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-   -   Dubai economy? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/middle-east-60/dubai-economy-928515/)

TheShed Oct 14th 2019 7:08 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 
I'm in Jeddah as I write this and cannot ever remember seeing it so quiet in the 20 years I've been coming here. I was in Dharan last week and the sentiment is definitely negative towards the economy, even among the Saudis.

I very much doubt Saudi will ever become Dubai, but for the construction folk, this could be the place to be for a few years.

nonthaburi Oct 14th 2019 7:16 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by nottmbantam (Post 12747947)
I keep hearing that Saudi is the place to be, but I don't see the evidence of that. Loads of western expats have left and are getting fewer and fewer - seemingly. Most of the companies I've worked for previously are seriously ramping up their Saudisation programmes, The usual tell tale sings are all too apparent - availability on compounds, people at shopping malls, eating out at restaurants etc . Maybe they're all hiding from me.

Agree with all of that.

One thing about the Saudisation though, I'm never quite sure how many of them are genuine workers. Got loads of chairwarmers in my company. I think women entering the workforce is going to make the biggest change to numbers. More and more of them all the time. Even in the backwards place I am located.

nonthaburi Oct 14th 2019 7:18 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 12747966)
It's not necessarily now, but next year and the next decade in KSA. It's the new Dubai, but the entire ****ing place.

Will all these projects actually happen though? They talk a good game....

nonthaburi Oct 14th 2019 7:21 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH (Post 12748089)
I remember back in early 2009, just after the crash, some sob story in the papers about a British expat couple who'd lived in the UAE for 30 years not having the money to pay for the container home and the cheque bounced and the husband was sent to prison till the money could be raised. There were others who also bailed out to avoid debt. So just because you get into a place at the beginning doesn't mean you'll be making your fortune, Mr Scamp.

Besides, what will you do for your local in Saudi? No boozers in the place, apparently.

I daresay some of you are a bit pessimistic about Dubai's long term prospects. It's not Saudi, and it is a virtue.

Plenty of boozers in the place. IME the people who do Saudi the best are couples in a happy relationship with no need for clubs, or older guys just trying to rake in the cash. If you don't mind more of a laidback social scene Saudi's fine.

nonthaburi Oct 14th 2019 7:24 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 12748093)
I'm not pessimistic about Dubai, this place will continue to be a decent place to be and offer some great opportunities. But in reality the gravy train will end.

There might not be an obvious local in KSA but it's only a matter of time until there are actual watering holes. If wrong then just avoiding a descent into alcoholism or join in at embassy drinks or with home brew if needed. Failing that, a healthier life awaits!

Was speaking to a Saudi colleague about this the other day. He thought it was coming soon, but I can't see it personally. I actually don't mind things the way they are. The driving is bad enough as it is.

nonthaburi Oct 14th 2019 7:25 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by BurpusMe (Post 12748199)
Wow! Lots of interesting perspectives.

I hope things improve in Dubai, it was such a good place to be 2004-2013, though we were very fortunate to stay employed through the messy years.

Singapore was great 2013-2918 but the market is showing signs of stalling.

Maybe Riyadh is the next port! I've been there many times and actually like it. It's a professional environment, and in some respects underrated. I'm not a huge drinker so that makes no difference to me. I'll investigate, and see if anything is happening in the marketing/communication area I work in.

Had a great social life when I lived in Riyadh.

nonthaburi Oct 14th 2019 7:29 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by TheShed (Post 12748266)
I'm in Jeddah as I write this and cannot ever remember seeing it so quiet in the 20 years I've been coming here. I was in Dharan last week and the sentiment is definitely negative towards the economy, even among the Saudis.

I very much doubt Saudi will ever become Dubai, but for the construction folk, this could be the place to be for a few years.

For low to middle income groups they're definitely hurting. Cuts in subsidies, gas went up again recently. They're even getting smaller cars.

Scamp Oct 15th 2019 5:44 am

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH (Post 12748146)
I'm glad you acknowledge there's more to life than boozing ;)

I just find Saudi a difficult nut to crack. The UAE is much more predictable. Higher quality of life. Think of it as a little Switzerland in the region. There's too many factors at play in Saudi for it to turn into a serious competitor to the UAE.

Oh bud, I'd much rather be in the UAE as things stand, I do enjoy a beerio and whatnot so why bugger that up?

I've actually been having a sniff at what there may be in Abu Dhabi. It seems much more relaxed and chilled out, plus we have some close friends down there and always enjoy it when we're there.


Originally Posted by nonthaburi (Post 12748269)
Will all these projects actually happen though? They talk a good game....

Some will, some won't. MBS seems pretty driven and they're cracking on employing consultants to get things going for a number of them. We can barely keep up with the RFPs - especially for help with procurement, which is a positive sign.

Miss Ann Thrope Oct 16th 2019 6:10 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 12748487)
Some will, some won't. MBS seems pretty driven and they're cracking on employing consultants to get things going for a number of them. We can barely keep up with the RFPs - especially for help with procurement, which is a positive sign.

Payment is, always has been and always will be the issue in Saudi. Lots of stuff gets started but then slows down or stops when the inevitable payment issues arise. And the government is the worst payer of all. This will always be the limit on the degree of boom. Lots of big multinationals have a lot of debt in Saudi that may never be recovered. If you are an SME or freelancer then you should consider nothing else as a priority.

For all his energy, MBS is an erratic mess like Walid bin Talal on speed. The worst of all khaleeji qualities only slightly masked by occasional "progressive" thinking. The size of the economy and the burning need for development are both such that Saudi will continue to offer a lot more opportunities than elsewhere in the Gulf where the hangovers from the artificial expo and WC boomlets will be severe. However, it will never be another Dubai, which will still have a role, as Millhouse nailed it characteristically: kind of like a slightly less down-at-heel Bahrain. Though I definitely wouldn't want to hang around until the Brexit refugees arrive!! (I accept the shoehorn of the week award gratefully).

DXBtoDOH Oct 16th 2019 7:27 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by Miss Ann Thrope (Post 12749406)
Payment is, always has been and always will be the issue in Saudi. .

And Qatar too. Companies are holding on to hundreds of millions of unpaid invoices and the client is none other than Qatar itself.

Scamp Oct 17th 2019 6:23 am

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by Miss Ann Thrope (Post 12749406)
Payment is, always has been and always will be the issue in Saudi. Lots of stuff gets started but then slows down or stops when the inevitable payment issues arise. And the government is the worst payer of all. This will always be the limit on the degree of boom. Lots of big multinationals have a lot of debt in Saudi that may never be recovered. If you are an SME or freelancer then you should consider nothing else as a priority.

For all his energy, MBS is an erratic mess like Walid bin Talal on speed. The worst of all khaleeji qualities only slightly masked by occasional "progressive" thinking. The size of the economy and the burning need for development are both such that Saudi will continue to offer a lot more opportunities than elsewhere in the Gulf where the hangovers from the artificial expo and WC boomlets will be severe. However, it will never be another Dubai, which will still have a role, as Millhouse nailed it characteristically: kind of like a slightly less down-at-heel Bahrain. Though I definitely wouldn't want to hang around until the Brexit refugees arrive!! (I accept the shoehorn of the week award gratefully).

Payment is different in KSA. We secured huge advanced payments and then the cycle is about 5 months, we have to ride it for 5 months, explain to the mothership in London that all is OK and then plop. Big chunk comes.

It's certainly a different market but the ambition is spectacular. Probably won't ever be another Dubai, no....but let them have at it for a while so we can all make some money and have a good time before having to return to the mire.

nottmbantam Oct 17th 2019 7:22 am

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by nonthaburi (Post 12748268)
Agree with all of that.

One thing about the Saudisation though, I'm never quite sure how many of them are genuine workers. Got loads of chairwarmers in my company. I think women entering the workforce is going to make the biggest change to numbers. More and more of them all the time. Even in the backwards place I am located.

Yes, definitely agree about the women, and now I think the Ministry is clamping down on jobs ads that want 'males only' and that type of nonsense. Should be more and more women entering the workplace and in more senior / influential positions. Get the impression though that overall, the whole Saudisation programme is full of chairwarmers - especially the men. Although I've been here a while now, I can never get over the rather flexible approach to work. As in "I wont be in tomorrow' or the turning up late going early brigade.

weasel decentral Oct 17th 2019 9:27 am

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 12747972)
Yup.

Thinking it's going to be worth moving that way soon. Be part of the revolution. I missed the boat in Dubai because I'm too young (and cool, obvs), but I can definitely be one of those early ***** who made a fortune by virtue of just being there in the boom time.

This isn't the Saudi boom though, you've missed that - that was early 2000s when the money was genuinely in the economy. I don't see this as the same, the government has put seed capital into all these developments not full funding, which is dependent on rounds of investors piling in as the works progress. I'm seeing concrete skeletons in the future only.

Scamp Oct 17th 2019 9:52 am

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by weasel decentral (Post 12749733)
This isn't the Saudi boom though, you've missed that - that was early 2000s when the money was genuinely in the economy. I don't see this as the same, the government has put seed capital into all these developments not full funding, which is dependent on rounds of investors piling in as the works progress. I'm seeing concrete skeletons in the future only.

Maybe, maybe not.

nonthaburi Oct 17th 2019 3:35 pm

Re: Dubai economy?
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 12749734)
Maybe, maybe not.

Cagey... :eek:


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