Sunday, May 21, 2006

Now for the bad news...

Couple of articles on Dubai in the (London) Sunday Times today.

The first one starts off very positively, but then gets into the things we don't see too much of in the Sandland newspapers, like censorship, workers non-rights, prostitution, fear of deportation...

The second is about The Lighthouse apartment tower, a disaster for everyone involved. The owner/developer, Emad Ayoub, did a runner leaving stranded unpaid workers and investors who'd bought off the plan and paid up-front. And a lot of other projects around town that he was a contractor on. They seem to have been taken over by other contractors, but The Lighthouse was/is his own development.

The investors have been negotiating with the government, they say, and they've kept it out of the press until now. I guess they've gone public in frustration.

Not good in any way for Dubai, which has to be seen as a trustworthy place to do business. This sort of comment from an investor isn't going to help:

“We chose Dubai because Sheikh Mohammed (the emirate’s ruler) assured western investors their money would be safe. It’s time for Dubai to show that foreign buyers have rights and are protected when things go wrong.”

The articles make interesting reading - you can find them here:

Dubai's Building Frenzy



nemesis said...

Hi, I am writting from Greece, my husband has been offered a job in Dubai with 25.000 drm per month. We are currently trying to find as much info as possible for the life in Dubai. We visited the place as tourists and it really looks like a cool place to live if you have enough money to support your shopping sprees and your luxiry bars hotels etc. Is there any chance of advice from you on whether this amount is ok?

You see we do not, and cannot have real reference on whether this amount is a good one to give us, as a family the comfortable lifestyle we have in Greece. I am trying to come in contact with Europeans that live in Dubai, and that is why I wrote,
I would like to thank you in advance for your assistance,

trailingspouse said...

I'm amazed The Lighthouse owners have kept quiet on this for so long. I see AMEInfo has picked up the story in the Times; it will be interesting to see if other local media follow suit.

Dubai has been far too slow getting its property law in place and as a result has put purchasers at huge risk for far too long. If they don't handle The Lighthouse case carefully they risk a PR disaster.

Another increasing problem to deal with as property handovers gather pace will be construction quality issues. Jumeirah Islands got a lot of bad press last year and there are plenty of rumours around that even premier projects such as the Palm are suffering from rushed schedules, cost-cutting and inexperienced contractors.

Seabee said...

nemesis, it's a bit too compicated to go into here. Let me have your e-mail address and I'll get back to you with some answers.