Monday, February 13, 2006

Dubai: fastest growing city in the world :: Guardian

Some of the choicest quotes:
* It is said that a fifth of the world's cranes are now at work here.

* One night in one of the luxury hotels would cost six months' wages of one of the men who built it.

* The traffic is already as bad as Los Angeles.

* The World Bank reckons that the reconstruction of Iraq is going to cost $53bn. Here, along the strip of footballer-friendly sand that stretches 25 miles or so along the shores of the Persian Gulf, there is, at a rough estimate, about $100bn worth of projects either underway or planned for the near future. That is a numbing figure, ungraspable. It is the equivalent of every single dollar invested in the United States from abroad last year; almost twice the foreign investment in China.

* One indoor ski resort, with real snow and its own black run, exists already, a weird, looming presence on the city's southern skyline. There is to be a second, with a revolving mountain [did I miss the memo?].

* It's the port most visited by the US Navy outside the United States.

* Singapore wanted it too and the two commercial city states' rival bids drove up the price, adding 80% to the value of P&O's shares and valuing the company at a reported $6.8bn (just short of £4bn), an unprecedented 40 times P&O's profits last year. . . . When Dubai Ports issued a bond for $2.8bn last month to help it buy P&O, it found itself drowning in $11.4bn of subscriptions.

* "what Dubai is trying to do is set an example of how Arabs should be represented. After 9/11, Arabs suffered from a lot of bad publicity. Dubai is trying to come back with the right kind of publicity. It will be a fully modern state. It will be setting the standards. It will be a place that people will look up to."

* Brokeback Mountain is soon to open in Dubai cinemas [hmmm, I guess The Guardian didn't get the memo], which it never could in Saudi Arabia.

* "Everything about this place smells of western women, right? It looks like an al-Qaida target to me." There are rumours in Dubai that a terror plot was foiled last year but the processes of government are so opaque that there is no confirming that.

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Blogger sheikha cheryl said...

I've always said that Dubai is L.A. on steroids...or was that Viagra.

2:44 PM  
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