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UAE’s spot on the hotel list: Can you handle the whole truth?
The whole picture isn’t always what you get when you are busy praising the UAE’s ambitious nature.
July 6, 2011 4:30 by Eva Fernandes
There is spin and then there is pure misleading.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the status of our own homefield, the local press, more often than not, fall into the former category.
Take for instance this recent report from Gulf News which heralds the UAE for making it to the top 11 cities with the most number of hotel projects, as per a report released by Tophotelprojects.com, a database for hotel projects. Gulf News boasts that the UAE currently has 177 hotels under construction. It further noted that “a massive 97 upscale hotel projects under way reveals that Dubai is taking the lead in the construction of hotel projects in the UAE (…) closely followed by Abu Dhabi with 66 projects and Ras Al Khaimah with 14.”
Now, what is so misleading about heralding the UAE for having a lot of projects in the pipeline? Is it not something to be so proud of? Rearing ambition, some may call it. Well Kipp’s answer to that is both yes and no.
118 hotels on the way, surely is something to be proud of…except when you consider it in context. Here in the UAE, it was the somewhat blind and inflated ambition (admirable at times and scary the rest of the time) that pushed the property sector into over drive. And when when it crashed, it crashed real bad. In fact, very few people would dispute that it’s still hurting and desperately trying to get on its feet. Last year it was reported that 842 construction projects with a total value in excess of $350billion were on hold; out of which were 118 hospitality projects. Hmm, 177 hotels in the pipeline, you say Gulf News? Not looking so rosy now afterall…