In fifty years Dubai has gone POP! Pearls, Oil, Property.
It has been fifty years since the first barrels of oil were exported and a state, once rich from Pearl fishing, erupted onto the world stage to become the playground of the middle east.
The Dubai of the early 1980’s, the one I knew and remember is long gone, although memories linger.
Back then my family lived next to the Sheraton Hotel , we looked across sand and past trees to the local Choithram’s supermarket. Back then people headed to the Metropolitan Hotel to watch the latest, heavily edited, episode of Dallas; those were very different days and it was an exciting experience for a young teenager, one that seems to have been in a somehow more innocent world.
The images I see of Dubai today appear to be ones of excess, the drive to develop real estate, to be a global centre, it is a marvel to see in some ways.
Standard and Poors latest publication on Dubai real estate doesn’t make buoyant reading.
A stark view of the property market reflects the wider global picture and a link below will give you access to it. Has there been the ten percent drop in values they see? Will supply, or over supply continue to be a problem? Is Dubai just more sensitive to changes elsewhere?
I remember a Dubai that bordered The Creek, Deira, on the other side of the water felt like another place altogether. Dubai was an Emirate that was full of hope, bursting with plans, a busy port and a melting pot of international people came and went.
Much today may be the same, although Deira and Dubai have melded into one, it always feels like it is a place that will find a way to survive.
Every time I cook Muhammar, Pearl Divers Rice, still one of my favourite rice dishes, I think of the souk, the sand in the streets, the dry docks and Jumeirah Mosque towering over the neighbourhood.
Would I recognise anything now? Perhaps only the desire Dubai always has to be noticed.
Find out more about Dubai below and read S&P’s report and an article from Reuters.