Before the desert sands close over its luxury follies, lessons should be learned – number one, don’t believe the hype.
Was anywhere heading for a fall so obviously as Dubai? Yet why did no one ever scream? Why did everyone just marvel?
When I first visited the place three years ago, it was already the most dangerous speculative bubble on earth. Breakneck building – using reputedly a quarter of the world’s cranes – was sustained on hysterical public relations and $80bn of debt.
By last March the signs of impending doom were everywhere. Property and stock market prices were falling and only the PR firms were still sustaining morale, witness a cringing ITV documentary by Piers Morgan and grovelling coverage of Sol Kerzner’s “world’s biggest” hotel launch. Building projects worth a reported $300bn were stopping work overnight.
And so castles made of sand…fall in the sea….eventually…..