Not too long ago, you couldn\'t Google the words "property" and "Dubai" without finding the words "bubble" and "crash" everywhere. Stories were written by international economists, real estate surveyors, tourism and urban design experts and even short-term investors – to name a few – all professing their lack of faith in Dubai\'s economic fundamentals.
Countless studies were written about the miscorrelation between what was being offered, what was being bought and what was being flipped, and how this would all combine to create a highly-explosive financial time bomb.
The bomb has exploded indeed – but not here. Everywhere else there is smoke and the smell of burning; shrapnel has damaged the proudest porticos. All around the world now, central bankers are feverishly lowering interest rates, large mortgage firms are being offered state-sponsored bail out packages, while low-income home owners find that they can\'t make their repayments any more: not a proud moment for the genius of syndication, debt sell down and risk diversification, one would argue.
Television news anchors, newspaper columnists and financial nerds have termed it the "credit crunch", perhaps one of globalisation\'s finer hours. This is the case almost everywhere in the world – except the Gulf, and nowhere is the divide more evident than in Dubai.
Perhaps it is ironic that what we have tirelessly striven for – international economic credibility – which has often led us to being mischaracterised as insatiably ambitious, has been remitted by the over-indulgence of world markets. Suddenly, Dubai doesn\'t look like a city that can\'t get enough property units rolled out, but more of a measured expansion plan directly addressing a significant regional migration into a 21st century metropolis that does not discriminate visa approval processes based on how last names sound.
Of course, here in Dubai we have known this for quite some time. It has been a long-term plan to develop housing and the accompanying infrastructure – at times accelerated, and at others slowed down, in accordance with immediate and medium-term forecast demand. The miracle of Dubai will always be in the detail of its executive efficiency.
There are speculators here who arrive with cash-down payments and pre-negotiated facility lines but we also have an average of 100,000 white collar job seekers moving here every year as well.
These brave men and women in their pallid shirts migrating to Dubai are the tangible end-users of the physical structures being created. They recycle real money back into the economy. It is as basic an economic model as it is possible to find. We are supplying a thriving demand and the wonder of this supply is that it can be increased, lowered and controlled.
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