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And a new round of speculation begins…

And a new round of speculation begins…

As Arab bourses tumble, people are asking an all-too-familiar question: Is the property boom turning to bust?

October 8, 2008 5:46 by

Gulf property boom over?”asks a bold headline on Bahraini newspaper, Gulf Daily News. As if in response, the headline on Arabian Business reads, “No hiding place for battered Emaar shares.

Gulf states talk up markets, play down crisis,” says Reuters, addressing how officials from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman are reassuring investors that the region will not fall prey to the global crisis.

Yet there is no denying the fact that the regional stock markets are taking a battering.

While officials are confident about injecting more liquidity into the market in the event of a major crisis, investors are still worried – and for obvious reasons.

Following the massive collapse of the banking sector in the US, Europe is now facing its own financial crisis. While the US injected $700bn into its ailing banks, Britain announced plans to inject up to $87bn.

It’s natural that property in the region would be affected. Every multi-billion dollar development being announced at Cityscape needs investment to become more than just a model – investment that would come not only from the Gulf, but from other countries as well.

While a lot of analysts have been recommending the Middle East as the ideal spot for investors to make money, the performance of the region’s stock markets are not very encouraging.

Is the real estate boom in the region finally seeing its last days? Is the global economic crisis bound to take its toll on the oil-rich region as well?

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