Dubai comeback already?
We went behind the scenes of Dubai’s debt debacle last November and found a much more sober city-state starting to rebuild itself from the $59 billion hole that was dug by the whizz kids who had powered its transformation. Loans don’t come as easy — particularly the nod and the wink of association with the royal family isn’t cutting it like it used to.
Some people see a connection between the crisis and the fact that Dubai has also started to tighten up on its trade with Iran, in line with broader international sanctions, but we’re not so sure about that.
What did come across loud and clear in our reporting is that the new-new Dubai is currently being led more by older, senior types who had been thrown off the ladder by the MBAs and the like on their way up. Some of the financial types we spoke to worried about this: we don’t need civil engineers, one said, we need financial engineers. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.