SJSU in the News: SJ State Group Finds Optimism in Dubai

Silicon Biz Blog
By Donovan Farnham

Since the economic downturn of 2008, business has had a slow climb back in the United States and abroad.

But what about in a place that had unprecedented growth, where it seemed like the sky was the limit, literally, for its buildings and businesses, such as Dubai and other United Arab Emirate cities?

While on a documentary trip with San Jose State’s journalism program I had a chance to sit down with assistant business editor Sean Cronin of the Abu-Dhabi based newspaper The National and talk about how business is going in the area and what’s in store for the country.

Cronin said that in 2008 the UAE got a double hit — the global recession and the city’s own property bubble bursting. This led to a drop in construction that, in turn, led to an exodus of the work force because residency in the UAE is tied to employment, which led to companies scaling down in size.

Fast forward two years and Cronin said real estate hasn’t recovered because of over building of the area, which was the result of buying too much real estate on speculation and too much property flipping.

But, on the upside of the crash, prices in Dubai have come down and the area is now in the reach of companies that wouldn’t have been able to serve the surrounding Persian Gulf region.

This has caused an increase of companies that have moved into Dubai in the last year.

Cronin said this also has let Abu Dhabi and Dubai reset itself from the rapid real estate boom and bring its focus back to the bread and butter of the economy: oil and trade.

Cronin said the cities, ports and business parks that are associated with trade are seeing an increase in business as global trade has started to rebounded during the last 12 months.