"Tivo-ifies the web" Paul Kedrosky

Goodbye Dubai

Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea, and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai – it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous.

Dubai threatens to become an instant ruin, an emblematic hybrid of the worst of both the West and the Middle-East and a dangerous totem for those who would mistakenly interpret this as the de facto product of a secular driven culture.

The opening shot of this clip shows 200 skyscrapers that were built in the last 5 years. It looks like Manhattan except that it isn’t the place that made Mingus or Van Allen or Kerouac or Wolfe or Warhol or Reed or Bernstein or any one of the 1001 other cultural icons from Bob Dylan to Dylan Thomas that form the core spirit of what is needed, in the absence of extreme toleration of vice, to infuse such edifices with purpose and create a self-sustaining culture that will prevent them crumbling into the empty desert that surrounds them.

Dubai is a place for the shallow and fickle. Tabloid celebrities and worn out sports stars are sponsored by swollen faced, botox injected, perma-tanned European property developers to encourage the type of people who are impressed by fame itself, rather than what originated it, to inhabit pastiche Mediterranean villas on fake islands. Its a grotesquely leveraged version of time-share where people are sold a life in the same way as being peddled a set of steak knives. Funny shaped towers smatter empty neighborhoods, based on designs with unsubtle, eye-catching envelopes but bland floor plans and churned out by the dozen by anonymous minions in brand name architects offices and signed by the boss, unseen, as they fly through the door. This architecture, a three dimensional solidified version of a synthesized musical jingle, consists of ever more preposterous gimmickry – an underwater, revolving, white leather fuck pad or a marina skyscraper with a product placement name that would normally only appeal to teenage boys, such as the preposterous Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower.

But if there is one problem with the shallow and the fickle, its that they are shallow and fickle, they won’t put down deep roots and they won’t remain loyal to Dubai. The people who appear in People magazine need to be told what is cool by Wallpaper magazine who in turn will discover something after the hipsters have moved on. The problem is that Dubai was never hipster-cool and is no longer Wallpaper-cool. This realization will have the same impact as suburbanite bachelorette party in a Wallpaper-cool nightclub. It will spread like the sighting of a floating turd in a public pool, flushing people to the exits with silent panic, unacknowledged for fear of embarrassment.

As people scramble for the exits in Dubai, there is no ‘key mail’, like in America, where people can often mail back their house keys and walk away from a mortgage without the immediate threat of jail. People are literally fleeing this place, to date leaving 3000 cars stranded at the airport with keys still in the ignition. And the reason for this is that if you default on your Dubai mortgage, you can end up in a debtors prison. Perhaps Dubai will at least create a new Dickens?



277 comments on “Goodbye Dubai

  1. flowers says:

    Nice effort, very informative, this will help me to complete my task

  2. i like dubai thanx

  3. detectivi says:

    As far as I can tell, Dubai has decadence, but the wrong kind of decadence. They have the expensive let's-buy-a-gold-plated-loo kind, but none of the cheap sex-drugs-rock'n'roll kind.

  4. Buy Wreath says:

    Dubai is really a good place. I was able to go there for a business trip. Thanks for sharing this post.

  5. cotton wave says:

    dubai has left deep impression in my mind

  6. Some experts have the clear opinions about the Abu Dhabi real estate that as they are seeing the increasing demand. Abu Dhabi may become next Dubai in coming couple of years.

  7. Hi, nice blog & good post. You have beautifully maintained it,Its really helpful for me, hope u have a wonderful day & awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

  8. Sokobanja says:

    No matter what Dubai is still one of the most developed cities in the world and the most beautiful city

  9. Sokobanja says:

    Dubai will never go down. When they run out of oil here is tourism

  10. Soko Banja says:

    Agree with Sokobanja

  11. ladiesweb says:

    We're calling it Goodbye Dubai. Do any of the other members have any side projects in the works? I'm sure they will.


  12. Dubai is no more a good option for the business owners to setup there business. Its been very expensive and inflation rate in Dubai is more than other countries..

  13. I have once visited in Saudi Arabia, as part of my university thesis was on Islamic architecture, I can think of no greater works of cultural significance from Granada to Cordoba to traditional Baghdad courtyard houses to Qairouan and Shahjahanabad Delhi from Arab to Persian to Mughal.

  14. I think dubai is not that bad, there are just some places or things that you don't expect. It happens all the time you know.

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  16. dan says:

    It was about time that the Dubai real estate market took a crush…who wants to live in the desert anyway? asigurare obligatorie locuinta

  17. SEO Belfast says:

    I agree with a lot of what was said here. The Dubai skyline appeared magnificent and glamorous until the property crash of 2 years ago. The Dubai’s government’s decision to diversify from an oil based economy to a service and tourism based economy may not have been the right one.

  18. Stolice says:

    In the past it was American dream and now it is Dubai dream!

  19. Real Estate says:

    With the real estate crash which Dubai has suffered through over the past 4 years, you would think developers would have learned something. But, they now plan to build the Taj Arabia, which they claim will be the world’s grandest wedding destination at a cost of $1 billion. They sure have not given up their desire for crazy construction projects.

  20. HotGirl says:

    The way i see things about Dubai is that it is great city with great buildings and architecture. Havent been there yet but i hope i will soon. Those things that happened about business crash in Dubai are really bad but we cant say goodbye Dubai because of that. We cant say that to anybody in earth by my opinion, i hope you know what i mean.
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