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Who is going to live in all those houses?

Who is going to live in all those houses?

That’s the question that comes to mind when you visit Cityscape Dubai.

October 9, 2008 1:52 by

Cityscape Dubai is huge, and Kipp was really impressed with the creativity and the effort put into making the stands.

But the first question we were tempted to ask was: Who’s actually going to live in these houses? While it is true that people are pouring into the city (according to official data last year, some 292,000 more people became Dubai residents in just one year), just skimming through the exhibition makes you realize that the city’s property builders are hoping to house thousands more.

As one show-goer asked us on the way back from the exhibition, once the real estate boom is over and people stop flipping properties, who is going to live here?

Any ideas?

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  1. Pat Bentley on October 13, 2008 8:07 am

    Your question who is going to live in all these properties my question is who will be able to afford to live in these properties – people on average salaries in Dubai at present cannot afford to live in their own accommodation and have to resort to sharing – with all these new properties are they expecting the worlds millionaire’s only to live in Dubai and if this is the case who is going to work in the service industry so their standard of living is assurred as the subcontinent ex-pats will not be able to afford to live here so maybe all the locals who cannot get jobs but at least have a home, can then turn their hands to serving on the wealthy people who now live here in all the luxury property that is all that is built in Dubai these days.

    Where have the warm,friendly Arab values of 15 years ago gone – the infrastructure of Dubai may be modern, up to date and luxurious but the quality of life has changed, only material objects seem to determine the status of a person now.

  2. NARESH on October 13, 2008 8:37 am


  3. boy adnani on October 13, 2008 9:04 am

    no problem , city will grow and people will come. there are loads of oppurtunity.

  4. Bella on October 13, 2008 2:05 pm

    When the fundamental principles are shaky eg. the change in decision on the residence visa , what faith can one have in the market here. Besides inflation which is driven by soaring rents makes it impossible for higher middle class to invest in this overinflated market. Dubai does care – for your money !

  5. Sympathiser on October 19, 2008 10:38 am

    Over 6,00,000 residents of Dubai are involved in Construction and real estate industry of which close to 5,00,000 are construction laborers. Rest 1,00,000 are the ones living in those nice condominiums and villas and if the industry for which they work for collapse, who is going to stay in these places. The bottom line is Dubai is bringing in people to construct houses and apartments for the same people who are going to build these places.

  6. Bill on October 21, 2008 1:08 am

    292,000 new expats may have arrived last year, but given the government’s own figures for salary distribution, 277,400 of them will be service industry or construction workers paid so poorly that they will never be able to rent here, let alone buy. That’s the big question – where are all the *high-paid* expats going to come from to fill all these new properties? Already there are signs that companies are starting to put the brakes on salary increases and are replacing expensive Westerners with cheaper Asian staff who are prepared to live in cheaper emirates and commute into Dubai.

  7. X Pat on November 24, 2008 11:05 am

    If these houses have to be occupied, then those occupying them will have to be paid a minimum salary of AED20,000 per month!
    Currently, approx 90% of the expats are labourers who can only share small huts,so to say. middle class which used to have families sharing single houses now have been asked to stop that practice hoping that they will move to these new houses at a distance! You know what? they will indeed move, not to these new houses, but back to their home countries. Most of them have already sent their families back home, not able to afford the high cost of living.
    So when labourers dont stay here, middle class cant stay here, then.. it will be the rich who will stay here, and will be paid AED 20,000 per month to make coffee for their richer bosses (may be 2-3% of population), to write accounts, to type and send letters, to file papers etc and stay in these houses. Absurd it sounds right? Yeah, it is as absurd as expecting someone to live in these houses. And in a way, this city will not be for anyone else. it will be only for rich, richer, richest and super rich.
    Planning that is gone all wrong one may say.Tthats the conclusion.

  8. Mr Basle Sarbanes Oxley on November 25, 2008 2:48 pm

    I think now that the credit crisis has developed a little more since this story broke, we can safely surmise that nobody is going to live in all of those houses. If they ever get built. (unless they go up for rent at a reasonable price, or, on a rent-to-own scheme). Crunch, crunch! That’s right, kids, the real estate bogey-man has eaten itself, and the banks are running for the hills with their tails between their legs.
    Three new words for you: transparency; governance; ethics.
    Last night, I had dinner with the owner of a small company in Germany, and when I mentioned to him that a [email protected] little 3 bedroomed townhouse that I bought a year ago in Jumairah Village, cost me USD 700,000 he almost spat his beer out. He was equally bewildered when I mentioned to him that I was concerned over whether a shop that I also bought off-plan, will actually ever be built.
    Nothing’s certain. Nothing’s enforceable. No transparancy. No recourse.


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