Reasons Behind the Silent Crisis in Dubai

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Dubai is currently experiencing a silent crisis: real estate prices have fallen and the turnover of its 'malls', the gigantic shopping centers, has also fallen. Whose fault is it ? Qataris who do not come to spend their money in Dubai anymore. But the Qataris do not do it any more, because they are banned from stay in Dubai. For many Europeans, Dubai is synonymous with wealth, extravagant towers and money flowing. It's very simple, this world-city has become a must-visit tourist attraction in a few years. But what the tourist does not see is that this city is in crisis, a silent crisis. Nobody talks about it, because in Dubai and more generally in the United Arab Emirates, it is not too recommended to say aloud or to write that business is bad.

This crisis could have been avoided. Since 2017, under the influence and pressure of Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the other United Arab Emirates have decided to punish their neighbor, Qatar. The Qataris who lived in Dubai had royally two weeks to pack up and leave the country. What is being blamed in Qatar? It is to have links with Iran and the Muslim brothers. And so, neither one nor two, since 2017, there is a sea and air embargo against Qatar.

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The concern is that we are a bit in the history of the sprinkler watered. After being struck by this embargo, Qatar has recovered, and thanks to its immense gas wealth, this micro-state has found new alternative sources of supply. In contrast, Dubai suffers martyrdom. The 'malls', these famous shopping centers are still impressive in Dubai, but if you speak with a manager on condition of anonymity, he will tell you that their turnover has fallen sharply since the Qataris can not come any more shopping at home.

Worse, real estate prices have plummeted by a good third if not more and have reached the level of 2009. Remember, at the time Dubai had been hit by the crisis and could not avoid the bankruptcy that thanks to the money from Abu Dhabi, Dubai's powerful neighbor. Moreover, the highest tower in Dubai was renamed the name of the Emir of Abu Dhabi to thank him.

What is missing, too, is a form of trust. Foreign investors have seen that Dubai has not taken a glove to expel the Qataris who lived on their soil in two weeks, and they say to themselves that if they do this to their Gulf brothers, what can they do to somebody else? one who does not look like them and who does not speak their language.

To pass the milestone of this silent crisis, the authorities are banking on the 2020 World Expo which will bring 20 million visitors and make Dubai a global showcase. But what do we do next? The answer is still waiting.

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