Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dubai’s New Public Transportation: Canal?

SOURCE: Financial Times and AHN News

Developers are getting a piece of the pie in Dubai. Dubai is planning on spending $61bn on an infrastructure project starting in just a few months. The 75km inland canal project will take about 15 years to build. Dubai World, the major developer, is responsible for transportation, utilities, and construction. All the rest of development will go to private developers.

The first phrase of the project will be an $11bn venture, building an inland waterway that expands Dubai’s waterfront. The canal will loop around New Dubai, which is the new residential and business development area of central Dubai. The canal will then cross the desert to the border of Abu Dhabi. The project should begin this December and continue for approximately three years.

Dubai has become the Middle East’s most well-known tourist area. The second phase of the project will create more homes, commercial industries, and entertainment development. This phase will cost $50bn and will create a waterfront city covering a 33km stretch. In about 15 years, the project could end up housing one million people. Dubai’s confidence has been increasing in the business, tourism, and finance sectors. Over the past decade, the country’s economy has been propelling by attracting workers and investors, especially in real estate stock. In addition, according to AHN News, “the infrastructure project is expected to draw more foreign labor to Dubai, which already has an estimate 80% expatriate population.”

Dubai has continued to grow at an amazing pace. “Dubai’s offshore projects have expanded the natural 40km coastline into beachfront close to 2,000km,” said Simeon Kerr in the Financial Times. The canal may cause additional road hazards in an already congested city. However, after the canal is built, it may provide for more public transportation through water taxis.

FOR DISCUSSION:
If Dubai keeps peaking, will the country eventually crash?
Will other Middle East countries suffer as a result of Dubai’s economic boom?

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