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Who made the big money in Dubai?

While there is no doubt that the Dubai property market in particular, and the overall economy to a lesser extent, has been very strong over the last decade the fact that the ruling family has been left with a $80 billion deficit prompts the question - "Who made all of the money?"

The vast majority of investors in Dubai were attracted by the property sector which was supported by a strong economy and a willingness from overseas companies to open up various branches in Dubai. In simple terms, many people believe that Dubai is the stereotypical "East meets West" offering the chance for Western companies to crack new markets. There is no doubt that there have been changes in the Dubai culture, where rightly or wrongly a number of Western influences are showing, but this has been offset by a more lucrative lifestyle for those in the region.

Unfortunately, it looks as though those who invested in the Dubai property market at an early stage and bailed-out before the collapse of the property market have walked away with the major income and major profits. One other issue is the fact that many of these property investors were from overseas and consequently a significant chunk of this "investment return" was not reinvested into Dubai and could be lost forever. Whether or not Dubai is the typical property hotspot which now collapses and disappears forever is debatable but the short to medium term situation will be very difficult indeed.

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