With New Loans, Will Dubai Be Back on Track in Less Than Three Years?

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We’re just a few days away now from the official opening of the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and while one would think that should be cause for worldwide celebration, the whole thing has been marred by this past year’s unending stream of stories about the collapse of Dubai. But maybe that gloom is soon to end? This weekend saw meetings in London trying to save the Middle Eastern emirate from its crushing load of debt, brought on by both the collapse of the economy across the world and by building way too much, far too fast. Neighboring Abu Dhabi is considering pledging billions in loans and the emirate’s creditors might decide to freeze what they’re owed for some time, allowing a slight catch-up period to help Dubai figure out their finances. In the Philippines, one of the original planners for Dubai’s reinvention as a vacation destination, Felino Palafox, has told reporters that he believes, if all of this happens, Dubai will be back on its feet within three years, with all its problems sorted out and everything returning to normal, given that “the tourism and shopping industries are still doing okay.” We think all of this is a bit too much wishful thinking, as it seems the emirate passed a certain point of no return far too long ago, but we’re interested to see how it all plays out.