Monday, May 7, 2007

Sher View: Killing the Golden Goose

The proverbial golden goose has been killed, stuffed and served on a number of occasions through history. The principal reason the goose gets stuffed each time is that greed is always driving force and this is where someone has to point out what is going wrong. Whether the forces of free economy will be balanced out with prudence is a question that is still open.

Here is where Dubai has to be careful and it might be important for some reflection.

1. A five star hotel on Sh Zayed road has decided that it will charge DH 50 for valet parking (previously was free) and to make matters worse had blocked off all parking places around the hotel in any case. Brilliant! If matters were not bad enough with a bottle of water (Dh 0.50 retail) being sold for Dh 20 (astronomical profit), now if I go to the hotel to meet someone and have a bottle of water the total visit will cost be DH 70 (almost US$20) and then we wonder why is it getting expensive.

2. The Road & Transport Authority (RTA) has also got into the act and now wants to charge for the use of Sh Zayed road through a toll tax. Brilliant idea!! By all means this should be done but ONLY when there is an alternate for the commuters, i.e. enough buses, and ofcourse the Dubai Metro to be operational. How can there be an toll on the road when the alternate is not there for people to use?

3. Hotels have gone insane. A hotel room for US$ 500 is normal and this time around it is just simply crazy. Perhaps the announcement that 40,400 new hotel rooms in three years are coming on will scare hoteliers; NO way... they actually pushed up the rates perhaps feeling lets make more money while the sun shines and the golden goose is cooked to 'well done'.

I do love UAE and indeed Dubai, and these are examples meant to highlight that killing the golden goose doesn't help anyone.

1 comment:

Arifa said...

I absolutely agree with your views and people like us who have been residents of the UAE for over two decades now and have seen the country's growth through the early teething days and all the growing pains to the present feel the changes more than the relative newcomers.

There are those who argue, particularly one RJ on a FM channel, that the traffic woes, the toll system and parking tickets are all things alreay existing in other big cities like New York, London, paris etc. I called in during her show and told her that those cities are developed with the infra-structure already in place. Hence commuters have an alternative to taking their car out or there are multiple highways/motorways and the toll expressway is used only by those who need to reach someplace urgently. In Dubai, the Metro is still minimum three years away, alternate routes are still under construction, you purchase a parking card from the Dubai Municipality but circle around for hours, searching for parking due to dearth of parking lots. I could go on and on, but end with echoing your words "I do love the UAE"!!