Last night's TV
The grass is always greener in Dubai
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:53 PM
Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi is set to enter the Guinness Book of Records as the 'world's most inclined tower.' It will lean 4 times as far as Leaning Tower of Pisa. Capital Gate will accommodate the 5-star Hyatt at Capital Centre hotel and will provide the most exclusive office space in Abu Dhabi. The tower forms a major part of the Capital Centre development, a $2.2 billion business and residential micro city being constructed around the thriving Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Hyatt Abu Dhabi to Lean 4 Times as far as Leaning Tower of Pisa
Abu Dhabi Hyatt to Put Leaning Tower of Pisa to Shame
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:27 PM
Dubai wont be the last place to have such towers or houses. And no doubt there will be more than a few that will exist in up and coming places. Gone are the days that rotating restaurant are cool - they seem a tad old fashioned these days.
What does that mean for places like Al Fanar and Al Dawaar?
Rotating Houses Are Becoming a Luxury Trend, Not Just a Gimmick, Says The Economist
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:15 PM
A noxious tide of toilet paper, raw sewage and chemical waste has transformed Dubai’s most prestigious stretch of shoreline into a foul-smelling health hazard.
A stretch of the exclusive Jumeirah Beach — a magnet for Western tourists and home to a string of hotels — has been closed. “It’s a cesspool. Our tests show too many E. coli to count. It’s like swimming in a toilet,” said Keith Mutch, the manager of the Offshore Sailing Club, which has posted warnings and been forced to cancel regattas.The pollution is a blow to Dubai’s reputation as an international holiday destination offering almost guaranteed sunshine and clear seas.
The fact that this has been picked up by the Times in the UK is worrying for the face. Something like e coli in the water is not a great story to tell, and thus the headlines become polarised to either ends of the spectrum - either the amazing or the disastrous. Poo!
Sun, sea and sewage in the playground of the rich in Dubai
Labels: sewage in Dubai
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:08 PM
Ghost by Kader Attia
A selection by Shaadi Ghadirian
UNVEILED: NEW ART FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:12 PM
Emirs of the Gulf to plant offshoot of Britain’s Eden Project
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:05 PM
Dubai Rental Price Index 2009
Labels: dubai rental price index 2009
Posted by grapeshisha at 7:48 PM
More from autoblog:
Gold(finger's) Mercedes C63 spotted in... where else? Dubai
McBling: Chrome SLR holds (food) court in Dubai
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:15 PM
More from Engadget
Posted by grapeshisha at 5:18 AM
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:35 AM
1. Prince Charles has actively encouraged Abu Dhabi’s push for renewables behind the scenes
2. Energy Demand to Swell 50% by 2030
3. Masdar said they’re reviewing the economic viability of its London Array offshore wind farm project
4. Masdar have selected First Solar and China’s Suntech Power Holdings Sunday to provide solar panels “Masdar City”
5. Solar Could Power 100% of Gulf in Daytime
6. Last year the Masdar Initiative invested $2 billion to create Masdar PV, a thin-film solar manufacturing company
7. Abu Dhabi is not Just About Desert Solar - it's abnout wind as well!
8. GE and Mubadala jointly manage the Mubadala Infrastructure Partners fund, and GE is an anchor partner in the Masdar initiative.
9. Abu Dhabi has an R&D issue, but has the money to buy that in.
10. Time calls techno-environmentalism
For those of you, interested in green things, get the detail from here:
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:59 PM
Firstly, Colliers, who have been producing their index for some time now, issues their Dubai Price Index for Q4 2008 and said the following:
According to the HPI, the house prices in the emirate dropped by an average of 8% between October 2008 and December 2008.
Next, HSBC, a highly reputable bank issued their report and said:
Dubai property prices slumped by 23 percent during the last quarter of 2008
So, what's the difference? According to the National:
Until now, many surveys have been underestimating the true scale of price declines because they looked at advertised prices rather than real transaction prices.
So, do you belive in prices that people hope to sell for, or prices that people actually receive? The latter. That's not negating the Colliers Report, because it's great analysis on the data it receives and it's always a like for like comparison.
The real worry is if you believe Shuaa - who believe that Dubai Property will fall 60% in the first half of this year. The really worrying statement from the HSBC report is that there were “some signs of distressed selling in the fourth quarter of 2008”, and that a small number of units sold at prices “that fell short of estimated construction costs”.
What does that say? That is evidence that the Dubai Property Bubble has properly burst, and will now find a more realistic level.
The only ray of hope from the HSBC report was that the property sector is set to see a rebound in confidence as liquidity improves. It just goes to show that you can read numerous things into supposedly the same data.
Colliers International Q4 House Price Index for Dubai Shows Average 8% Price Fall
Dubai property prices slump 23% in Q4 2008
HSBC report confirms Dubai property decline
Dubai realty to see rebound in confidence
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:12 PM
A hypothesis: The old boss who Obama will end up imitating is not Bill Clinton--regardless of Hillary at Foggy Bottom--but George W. Bush. Even the idea that Bush was unique as a warmonger may have to be adjusted once Obama escalates American military intervention in Afghanistan, or discovers that talking to Iran "without conditions," as he has ingenuously proposed, won't stop it from developing a nuclear weapons capacity.
Another hypothesis: the Middle East will never be happy with whoever is in power in the United States of America.
In any case, goodbye Mr Bush. The Iranians have come up with a new game because of you:
Obama Will Be Just Like Bush On The Middle East
Posted by grapeshisha at 8:20 PM
The lay offs are mostly affecting those in the construction industry - professionals in the sales sector and building designers
A recent article from Daijiworld.com highlights how some expat south asians have been hit during the global melt down…
"The construction and real estate industry has been hit following the global slowdown and the direct fallout is that professionals working in the realty industry are rapidly losing their jobs," said a senior media professional, in-charge of a realty supplement in Dubai. "In fact, my weekly real estate supplement usually had 60% advertisement and ran into 300-odd pages. In the last seven weeks, it's down to 80 pages and with fewer advertisements," he added.
Mumbai resident D Nair (name changed) had been living in a plush high-rise in Sharjah for the past four years. However, the script went horribly wrong when his contract was terminated. Nair used all his credit cards to their maximum limit, shopping for people back home. He then discarded his Honda Accord before returning to India for good. Nair, who stays in a rented apartment in Navi Mumbai today, has a Rs15 lakh loan with a Dubai bank.
Another such victim of the meltdown said he bid goodbye to his car in a small by lane near the airport and hailed a cab. "I was scared because a number of us were doing the same and did not want to be questioned by the police. There was no way I could afford to pay the EMI of 1100 Dirhams for my Ford Focus," he told DNA on condition of anonymity.”
Indians flee Dubai as dreams crash
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:22 PM
Dubai real estate prices could fall as much as 60 per cent in 2009 from their peaks in July last year, while Abu Dhabi may slide as much as 20 per cent, Shuaa Capital said on Sunday.
Real estate prices have fallen by around 40 per cent in Dubai and by around 15 per cent in Abu Dhabi from their peaks last year, Roy Cherry, vice president, research at the Dubai-based investment bank told reporters on Sunday, adding that rents in Dubai are likely to fall some 20 per cent in the next two years.
'Dubai is seeing a negative growth in demand for real estate,' Cherry said.
'At the same time it is seeing an increased output. We think the net result of that is lower occupancy rates, going down to the 80 per cent level which will mean a correction in the rents,' he noted.
Dubai's population was likely to fall 5 per cent in 2009 on job losses, while the population of the United Arab Emirates would ease 1 to 1.3 percent, Shuaa said.
Rental rates for apartments and villas have been levelling off throughout 2008, with an average growth rate of 4 percent and 8 percent respectively, property services firm Asteco said in a report last week.
Rents are expected to continue rising in Abu Dhabi, albeit at a slower pace, due to strong demand exceeding limited supply, Cherry said.
Around 30,000 units are expected to be delivered in Abu Dhabi in 2009 and 2010 compared with 80,000 units, he said.
Rents in the seaside emirate have been spiralling since a regional real estate boom started in 2002 when it first allowed foreign investment in property.
Falling oil prices and fallout from the global credit crunch have since taken their toll on Dubai's once-booming real estate sector, which has shown signs of slowing in recent months.-Reuters
Dubai property prices 'may plunge 60pc'
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:21 AM
Let's get a piece of data from hitwise:
UK Internet searches for flights experienced a seasonal increase of 58% between the weeks ending 27/12/08 and 03/01/09, but they were down by 42.4% when compared with the equivalent post-Christmas week last year
That's a little bit worrying. That doesn't necessarily mean that there will be reduced travel, but there is a very high probability.
Here's another piece of data:
Change in UK Internet searches for flights to popular destinations between 05/01/08 and 03/01/09: Dubai -27%
Yes, you read that right, Dubai, 27% down. Does that actually mean anythng? Well the pound is at a low at the moment against the dollar and with the dirham tied to the dollar, UK travellers think twice about going to places that are 30-40% more expensive, even if hotel rates are quashed. Expensive places will always be perceived as expensive places. Even if you can stay at a budget cheap hotel in Bur Dubai, Dubai will always be considered high brow.
And do there we have it then. Travellers from the UK are considering Dubai less for a holiday this year. That may not change anything at all, but I suspect that it will. I will guarantee you this, there will be less holiday makers coming from the UK to Dubai this year. Why? Because the Internet doesn't lie.
Searches for flights down 42% on last year
Labels: dubai holidays
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:46 PM
At a time when shopping in Dubai was cheap compared to back home, so many people are finding they need to shop around for branded items. Another disadvantage is that online shopping in UAE is not available for most stores which makes searching for the best deals harder.
Some analysts say the reason UAE bears the burden of higher priced branded goods is due to the purchasing power of different markets. UAE is viewed as one of the stable countries where growth is amongst one of the strongest in the world.
Retail cost of living in the Gulf
Posted by grapeshisha at 7:33 PM
Public Notice - Attention Casa Dubai clients
Casa Dubai has been an extremely successful and profitable business. The World Economic Crisis has unfortunately had a serious effect on the Dubai Real Estate market and consequently a terminal effect on Casa Dubai. Casa Dubai has been forced by the current economic situation to commence proceedings for compulsory liquidation. All our offices are now closed and our staff have been laid off. Casa Dubai generated sales of £21m in the eight months to August and virtually nothing since. The specific reasons for closing the business are:
Developers delaying or being unable to pay commissions due on sales.
A major developer fleeing from the police with over £500,000's worth of Casa Dubai's clients' money.
The inability of Casa Dubai to sell properties in which it had invested money generated from its own profits and consequently losing all invested.
The lack of income in the months September to December to pay for overheads.
The collapse of sterling making foreign investment considerably more expensive than just a few weeks ago.
The liquidity problems of UK and World banks which no longer have a desire to lend money to buy property.
The majority of our clients will not be affected by these events, for those that are, I sincerely apologise for the distress caused. All our clients will be able to talk directly to the developers, please refer to your contract or sales agreement for the contact details. Most developers will face difficulties in completing their projects for a variety of reasons due to the current crisis. It is our belief however, that the majority will still deliver their developments, albeit with delays.
Once finished, our clients' investments will show exceptional returns. Dubai will recover and will become a highly desirable destination. We would like to thank our clients for using our services, we ask our clients to appreciate how the sudden world events could not be predicted or planned for. We have become another insignificant statistic, just like many thousands of other businesses will become in the coming months.
Any queries should be addressed to:
The Official Receiver
c/o Casa Dubai
Casa Dubai is the trading name of Casa Estates (UK) Ltd. Registered in England No: 5374432 at the address below.
Posted by grapeshisha at 6:57 PM
However, what you might not know is that this cocktail is based on another cocktail called "the Old Fashioned". So for those of you who are drinkers and want to pretend to be Dubai blingers, next time you go to a cocktail bar, ask for your Old Fashioned, and secretly grin to yourself that you are paying a hell of a lot less than some mug with more money than sense.
According to wikipedia, here's the recipe:
2 ounces (60 ml) bourbon
Splash of simple syrup or 1 cube sugar and just enough water to dissolve the sugar
2 dashes bitters
Old Fashioned glass
1. Place sugar (or syrup), bitters, and water in old-fashioned glass
2. Crush sugar if needed and coat glass
3. Add 2–3 cubes ice and whiskey
4. Garnish with twist
An 1895 recipe specifies the following:
1. Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey glass
2. Add two dashes Angostura bitters
3. Add a small piece of ice
4. Add a piece lemon peel
5. Add one jigger (1.5 ounces or 44 mL) whiskey
Mix with small bar spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass
And so there we have it then. The Karama market version of the 27321
Posted by grapeshisha at 8:49 PM
We have put together a selection of lists covering the top hotels in Dubai:
Which ones topped our list? Hint- what do Malakiya Villas, XVA, Dubai Youth Hostel and the Ritz Carlton have in common?
The Top Ten Hotels in Dubai
The Alternative Top Ten Hotels in Dubai
The Top Ten Budget Hotels in Dubai
The Top Business hotels in Dubai
Everyone has their own opinion - this is what we think. No doubt this will change across the course of 2009 and we will think different in 2010. But in the meantime, these, we believe are the best hotels in Dubai.
Grapeshisha Guide to the Best Hotels in Dubai
Posted by grapeshisha at 8:38 PM
Dubai down 72.4%
Abu Dhabi down 47.5%
Kuwait down 35.4%
Qatar down 28.1%
Bahrain down 34.5%
Saudi Arabia down 58%
Dubai stocks down 72.4% in 2008
Labels: stock market
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:40 AM
The big issue for Dubai will be some of the audacious projects that will not complete on time. But it's not just on the larger end of the scale. One must also look at those developers who rely on financing to complete a project of a hotel, say. Such developers will, and indeed, already have, scaled back. Quite simply, they have not been able to find the financing to be able to complete the projects that they have started. The banks who had initially offered to put up the money are cherry picking safe investments. And what you will see is some down time on some projects. Some projects will not see the light of day....ever.
Even if the Dubai government inject money into the economy to kick start the growth again, it wont be enough to maintain the same levels of growth as was predicted fr 2009. But that's not a bad thing. Only the realistic much needed projects will come to fruition. The Dubai Metro, for example, is not something that can fail- and it will not. Government initiatives will be looked at with a fine toothed comb and prioritised.
But one must look at some of the headlines staring at us as we enter this new year. Hotel occupancy has fallen to a level circa 70%, way off the highs of the late 90s which have been seen previously. It's a combination of too much supply has come to the market over the last year and a downturn in the tourism real number growth. Less people than expected are traveling, able to travel or want to travel. People are worried for their future, in many parts of the world due to the slowdown and this is how Dubai is affected by the highs and the lows of the global economy. Hard up travelers and tourists will vote with their feet by staying put or taking a less extravagant trip than visiting the spend culture of blinging Dubai. Unless Dubai becomes less blinging and rates fall, there will be even more woe from the tourist market.
Prices are falling,property-wise all across Dubai, from high end Burj appartments right down to lowly the Greens one bed rentals. And this is where Abu Dhabi will be hit also. If there is any inflation in any of the prices, they will very quickly come down to their correct market adjusted price. There is no speculation game any mroe, and those that think that there is one, will need to be in touch with the market to be able to spot those bargains. At the end of the day, there is value in Abu Dhabi's proposition at this early stage of its development, and thus there is a mint to be made from the smart strategic investor.
And while there are other factors in play, oil will continue to be a headline grabber. No doubt much has been stored in the coffers for a rainy day, but 40 dollars is not the level that the oil producing players like it at. Watch it sky rocket over the year. And watch for a further rocky ride across all the bourses in the new year as they look to try to restore value, and shareholders try and claw back at realising a lower loss than they thought they would be hit by in September.
One thing is clear, this is the most uncertain year that the UAE has entered in its existence, more so for Dubai - and for that uncertainty, this could be a very interesting year for many observers of this Middle East success story.
Posted by grapeshisha at 8:54 PM
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- Piers Morgan on Dubai
- The Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi
- Rotating Buildings Are Becoming a Luxury Trend
- Don't gulp if you get caught in a rift
- Middle Eastern Art
- Eden Project Abu Dhabi
- Dubai Rental Prices
- Superbling: Bling for bling's sake....only in Duba...
- The Burj Al Arab PC
- The Oprah Effect in the Middle East
- Abu Dhabi & Energy
- Has the Dubai Property Bubble Burst? Is this the e...
- Will Obama bring progress to the Middle East?
- The Dubai Dream ends for some
- Dubai Property to Crash by 60%
- The Internet doesn't lie
- Shoppers paradise? Yeah Right!
- A Casualty of the Dubai Property Market
- 27,321 Dhs - The most expensive cocktail in the wo...
- Dubai Hotels - which ones are the best?
- 2008 was the year of the crash
- What now? The UAE in 2009
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