30 April, 2009

Ashes to ashes

The city is home to around 1.5 million people who enjoy low taxes and a pretty extreme arid climate for 5 months of the year. The city has been for many years a hotbed for property development and speculation and prostitution. Scores of illiterate migrant workers toil in the desert…

I am of course talking about the city of Phoenix in the US state of Arizona. What were you thinking?!

For several years now Dubai and Phoenix have worked on forging closer ties.

It is unclear as to who pursued whom in the first place – and why -, but in the end those efforts have culminated in the establishing of a strategic partnership between Dubai and Phoenix. An agreement was slated to be signed yesterday, 29 April.

Twinning two cities from different countries is in principle a great idea and it happens a lot across Europe. You can compare and learn from each other about new ways to do things; compare different regulations, strategies, and results. The idea is to tie with a city that is similar but not too much either.

So why has Dubai chosen to twin itself with Phoenix, Arizona?
Well, it becomes all clear now: Phoenix boasts the biggest decline in property prices in the entire USA!

It’s so much more fun to compete with peers. Not only do you have a realistic chance of coming out tops but you can also conveniently point fingers at each other as example for similar problems across the world. This is reassuring for the respective populations. After all, it would hardly be very amusing for Dubai to compare itself with, say, Oslo or Zurich.

I can picture the municipality leaders of Dubai and Phoenix leaning heavily on a park bench, in between sips out of bottles in paper bags, commiserating with each other and ranting on about the unfairness of life. “Why me? It wasn’t me! It’s all the investors’ fault!”

As the saying goes: With friends like these....

Of course we hope that both cities will eventually rise from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix. But this is only possible because in the first place both burned (their fingers) badly and crumbled.

By the way, currently Dubai leads Phoenix with a -41% versus -35% decline. Hooray. We are winning.


Anonymous said...

This artical is amazing I wish if you are an editor in one big newspaper here in the U.A.E.

Proud Emirati said...

What is so amazing about it? Dubai has many other twin cities so this article is baseless.

Anonymous said...

I love how every member of the subhuman race who posts a blog POST turns it into an article.

It isnt an article, A trained joirnalist writing for a newspaper writes articles. this is a guy with nothing better to do trying to be smart. TRYING, and failing.

Sidenote. For anyone who hasnt been to the Arizona, you should go. It is breath taking, and the metro area (phoenix/scottsdale/tempe...) are pretty good too.

rosh said...

It's true, areas surrounding Phoenix (and Arizona itself), breathtaking & beautiful. The Grand Canyon, breathtaking 200+ mile long cut into the red rocks of Arizona by the Colorado River. Sedona is another soulful place with rich Native American history all surrounded by tall, red rocks and mountains in the distance. Gorgeous stuff indeed! Nick, there's more to UAE than DXB tourist brochures & fancy real estate.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Sedona is amazing. That type of silence that you cant find in a city. It's also amazing to see the change when driving from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Going from the valley of the sun (its hot as hell) to the higher altitudes where snow is very normal.

Phoenix as a metro area is very fun. Lots of things to see and do, no matter what you fancy.

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