Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Maybe they'll do a better job of it

It's no secret that Omanis have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to Dubai. It's a love/hate relationship. We love it, but we love to bitch about it. Most common things you hear about Dubai in Oman: "I go there to shop but I'd never live there" or "it's a bubble, it's not going to last." Anyhow, the inferiority complex grows when news comes of Dubai companies investing outside Dubai, but not in Oman. Like for example this news here:
UAE-based property developer Majid Al Futtaim Investments launched a $400 million (Dh1.47 billion) Bahrain City Centre project, expected to be one of the largest shopping, entertainment and leisure complexes in the Middle East.

The project, costing 150 million dinars ($398 million) is to be completed in early 2007. The complex, which will house the Middle East's largest 20-screen Cineco Cinema and more than 350 stores, also features a 54,000 square foot family entertainment centre called Magic Planet and two hotels with a total of 700 rooms which will be linked directly to the mall . (source:

Afterall, when Majid Al Futtaim first ventured out of the UAE, he built a City Center in Muscat, but it turned out to be a tiny pebble shit mini mall with just a large supermarket and a few shops, a food court and a Chili's. It did no favors for our inferiority complex.

People who get pissed off at the slow pace of development in Oman compared to our next door neighbors often say things like "they should give Muscat to Sh. Mohammed bin Rashid, he'll build it right." I wonder how they would feel if rumors turn out to be true that the Sheikh is actually buying huge chunks of land in different areas in Oman, but not Muscat. A few weeks ago a rumor came out that Emaar Properties was coming to Oman. But more recently I heard that it's not true. It's not Emaar, it's Mohd bin Rashid himself who has bought very large areas of Shinas and a large percentage of Yiti for development by Dubai Holdings, a company owned by the government of Dubai.

How do you feel about that?


OceanDream said...

I don't know if there is an easy answer to this question. Sure it upsets me seeing all the development going on next door while there are no evident signs of anything similar occuring here in the near future. Feels like the whole world is moving while you are stuck in your place.

I keep asking myself why things are the way they are. Why are shops always closing down? How come we spend our money in these same shops in Dubai, but never do so here in Muscat? How come when you go to City Centre, it takes you ages to find parking, yet when you go inside, the shops are empty. How sad is that? The whole centre is crowded, but the shops are empty (except for carrefour and the food court).

Some people say there is no spending/purchasing power. Ok, I know the salaries here leave alot to be desired, but, is that the only reason? Is that what keeps investors away? They say Dubai has alot of expatriots spending good money there, is that what gives their country the upper hand?

Are our commercial laws and all the red tape investors have to cut through a disadvantage? Is that what discourages outside investment?

I am not an economist, heck I can't even manage my own salary (thank God for my banker husband), so I am not in any position to give any facts or figures. All I know is what I said. Which, when you really think about it, is just a bunch of even more questions!

Preternatural_aL said...

FYI: usually it has nothing to do with Shk Mo,they just put his name there..u actually think ONE man can think of evrything?? Oman is a beautiful country and BIG, Dubai on the other hand is so small u can get lost and get back in 1 hour,touring the city at the same time.Have u noticed the other emirates havent progressed this fast?

Dunno much abt commercial laws, prolly that has something to do with it.
on a closing note: DUBAI RULES ;p

Anonymous said...

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, we are never satisfied are we?

God help us if Oman were to ever become anything like Dubai, what a bloody pit that place is, never mind the fact that it looks like an ugly building site, has done that since I moved to the ME 17 years ago.

I went to Abu Dhabi a few weeks back, wayhay what they have done to the Corniche is amazing and the town looks 'finished' it's bloody lovely that city. Got all the shops Dubai has too.

Now back to Dubai, what a shit hole, it's basically a whore house, I went to Wild Wadi with the kids and there were burds in G Strings, jesus h frekkin c what is this, all islamic/decency values have gone out the window when this sort of thing happens. I would be the last person you would call a prude but it wasn't right, not only were my 12 n 10 year old boys eyes bulging, so were the local laddies (not their eyes) these dishdashas leave nothing to the imagination when a stripling gets a little excited. Before you all think it - I wasn't really jealous the fact that the girl had the most amazing bloody figure I have ever seen!!!! yeah yeah!

Then to top it all a big fat sod of a russian bloke, whilst beconning his equally ugly n fat friends, stuffed his hairy armpit in my face, I lost my appetite in the queue for footlong hotdogs instantly.

Oman is amazing, yeah sure could do with a few more shops but I have a great time shopping here. It's a challenge.

Can't think of what I really wanted to say! ha need a glass of vino, it is the weekend isn't it!


mentioned maturity said...

hey jayburd or whoever.... it isnt like u get paid for talking here! both the cities have thier beauty i'm pretty sure, but if there is a development in Dubai beyond what u can even perceptually map (and way more than any other emirate of the UAE has ever seen), then all due credit is deserved. comparing the two is only showing ignorance, try and evaluate each for its own progress chart, that might say a lot and give u reason to hold pride in your Oman too! and for everyone who's going all gaga abt the Dubai development chart, remember Dubai is a way more liberal set up, economically and socially. they wanted to inculcate that mindset and successfully did it, so probably they decided to be forward enough to become the Gulf capital sumday. that absolutely doesnt mean that Saudi Arabia or Oman or even Abu Dhabi who want to stick to their roots, r on a skew!

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