Recently a couple of mega projects were announced in Dubai which can be seen as a flash back of the olden days. One cannot help but be pessimistic about the newly found confidence in the real estate market after the crash of 2007. The few ‘high-profile’ projects that were announced in the recent weeks by Dubai’s property and tourism sector would include the new $ 1 billion replica of the ‘Taj Mahal’ and the canal the joins Dubai’s business sector to the Sea. Apart from the mentioned projects there was also an announcement of a huge new Mega Project known as the Mohammed Bin Rashid City which houses around 100 Hotels and the world’s biggest shopping mall. This city is to have its own Universal Studios theme park. Apart from this there was also the mention of a new $2.7 billion entertainment complex situated inside Jebel Ali. The entertainment complex is to feature 5 theme parks. Given the over extravagant nature in which these new projects were announced it is simple to be reminded of the ‘boom’ years during which Dubai grew and flourished to great extents however this ultimately became the cause for its downfall as well during the real estate market crash.
The announcements of these ‘Mega Projects’ have done well to spark a debate about whether or not the city’s planning and government has bit off more than it can chew. It can also prove to be a positive sign provided the real estate developers learn from the mistakes they made back in 2006 and 2007. The proper manner to go about it would include a careful and coordinated method of rolling out these colossal projects. It would also be a good practice not to develop real estate too hastily. According to Gavin Samson, Managing Director of Christie + co, one of the biggest challenges being faced by these projects is that of financing. Since banks would be much more wary about lending off the money that is needed to fund these developments. This however could prove to be a positive thing by ‘Anchoring’ the projects which is exactly what was missing the last time around. But even with the finances taken care of, one has to question the pragmatisms behind the announced projects.
Experts tend to question Dubai’s capability when it comes to filling up the 100 hotels in one city. The fact that Dubai remains one of the busiest airport hubs in the entire world could present a good argument for the business these hotels stand to make. Apart from that there is also a question of whether Dubai as a city really requires the world’s biggest shopping mall? And will this shopping mall attract a plethora of its own customers or would it steal business from the pre-existing mega malls such as ‘Dubai Mall’ and ‘Mall of Emirates’? The confidence may remind one of the ‘Boom’ years but it is better to question the feasibility of these projects as they stand, rather than wait and hope to avoid another crash.
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