubai's government has been unwilling to provide any data about their suffering economy. They are trying to create a media law where it would be a crime to damage the country's reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million Dirham's ($272,000). Dubai was once hailed the economic superpower of the Middle East, but if things continue the way they are going it will end up ghost town.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dubai's Debt Increasing

On Friday, Dubai announced that they are at their highest level of sovereign debt they have ever been in. Out of all the emirate's they are in the most debt. Dubai's five year credit-default-swap spread (measures credit risk) rose from 0.5% to 6.32% on Friday. According to the Wall Street Journal, these elevated levels makes Dubai one of the riskiest sovereigns in the world behind Argentina, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Pakistan. The increase in sovereign debt is due to massive debt buildup, over reliance on short term debt, and relying too heavily on help from more wealthier neighbors.

Dubai is struggling with a debt close to 80 billion dollars . In December, Abu Dhabi (Dubai's neighbor) gave Dubai 10 billion dollars to repay an Islamic bond 4.1 billion dollars.The remainder of the money will be used to meet their financing needs. Dubai has asked creditors to freeze their payments of 21.8 billion dollars of debt for six months, so that they could try and get caught up.

I feel that Dubai is not only is debt because of the World Financial Crisis that all countries today are facing, but it is also due to other factors as well. One factor may be because they are trying to build up their country to make it a tourism epicenter, which will help their economy when they completely run out of oil. Dubai is also facing empty buildings, falling property prices, and suspended construction projects.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Dubai has an open economy with a high per capita income, and a pretty good annual trade surplus. Although Dubai has reduced their GDP based on oil and gas output by 25%. This could be due to them trying to conserve their oil outputs or due to them just running out of oil and gas. The GDP has also dropped 4% because of the global financial crisis, falling oil prices, and deflated asset prices. They have made successful efforts at making their economy diverse in tyring to make up for this deficit. Dubai has increased job creation by trying to expand on their country. Due to the high Standard of living, jobs have opened up to expand on infrastructure expansion. Dubai also has Free Trade Zones, which offers 1005 foreign ownership and zero taxes, trying to attract foreign investors.

Out of all the United Arab Emirates, the global crisis has hit Dubai the hardest. It lacked the sufficient cash to meet its debt obligations, so it launched a twenty billion dollar bond program so it could meet its obligation. Dubai's dependence on oil has been a significant long-term challenge. They are trying to focus on diversification and creating more opportunities.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tallest Building in the World

In recent news Dubai has built the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa stands at 2,625 feet and is more than 160 stories, in comparison it is about 7 football fields tall. The Burj Khalifa includes a hotel, condos, offices, and shopping centers.

This building symbolizes the progress that Dubai is making into changing its country into a global tourism center. Dubai's economy success is no longer based solely on its oil reserves, but now it is also successful in becoming a tourism epicenter. The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is turning Dubai into a tourism destination so that when its oil supply runs out, Dubai's economy is still prospering.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Introduction on Dubai

Dubai is located on the Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. For 177 years, Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum family. Under thier ruling Dubai has turned into a business and tourism mecca. It is turning into one of the major cities of the world, and has become one of the most wealthiest countries in the world.
Dubai was once a major oil export, but they only have 6 percent of their reserve left. Because Dubai is running out of its oil, it is turning into a major tourism destination. Dubai is currently the largest exporting center of the Middle East. Millions of people visit Dubai each year; because of its beautiful beaches, attractions, and warm and sunny climate it serves as a perfect tourism destination.

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