80+1 » Growth http://www.80plus1.org A Journey Around the World Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:24:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 Dubai Metro to open next week http://www.80plus1.org/blog/dubai-metro-to-open-next-week http://www.80plus1.org/blog/dubai-metro-to-open-next-week#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2009 07:09:26 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=4174 After the emirate expected tons of tourists to flock to its outrageously insane buildings and shopping districts, Dubai undertook construction of an automated metro line. The first leg will open next week, on September 9, 2009.

However, when it opens, it…

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After the emirate expected tons of tourists to flock to its outrageously insane buildings and shopping districts, Dubai undertook construction of an automated metro line. The first leg will open next week, on September 9, 2009.

However, when it opens, it will have cost $7.62 billion, which is about 80 percent higher than planned.

Reuters notes that the first section, the Red Line, will only have 10 out of an eventual 29 stations open.

At this early stage, only 11 of 60 driverless trains will be functional. Once the Green Line opens next summer, the Dubai Metro will become the world’s longest automated metro network (surpassing Vancouver), and adding yet another superlative to its long list of superlatives.

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Construction on Dubailand stalls due to economic crisis http://www.80plus1.org/blog/construction-on-dubailand-stalls-due-to-economic-crisis http://www.80plus1.org/blog/construction-on-dubailand-stalls-due-to-economic-crisis#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2009 09:21:37 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=3899 While Dubai has been associated with astonishing growth over the last decade, the economic crisis has hit the city-state hard.

In the last few months alone, most of its prisoners have been incarcerated for bounced checks, its lost the QE2, and…

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While Dubai has been associated with astonishing growth over the last decade, the economic crisis has hit the city-state hard.

In the last few months alone, most of its prisoners have been incarcerated for bounced checks, its lost the QE2, and the city has reduced its taxes to spur investment.

The latest chapter of Dubai’s crashing halt? The vast Dubailand amusement park twice the size of Walt Disney World (USA), the world’s biggest shopping mall and the first golf course designed by Tiger Woods has yet to break ground.

“At this point, it’s kind of hard to sell,” Bobby Sarkar, a real estate analyst at Al Mal Capital in Dubai, told The Associated Press. “Obviously it’s not feasible currently.”

The project was slated to sprawl across 259 square kilometers as a way to push the city’s tourism numbers higher and higher. The emirate had wanted to reach 15 million visitors by 2015.

Developer Tatweer has not commented publicly on the deal. Further complicating things, Tatweer might be bought by Emaar Properties, the builder behind the iconic Burj Dubai, which itself has experienced opening delays this year.

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Burj Dubai to open December 2, 2009 http://www.80plus1.org/blog/burj-dubai-to-open-december-2-2009 http://www.80plus1.org/blog/burj-dubai-to-open-december-2-2009#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2009 21:00:47 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2564 The Burj Dubai, soon to be the world’s tallest tower at 818 m, is set to open on December 2, 2009, according to Arabian Buiness.

The magazine’s source was a “senior architect working on the project, who said: “This will be…

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The Burj Dubai, soon to be the world’s tallest tower at 818 m, is set to open on December 2, 2009, according to Arabian Buiness.

The magazine’s source was a “senior architect working on the project, who said: “This will be a huge achievement and a big celebration for the UAE and for Emaar, particularly as it’s UAE National Day. It will be the first time the public can enter the building.”

Office space in the building will go for about US$43,000 per square meter.

Apparently also, The Armani Hotel, which is part of the building, will also be opening its doors the same day.

Previously, the developer, Emaar Properties, which is 32 percent-owned by the government of Dubai, had not said when the building would actually open. The company did say earlier this week that the final glass installation would be installed in the coming weeks.

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Many of Dubai’s prisoners incarcerated for bounced checks http://www.80plus1.org/blog/many-of-dubais-prisoners-incarcerated-for-bounced-checks http://www.80plus1.org/blog/many-of-dubais-prisoners-incarcerated-for-bounced-checks#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2009 21:35:33 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2531 While Dubai has been known for a massive boom in recent years, since the global economic crisis, Icarus may just have flown too high on borrowed wings.

In addition to not getting the QE2, a delay on the Burj Dubai, and…

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While Dubai has been known for a massive boom in recent years, since the global economic crisis, Icarus may just have flown too high on borrowed wings.

In addition to not getting the QE2, a delay on the Burj Dubai, and a reduction of taxes, Dubai has had a tough time.

But things may just be tougher for Dubai’s criminals. According to a United Press International report, nearly 20 percent of all people (most of them foreigners) in Dubai’s jails are there because of bounced checks.

UPI adds:

By official count, 544,196 checks bounced in the country from January through April. RAK Bank said 2,500 workers leave Dubai each month with bills unpaid or by settling accounts with checks that bounce.

While many flee unpaid bills, “many of the British expatriates in particular tried to hang on as long as possible to life there and sadly many have ended up writing bounced checks, having their passports confiscated so they cannot leave the country and really living in appalling conditions in bedsits shared with maids, or even in cars parked in car parks,” [Ghanem Nuseibeh, a senior analyst at Political Capital] said. said.

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QE2 to move from Dubai to Cape Town? http://www.80plus1.org/blog/qe2-to-move-from-dubai-to-cape-town http://www.80plus1.org/blog/qe2-to-move-from-dubai-to-cape-town#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:00:34 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2284 Yet another one of Dubai’s major developers, Nakheel, is feeling the crunch.

The owner of the famed Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise liner paid nearly 60 million € in 2007 for the iconic vessel and had been hoping to turn it…

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Yet another one of Dubai’s major developers, Nakheel, is feeling the crunch.

The owner of the famed Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise liner paid nearly 60 million € in 2007 for the iconic vessel and had been hoping to turn it into a luxury floating hotel off the Palm Jumeirah island off the coast of Dubai.

Now, there are possible plans to move it from Dubai and anchor it permenantly off of Cape Town, possible even in time for next summer’s World Cup, which will be hosted in South Africa.

Business Day, a South African business magazine, reported on July 10 that the decision to berth the QE2 would be taken soon.

Ronel Bester, the [Department of Tourism]’s spokeswoman, said yesterday that the department was aware of the plans, but several approvals were required before any decision could be made.

“The National Ports Authority has to decide on the practical implications of berthing (and) a decision has to be taken by the department on the desirability of allowing the QE2 to berth in Cape Town in the light of the available accommodation in the city and surrounds. We are consulting with the industry and the department will take a decision by the end of next week,” Bester said.

Nakheel, like Emaar and Deyaar, is trying reevaluate its large-scale projects, reports The Associated Press on July 12:

In March, the company sought to quell speculation it lacked the money to renovate the QE2, one of the world’s best known cruise liners. It said at the time it had commissioned a “time-consuming” engineering survey of the ship and remained committed to refurbishing it.

Still, the company has been forced to rethink even more ambitious plans in recent months. The developer has shelved numerous projects, such as a glitzy hotel with Donald Trump and a skyscraper designed to top a Dubai rival’s set to become the world’s tallest. The company has acknowledged taking a share of $10 billion in government bailout funds and is aggressively trying to re-negotiate existing contracts with suppliers.

Nakheel late last year announced it was cutting 500 jobs, or about 15 percent of its staff. Local media reports have suggested the layoffs have continued, with several hundreds more losing their jobs in recent weeks.

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Emaar Properties says Burj Dubai to open later this year http://www.80plus1.org/blog/emaar-properties-says-burj-dubai-to-open-later-this-year http://www.80plus1.org/blog/emaar-properties-says-burj-dubai-to-open-later-this-year#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2009 18:35:17 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2269 In what is surely the greatest example of Dubai’s ostentatiousness, the Burj Dubai’s (Dubai Tower) developers say that it will be open for business later this year. The tower, at 818 meters high, already is the world’s tallest human-made structure.

This building,…

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In what is surely the greatest example of Dubai’s ostentatiousness, the Burj Dubai’s (Dubai Tower) developers say that it will be open for business later this year. The tower, at 818 meters high, already is the world’s tallest human-made structure.

This building, which cost $4.1 billion to construct, will house both offices and residential space. Even the office space will command an insanely high prices, at around US$43,000 per square meter. Even its elevators are the fastest in the world — at 60 kilometers per hour.

Emaar had previously said that the building would open in September, but The Associated Press noted today: “…that now appears in doubt, as parts of its facade still appear incomplete.”

The news service adds:

Emaar’s profits and share price have taken a beating from falling property prices in Dubai and elsewhere.

The company’s stock price fell nearly 6 percent to finish at 2.28 dirhams (62 cents) on the Dubai Financial Market following reports of a possible delay to its signature project Monday.

Emaar’s continued building is going despite the global economic crisis, which has been significantly felt in boomtown Dubai.

Even today, in a related story in The Wall Street Journal, another large real estate firm, Deyaar Development, justed posted a 69 percent decline in its second-quarter profits.

Reports the Journal:

Deyaar’s net profit for the period fell to 75.4 million U.A.E. dirhams ($20.5 million), the company said in a statement on the Dubai Financial Market. Net profit in the second quarter of 2008 had totaled 246.9 million dirhams, more than double than in the second quarter of 2007.

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