Snapshot Sunday: Dubai Gold Souk

Snapshot Sunday: Dubai Gold Souk

The gold souk in Dubai is a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed and a must-visit in one of the richest cities in the world.

To see more photos from our our travels click here

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Comments

» ClearedCustoms :
Dec 3, 2012

Dubai may have the world’s largest gold market but they are definitely not one of the richest cities in the world. Maybe someone else can weigh in on their current debt loads but as recently as 2009, and on the brink of insolvency, they took 20 billion (USD) in aid from neighbor statelet Abu Dhabi. Hence the renaming of the Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa (after the emir of Abu Dhabi). The real estate market tanked around the same time and many projects were abandoned (i.e. The World) and many of the finished buildings are only partially occupied. Cool photo though.

[Reply]

thinkCHUA @ LivingIF Reply:

You’re correct that Dubai is not the richest city in the world and they suffered during the financial crises (needing to borrow from Abu Dhabi). What happened though wasn’t a debt crises (having more debt than assets), rather a liquidity crises (they couldn’t sell assets fast enough to make debt payments). They hold a $70 billion sovereign wealth fund, which is enormous given the tiny Emirati population, but much of it’s holdings are in real estate and PE, things that cannot be converted to cash quickly. Borrowing from their neighbor appears to have been more of an asset allocation issue than anything else.

All this said, I have a future post about Dubai and the oil states squandering wealth on things like the Burj Khalifa instead of building real economies like the Asian tigers did.

[Reply]

ClearedCustoms Reply:

I couldn’t come up with an official number (Dubai isn’t exactly transparent) but a recent Financial Times cited Dubai’s debt as 110 billion USD. Dubai has exhausted its oil. Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi… these are (oil) rich statelets/countries. Your neighbor with a mortgaged house, a leased car, and 30k in cc debt looks rich, he’s not. Your neighbor is Dubai.

[Reply]

thinkCHUA @ LivingIF Reply:

I hadn’t found the debt numbers from a reliable source, but if that is where it stands then yes, you are 100% correct. I love the indebted neighbor analogy.

[Reply]

thinkCHUA @ LivingIF Reply:

I hadn’t found the debt numbers from a reliable source, but if that is where it stands then yes, you are 100% correct. I love the indebted neighbor analogy.

[Reply]

thinkCHUA @ LivingIF Reply:

I couldn’t find the debt numbers, but if that is where it stands then yes, you are 100% correct. I love the indebted neighbor analogy.

[Reply]

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LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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