The latest issue of Emirates public affairs journal, Open Sky, features a strong defence of the long-term health of Dubai from airline CEO Tim Clark in the wake of recent negative publicity. Dubai's fortunes have come under microscope after being hard hit by the economic downturn.
Here's a little snapshot of Clark's view on Dubai.
"If you believed the recent rash of bad press and rumour mongering on Dubai you would
be forgiven for thinking our city is all but a ghost town; tumble weeds rolling down Sheikh
Zayed Road," says Clark. "I argue that much of the recent reporting and overly negative focus on Dubai is both disproportionate and often wildly inaccurate.
"As the manager of Dubai's largest airline, Emirates, I have a self interest in defending my town, but also more insight than Germaine Greer secured from her four-hour bus ride that formed the basis of her recent anti-Dubai column in the UK."
"Dubai is a city that has confounded many pundits before. They said two Gulf Wars would ruin our tourism sector. It didn't. SARS would decimate our trade with Asia. A short-lived blip. Middle East uncertainties would make the West wary of investment. They weren't. Today's headlines are just as negative and alarming. The facts, however, are different. Dubai's economy is diversified with a focus not just on construction but professional services, trade, tourism, finance and resources. The vast majority of Dubai's construction projects continue at speed; our beaches are clean and enjoyed by residents and visitors alike; our airport is still busy and total traffic has increased slightly; and our future remains fundamentally sound.
Clark does acknowledge Dubai faces challenges; liquidity remains tight, property excesses and speculation have left some exposed, while like other major cities such as London, New York and Beijing, there have been job losses and company failures.
"But which of these great cities will be the first to show signs of emerging from this funk? I would put my money on Dubai," says Clark. "Dubai has emerged as a regional economic and development miracle over the past two decades because it is a fundamentally optimistic society that delivers on what it promises, regardless of adversity or the critics."
There certainly seems to be a more positive sentiment in Dubai's financial markets right now, its financial index starting June with a 24-month high.
Meanwhile, here's a link to Germaine Greer's less than impressed take on Dubai architecture from back in February.