Clear road ahead for depressed Dubai
Dubai’s deepening real estate slump has brought unexpected benefits to its time-poor urban residents.
Speaking at the Global Islamic Financing Summit, Dr. Humayon Dar, CEO of Shariah-compliant consultancy BMB Islamic, said Dubai was a much nicer place to live now that the immature infrastructure system was not overwhelmed with construction traffic and armies of property speculators.
“When you got to Dubai you will find that right now, traffic is actually much less but people like me like it because I used to be stuck in that traffic all the time,” Dar said, eyes agleam. “But now, going from A to B is so fun – I like it.”
The desert city – famed for its dramatic skyline and commonly referred to as the Gulf’s biggest building site – is reeling from a global meltdown in demand for its unique brand of luxury real estate. Dozens of development projects worth billions of dollars have been axed, threatening the livelihood of thousands of construction workers and their families.
But those banking on a rapid rally in Dubai’s property market can draw some comfort from Dar, who believes the city will recover quickly — with a little help from its wealthy neighbours.
“People who know the market say actually this is the time to invest… In the past whenever there is a problem in Dubai, the big brother sitting in Abu Dhabi comes to rescue. This time they took their time because they wanted to teach a lesson to Sheikh Mohammed because he was trying to be a renegade boy.
“Many people say Dubai is just gone, hopeless. But Dubai will never, ever go away. It has achieved a level of economic development which will help him to come out of this crisis…My own assessment is that the worst is over,” he said. “That is a statement you wouldn’t hear from very many people.”