Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dubai the land of Plenty

This city-state has to be the poster child for stupid opulence. Below is a picture of a British jet on a flyby over a man made island shaped like a palm tree, Palm Jumeirah. Real estate on that island isn’t moving as expected.

Believe it or not, there are three Palm Islands and another group called "The World."

Then you have the Dubai Ski resort. This kind of gives you an idea where the money, we pay for gas, goes.

How about the world's tallest building the Burj Dubai? Notice the foreground is a replica of Venice, Italy (to show it all would take another 15 pictures).

These things are visible, want to guess at what can’t be seen? The “Cash for Hookers Program," is working quite well in the Arab world; better so than the "Cash for Clunkers" plan here in the States. These girls are bringing our oil dollars back to us (God bless them).

Dubai is a house of cards. It is beyond being absurd. The UAE is stepping in to bail them out. (they had a change of heart) It tends to be obvious that something is out of whack from an investment perspective when you see a ski resort in the hot desert; it is not a mirage. The estimates are around 90 billion dollars to contain the damage (multiply that by a factor of 10 for a more realistic estimate).

Now if the Arabs have been storing their reserves in our banks--- and Ben has spent it all--- and they need to make a large withdrawal,- - - hmmmm.

The next time you go to get gas, think "Ski Dubai." You might mispronounce the word "Ski" and that is understandable.


Poly said...

Just a finger in yet a new dike, we're all fine.......

Tyrone said...

I used to follow Peter Cooper's blog ( He is the author of "Opportunity Dubai: Making a Fortune in the Middle East", released Nov '08. Hearing about his book, all I could think is that he is out of his f*cking mind. He would regularly delete my comments. Once I provided a link to bad news in Dubai and I wrote, "Deleting my comment won't make it less true." If I remember correctly, that was a delete.

I wonder if I can find an autographed copy of his book; it could turn into a collectors item. LOL

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Tyrone

Thanks for the link. The guy is a real optimist.

I can't see anyone wanting to move to an extremely hot desert (73-103F). Air conditioning has to set back the average home owner 10K per year. Plus if you get behind in your house payments, they'll throw you in jail (that's where you hear about all of the abandoned cars at the airport, people bail before they get arrested).

When you think about it, Dubai is like an 8 year old kid that gets a million dollars to spend--it's going to be all candy and toys.

There has to be a massive amount of money that has been spent on infrastructure and with the fleeing home owners, a negative tax base to support it with.

They are projecting a 30% drop in housing prices for Dubai, and I am guessing it is already over 60%. Until they stabilize the tax base, it could go to 85%, and that is a catch 22.

Dubai is going to be hung out to dry. It's a little like the buying frenzy of Florida swamp lands during the late 1920's.

I'm sure the author probably has an extra 30,000 copies of his book in his garage--it shouldn't be too hard to get an autographed copy--if he isn't in jail.

Thank you for your comments and take care.

Anonymous said...


If that temp is accurate then Phoenix is hotter. I live there and I am not sure how you arrived at 10K being the annual cost for A/C . Are they paying some outrageous amount for a Kw Hour in Dubai? The Kw Hour in Phoenix is currently 10.67 Cents. My A/C bill in summer is avg. $250.00 per month. In winter it's much less.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 4:38

You could be right about the Air conditioning bill. I pulled the numbers out of thin air figuring that foreigners would be buying 5,000 square foot homes.

It boils down to the size of the home. We have a 2500 sq ft home and we ran the AC for 4 days this year and our electricity jumped $100. Running ours cost about $20 to $25 a day. Sooo-- we don't run it much!

If you're a citizen of the UAE, there is no charge for utilities from what I have read. That has to be a deal!

It is surprising to discover that Phoenix is as warm as Dubai.

Thank you for the feedback, it keeps me on my toes.

Take care

frakrak said...

There is every possibility Jim that Dubai is just the tip of the iceberg, with more to come!

Heard an interesting report that Western European banks have put less than half their “toxic debt portfolios” (for the old east bloc countries) into the public arena for scrutiny, and that this bad debt is rather on the substantial side!

The economist bringing this to light expects this could be the next phase of a (hopeful) gradual unwinding of “bad debt.” The economist by the way is with Westpac bank Australia chief economist.

The process with Dubai that is becoming all too familiar is the brazen way these announcements are timed to get the desired reaction with world equity markets!!

First you have the herald of bad news, market falls 3-4%, then you have the announcement a few days later (after the damage has been done) that the problem is contained and contingency plans are now in place! Net result market goes back up!

Now I would think that the problems with Dubai were well known with all the major players weeks or months before, and the “fix” was also worked out weeks or months before???

Why not announce both the bad news and the fix together? Aren’t we all fatigued with this sort of B.S. (if you get my point)?