Dubai is intense!

November 29, 2006

A few months ago, I spent a few days in Dubai on business. I was impressed by the energy and modernity of the city. I actually liked the faux Moroccan style of the hotel I stayed in and the artificial nature of the constructions somehow felt aesthetically pleasing. I was shocked by the number of constructions. I counted over 70 40+ story buildings in construction and was told that there were around 200 40+ story buildings being built simultaneously. Imagine building New York from scratch in 3 years!

Despite the recent boom, anecdotal evidence seemed to point to a bubbly environment – I was told (but did not confirm) that inflation was around 18% while interest rates on mortgages were around 10%. With negative real rates no wonder people are borrowing to buy… That said even if the real estate market does crash the infrastructure that has been built will last for decades and set the basis for future growth in Dubai.

All in all, I was impressed by the progressive nature of the country and its people and will definitely be back to kite surf and race dune buggies in the desert!

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