As the world awakens to its first recession in the 21st century, the two main business hubs of the Persian Gulf region, namely Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have also awakened to its repercussions in their own backyard. The two cities, which saw remarkable growth post-1990, do realize today, they will have to work for a common stake in the years to come. Neither Abu Dhabi nor Dubai could think of bracing through these testing periods without calling the other to join in. The two cities, with their commerce and landmarks, which include Abu Dhabi hotels and hotels in Dubai, are like two veins running the development through the whole of the UAE and Middle East. None of these could be separated or made to survive without the other.
These two cities have galvanized the ethnic Arabs and the expatriates alike into unitedly working for a common dream, thus paving a way for immense economic and urban development in the region, in the past two decades. Nothing could be predicted how much the present economic meltdown might affect the Gulf in years ahead, but the signs are ominous with a slowing down of the reality and tourism sectors. Abu Dhabi hotels and hotels in Dubai have recorded low occupancy in the recent months in contrast to their earlier bullish collections.
It is reported now that up to three fourth of Dubai’s key developments might either be delayed or shelved due to the ongoing meltdown of the world commerce. Dubai’s freehold properties have taken the brunt of this causality, and many of those who earlier bought luxurious villas and apartments to make quick returns are now counting their losses and the time it might take them to break-even. Large scale job cuts have added to this spiraling woe and a frenzied disinvestment by the small yet noticeable number of expatriates leaving the city is adding to further confusion. With reality going down, the hospitality sector is not unaffected either, which includes Abu Dhabi hotels and hotels in Dubai.
Dubai may feel the heat more as compared to Abu Dhabi, if the recession deepened any further worldwide. Two factors might work in Abu Dhabi’s favor here: First, its moderate opening to construction mania as compared to Dubai, and second, its larger oil-reserves, which it can turn back to anytime during hardships. What experts foresee as a result, is the possibility of Abu Dhabi becoming Dubai’s savior, if the meltdown worsened further. The latter might have to take the brunt of the slowdown due to its massive expansion in the real estate – which includes villas, apartments and hotels in Dubai – and duty-free commodities, both having been hit worldwide now. Abu Dhabi’s real estate, which consists of an equally impressive array of apartment blocks, villas and Abu Dhabi hotels, is not as much overheated as it might be in its sibling’s case.
As the recession takes its toll further, a section of the expatriates may have to return back to their native countries, but others will stay on and face the crisis together with the ethnic Arabs, one hopes. Interestingly, many used to stay in Dubai hotels and other freehold properties and travel daily to Abu Dhabi for their vocations. While the overall mood for staying in the UAE may have been hit adversely due to recession, the cash counters for Abu Dhabi hotels have not yet dried up as abundantly as in the case of hotels in Dubai. Abu Dhabi hotels continue to enjoy a favorable business from many travelers even today.