Saturday, October 11, 2008

Credit Crunch...What Credit Crunch?

Cityscape hit Dubai this week – a four day property exhibition where the lost audacious property development are announced. If you heard about the NEW tallest building in the world (one kilometer high, folks) then chances are it was because it was announced here.

I had the pleasure of spending most of the week at the event, and I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it.

For a start, the event brought the entire city to a grinding halt. As usual, the roads haven’t been particularly well thought out around the venue, meaning that it took me 90 minutes to get from my office to the vicinity. This is a journey that should take no more than TEN minutes.

After driving around for hours trying to park, I gave up and parked quite some way away in a dusty carpark. Just getting into it was a challenge in itself but I refused to give up (after arguing with a member of staff and nearly crying. I have been told that this approach often works wonders here but I have yet to use it. I’m saving that for the police when I inevitably have a car crash.)

As I dragged myself through the sand and heat, a helicopter landed 20 metres from me, and a member of the Royal Family disembarked. This is such a normal occurrence that I barely flinched or looked over, and just carried on walking.

The show itself is outrageous. Some stands are the size of a new bar or nightclub, most are two storeys high. God knows what they cost to design and build. I tried to think of the most lavish show that I’d ever visited in the UK, but there is truly nothing that compares to it. It was an exhausting week, and left me confused about the property market here, to be honest. Depending on who you talk to, properties were selling, or they weren’t. All I know for sure is that when faces with such opulence and confidence, the global economic crisis seemed very far away….

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