Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Most expensive naming rights in history

Pride takes a fall:
The last-minute switch carries a symbolic weight in light of the billions of dollars oil-rich Abu Dhabi has poured into Dubai in order to cover its debts. Once the most pridefully autonomous of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai’s financial troubles have made it more dependent on Abu Dhabi and likely to be drawn closer into the federation.

“Dubai not only has the world’s tallest building, but has also made what looks like the most expensive naming rights deal in history,” said Jim Krane, author of City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism. “Renaming the Burj Dubai after Sheikh Khalifa of Abu Dhabi — if not an explicit quid pro quo — is a down-payment on Dubai’s gratitude for its neighbor’s $10 billion bailout last month.”

The National (Abu Dhabi state-owned newspaper) - "Fanfare is for Sheikh Mohammed, too"

The Australian
There has been speculation for weeks about what Abu Dhabi might extract for the financial lifeline. Few expected the price to be so public. Minutes before the tower's official opening, Dubai's hereditary ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, dedicated it to the head of Abu Dhabi's ruling family - who did not grace the ceremony with his presence.

Dubai's Declaration of Dependence:
The newly named Burj Khalifa is now a symbol of Dubai's loss of independence. But by swallowing his pride, Dubai's Sheik Mohammed may have guaranteed his emirate's economic future, and given anxious investors owed more than $80 billion by the city-state reason to breathe easier. ...

Now, Dubai seems to have acknowledged reality: The United Arab Emirates is one country, dependent on Abu Dhabi and its vast oil wealth. Investors must hope that Sheik Khalifa, in allowing his name to be attached to the new tower, also has acknowledged Abu Dhabi's new reality, and that his support for his troubled neighbor is now nailed down.

Dubai's Decline Gives Way to Abu Dhabi's Rise
Abu Dhabi's plans also have the benefit of a direct pipeline to one powerful ruling family. Dubai's Sheik Mohammed has to share wealth with the emirate's influential merchant families to rule.

The new relationship between the two sheikdoms is based on Dubai's subordination to Abu Dhabi, analysts say. "Abu Dhabi views political dominance of the UAE as an important goal, and sees its current pre-eminence in the federation as permanent. Dubai's leadership, however, still views Abu Dhabi's dominance as matter of short term expedience," Sabra of Eurasia Group said.

Gulf News (Dubai influenced paper):
By renaming the Burj, the most prominent milestone in Dubai's long list of achievements, after President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reminded the world, and the residents of the UAE, of the basis on which this country was founded — seven emirates, but only one people.
Dubai has given the UAE and the world a new landmark.


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1:49 PM  

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