Why is business in Dubai running out

Dubai: Mecca of modernity


Old Dubai

"This city is growing so rapidly! Every time I come to Dubai there are new streets, new buildings. I don't even recognize the city anymore." The skyscrapers to the left and right of the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Road, the glass silhouette of the city on Dubai Creek, the Burj-al-Arab Hotel in the form of a huge sail: none of this existed when Michaela Völker first saw it in 1996 came to the desert state - in search of adventure.

At that time she started working as a stewardess for the airline Emirates. She wanted to go abroad, out of Germany. Actually only for six months. She then stayed in Dubai for five years. In 1996, Michaela Völker recalls, there were only a few hundred Germans in Dubai. Everyone knew each other. Just a few years later there were already 3,500.

Oil for the children of Allah

Dubai is a sheikdom within the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates: What sounds as modern as the "United States of America" ​​was an isolated area until the early 1990s. Oil had made the inhabitants rich. So rich that they could buy their way out of the outside world. No foreigner could hope to get a residence permit until 1991. Visas were only available to business people, if at all. But then it became clear: one day the oil reserves will run out.

Last solution: luxury tourism

Sheikh Zayed, the head of the Emirates, developed a plan. The money that comes from the oil business should be used to turn the sleepy desert states into a hub for all of Asia in terms of financial services and luxury tourism.

The prerequisites for this are good: an average of 363 sunny days a year and several hundred kilometers of sandy beach. The income from the hotels and banks should also secure Dubai's prosperity for the future. Since then, billions of dollars have been poured into the construction of new high-rise buildings, highways and airports. And with it come the people who keep luxury going: work is frowned upon among the locals. "The great attraction of this city for me is that so many young people from different nations come together here," says Michaela.

Oriental pretzel

People from all over the world always bring a piece of home with them to the Gulf. Those who want to feel at home in Germany will find what they are looking for at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, one of the magnificent hotel palaces just outside the city. There is the "Keller", a German restaurant. From the rustic tables you can look through the luxurious oriental lobby over the pools to a deep blue lagoon. With pretzel and wheat beer.