Dubai World: How Dubai fell from its peak
The story of the Emirate’s debt difficulties sent shockwaves around the world. Dubai World’s proposed restructuring has given its local business leaders and bankers precious time to begin to get its affairs in order. A painful adjustment process is in prospect, even assuming the worst of the news is out of the way.
AS THE PLANE descends towards Dubai’s International Airport a stunning landmark dominates the skyline. The Burj Khalifa, at 828 metres the tallest man-made structure in the world, towers over every other surrounding building. With its patterned design embodying Islamic architecture, it is a magnificent sight. The skyscraper was officially opened on January 4. As with most things Dubai the accompanying ceremony was fabulously glitzy and over the top.
A fantastic 10,000-firework display took place in front of 6,000 people including guest of honour Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. The event concluded with sky tracers and space cannons enveloping the tower in a halo of white light.
The ceremony was relayed live on a huge screen in a neighbouring park as well as on televisions placed across the Downtown Burj Khalifa, the $20 billion development area whose centrepiece is the tower.
Dubai might have one or two debt problems but it still knows how to party.