Glaeser on Dubai's Rise and Fall

Economist Ed Glaeser explains what went wrong in Dubai World.

"But the long-distance Mumbai-Dubai commuters that I have met see Dubai as a place to do business and Mumbai as a place to enjoy life. Dubai's leader, Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has long understood that in an age of mobile talent, Dubai must be an attractive place for consumption as well as production - a consumer city.

Dubai's long run of success depends on attracting skilled workers who will not stay in a city that offers only sun-baked purgatory. For a decade, the sheik has tried to promote a third type of growth for Dubai, by turning the city into a place of pleasure with soaring skyscrapers, vast malls and spectacular luxury hotels."

"Fifty-story buildings are an efficient way to deliver plenty of space, but extreme height is far more expensive and a bellwether of irrational exuberance."

Full Story: The Ascent, and Fall, of Dubai

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