Business Magazine

Getting Back to Normal

Posted on the 27 January 2011 by Seabee
One of the largest development projects in town is the Al Sufouh tram system. When it began, several kilometres of the once-completed Al Sufouh Road from Knowledge Village into Dubai Marina were dug up and diversions were put in place.
Then the global financial crisis hit.
When it did, the general reaction in Dubai was the same as it was in much of the rest of the world. Hit the PANIC! button.
Construction in particular stopped overnight. Companies fired people who they'd need in the near future to maintain the business. Construction sites were abandoned and became derelict. Creditors whistled for their money.
Over the year or so since the panic set in, the city, especially New Dubai, has looked increasingly very much the worse for wear.  Sand and rubbish gathered and weeds started growing on the abandoned sites, the fences and barriers deteriorated.
It looked unattractive when work was happening but since it stopped it's really been ugly.
But the panic subsided, then companies 'restructured and negotiated with creditors'. (That is, they re-arranged their gigantic loans and told creditors that if they wanted to get anything at all they had to take less than was due).
So work on various developments has been re-started, people are being re-hired, the sites are being cleaned up.
Probably because I pass it every day the tram project was in my eyes one of the worst, most untidy looking.
But it looks as though the negotiations with creditors have been successful because for the past few days the project is a hive of activity.
Getting back to normal
It's a big project, it'll be years before it's finished but it's a relief to see that work's under way once again.

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