Dubai in 2008
The emirate witnessed a lot in 2008- from a $20 million hotel launch party to opening one of the world’s biggest shopping malls.
January 1, 2009 11:38 by Aarti Nagraj
1. Atlantis, The Palm launch party
Perhaps it was Dubai’s loudest signal to convince the world that it was immune to the global financial crisis. The $20 million much publicized launch party of the hotel in November drew numerous celebrities including Kylie Minogue, Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Janet Jackson, and Sir Richard Branson.
2. Dubai Nasdaq deal
In September, Nasdaq and Borse Dubai struck a complex deal and agreed to buy stakes in one another. Under the deal, Nasdaq acquired Sweden’s OMX, while Borse Dubai received $1.72 billion in cash and a 19.99 percent stake in Nasdaq.
3. Warehouse fires
There have been 12 major fires in Dubai in 2008, which killed at least 20 and injured hundreds. The most prominent one started in a fireworks warehouse in the Al Quoz industrial area on March 26. Two people were killed and five injured in the incident, which spread to 70 warehouses and the left parts of the city blanketed with black smoke.
4. Ghantoot accident
The 60 vehicle pile-up on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway near Ghantoot is billed as one of the worst traffic accidents in the UAE’s history. Three people died and around 350 were injured in the accident on March 12.
5. Bush visit
The best part about the US president’s visit to Dubai in January was that everyone got a holiday. George Bush went around the city on the rainy day, and also visited Dubai’s rule, Sheikh Mohammad’s house.
6. Sex on the beach scandal
Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors, a British couple who were arrested for having sex on the Jumeirah beach in July, continue to make international headlines. The pair was found guilty of unmarried sex and public indecency, and were fined AED1,000 each and sentenced to three months in prison.
7. Credit card fraud
Banks across the UAE sent messages to their customers in September, asking them to change their ATM details after fraudsters used fake cards to draw money from accounts.
In December, a gang of four men were also arrested after being accused of a $60 million credit card fraud.
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