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Extravagant Dubai Island Project Sinks Under Weight Of The Credit Crunch

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Extravagant Dubai island project sinks under weight of the credit crunch

THE Galwayman who bought Ireland is dead, England is deserted, while Australia and New Zealand have merged.

They were designed to make Dubai the envy of the world: a series of paradise islands inhabited by celebrities and the super-rich reclaimed from the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf and shaped like a map of the Earth. It was called The World.

As millions of tonnes of rock were dumped into the sea for the foundations, timely leaks suggested that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were to buy Ethiopia, Richard Branson was tipped to occupy England, while Rod Stewart would border him in Scotland.

Instead it has become the world's most expensive shipping hazard, guarded by private security in fast boats and ringed by warning buoys to keep the curious away.

A development that was meant to send Dubai's star into the firmament of First World cities has been left to the mercy of the waves and the baking winds.

Mile after mile of breakwater built from boulders brought hundreds of miles by ship has been laid, but inside its man-made lagoon, work has completely stopped.

The expected map of the world of 300 islands is instead a disjointed and desolate collection of sandy blots -- a monumental folly just out of sight of Dubai's shore.

Those who bought into what was the world's most ambitious building project were not celebrities.

Many were more ordinary investors who put down 70pc deposits, some of them Anglo-Indians.

Galway auctioneer turned developer, John O'Dolan (51) fronted a consortium under his O'Dolan International banner and bought Ireland for e28m :lol: in 2007 and last year snapped up England from under the noses of several UK interests for e23.5m.

But the property crash brought tragedy in its wake as the Galwayman committed suicide in February of this year.

As well as his foreign investments, the popular family man had extensive business interests in Ireland. He owned a bar and a hostel in Galway as well as other properties in Dublin and Limerick.

A couple of weeks before his tragic death, a receiver was appointed to his Galway hostel and a property company. His body was discovered in a shed on his Barna Road property.

His fellow investors in the Dubai development now have little prospect of seeing a return. The World has stopped, but they can't get off.

"The World has been cancelled. It doesn't even look like the world. Basically there is one island that is maintained that is said to be owned by the Sheikh [Dubai's ruler] and the rest looks like a pile of muck," said one local property agent.

It is the starkest example of a financing crunch that faces the emirate but many other projects are also in jeopardy.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is a part, about $300bn (e205bn) of building is on hold after prices began tumbling.

Abu Dhabi, Dubai's oil-rich neighbour, is helping to support it through the crisis, so far to the tune of about $10bn. Another $10bn is likely to follow soon, and more may follow.

Property is not the only dark spot in the UAE. In the nearby emirate of Sharjah the credit crunch caused massive power outages, leaving businesses and houses without electricity

This week, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai's ruler and the UAE's Prime Minister, vowed to steer the emirate through its troubles and pledged to further rein in extravagant developments.

Officially, however, not a single project has been cancelled -- just delayed.

"I don't blame anybody. Some papers try to write this but they are forgetting their problems [in their own countries] ... But people only throw stones when a tree has fruit," he said.

- James Mclean and Brian McDonald

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/middl...l?service=Print

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Galway auctioneer turned developer, John O'Dolan (51) fronted a consortium under his O'Dolan International banner and bought Ireland for e28m in 2007 and last year snapped up England from under the noses of several UK interests for e23.5m.

But the property crash brought tragedy in its wake as the Galwayman committed suicide in February of this year.

As well as his foreign investments, the popular family man had extensive business interests in Ireland. He owned a bar and a hostel in Galway as well as other properties in Dublin and Limerick.

A couple of weeks before his tragic death, a receiver was appointed to his Galway hostel and a property company. His body was discovered in a shed on his Barna Road property.

Perhaps, 10 years ago he would have been content owning a bar and a hostel in Galway and left it at that?

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Perhaps, 10 years ago he would have been content owning a bar and a hostel in Galway and left it at that?

I find it tragic and puzzling why people like Mr O'Dolan kill themselves over things like this. Is it because they bigged themselves up to such a massive extent they couldn't bear to lose face, or is it because the kind of person who gambles on such a massive scale has a fundamentally unstable personality? :(

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I find it tragic and puzzling why people like Mr O'Dolan kill themselves over things like this. Is it because they bigged themselves up to such a massive extent they couldn't bear to lose face, or is it because the kind of person who gambles on such a massive scale has a fundamentally unstable personality? :(

That is an interesting point. I suspect Ego is the basis for both and Ego can be a very dangerous, destructive thing in a person's life.

A friend of mine once told me that there are far more narcissists in the World than most of us realise and that narcissism is a real, serious and dangerous personality trait. Narcissists are sociopaths which is one step down from pyschopaths.

He told me that virtually all narcissists go through life oblivious to the damage they are causing to others around them and that something inside of them stops them from seeing this, partly out of pure selfishness, but mainly because if they ever stopped to pause and think about the harm that they have done it would destroy themselves and often lead to suicide.

Of course, I am not saying that this is the case in the case of this particular chap. Just talking generally about people.

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That is an interesting point. I suspect Ego is the basis for both and Ego can be a very dangerous, destructive thing in a person's life.

A friend of mine once told me that there are far more narcissists in the World than most of us realise and that narcissism is a real, serious and dangerous personality trait. Narcissists are sociopaths which is one step down from pyschopaths.

He told me that virtually all narcissists go through life oblivious to the damage they are causing to others around them and that something inside of them stops them from seeing this, partly out of pure selfishness, but mainly because if they ever stopped to pause and think about the harm that they have done it would destroy themselves and often lead to suicide.

Of course, I am not saying that this is the case in the case of this particular chap. Just talking generally about people.

Injin provided a link to a book - looked interesting - attesting that all people who seek power are psychopathic to some degree, written by a Polish chap (I seem to rrecall) and his experience of E.European communism.

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I find it tragic and puzzling why people like Mr O'Dolan kill themselves over things like this. Is it because they bigged themselves up to such a massive extent they couldn't bear to lose face, or is it because the kind of person who gambles on such a massive scale has a fundamentally unstable personality? :(
From what I have read Mr O'Dolan was a good man, and he donated one of his properties to charity. He was well liked and respected, going by the accounts that I have read.

RIP

Here is another video about Dubai island Ireland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2inWJ-GNXA

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clearly the whole of Dubai was built to exacting standards....

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20100225/twl-dubai-mall-evacuated-after-aquarium-3fd0ae9.html

The biggest shopping mall in the Middle East has been evacuated as workmen scramble to contain a leak in the massive shark-filled aquarium inside the centre.
Edited by SaintJay

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Injin provided a link to a book - looked interesting - attesting that all people who seek power are psychopathic to some degree, written by a Polish chap (I seem to rrecall) and his experience of E.European communism.

- One of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them: To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

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AI controlled societies have been a recurring thread in some sci-fi books i have read recently

maybe our only hope is to give up control completely, lets face it, there has been one big f*ck up after another

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TheWorldDubai-custom[4].jpg

When I look at this place on maps.google.com, I see something that doesnt look like this picture at all. Just a series of random brown dumps, that you wouldnt want to see in a picture, let alone visit.

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When I look at this place on maps.google.com, I see something that doesnt look like this picture at all. Just a series of random brown dumps, that you wouldnt want to see in a picture, let alone visit.

When were those images taken - a few years ago? That image might be from when the building was just begining?

Having said that though, if that was the case presumably you would see some evidence of building work - cranes, ships full of sand, etc?

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Just think what could have been done with all the machinery, raw materials, and thousands upon thousands of man-hours of designers, architects, engineers, construction workers etc that has gone into that fooking thing. Now it's just going to wash away.

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We should send Gordon Brown to the Britain section and let him govern that.

:lol:

I wonder how long it would take him to realise he was marooned. At least the world would be saved.

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We should send Gordon Brown to the Britain section and let him govern that.

cartoon.jpg

Gordon and Darling could fulfill all their wildest statist dreams about saving the world by digging sand out of the middle of the British island and tipping it around the edges as the sea erodes the British island away.

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Injin provided a link to a book - looked interesting - attesting that all people who seek power are psychopathic to some degree, written by a Polish chap (I seem to rrecall) and his experience of E.European communism.

The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever being one.

On a more serious note.......

We create a system where only the most amoral, two-faced, inveterate liars and shysters can be successful.

Then wonder WHY the people at the top of this system are first class amoral, two-faced liars and shysters.

If you want politicians to be different, the only way to do so is to reward with votes the politicians who are different.

The day a politician can come on TV and say "Sorry, I screwed this right up. Here's where it went wrong, and here's what we are doing to put it right".........And his votes/popularity/influence go UP........... is the day we start to get honest and worthy politicians.

We don't do that. Any screw up is seized upon as a reason for him to resign and never be let near a lever of power again by the supporters of the opposittion who smell blood in the water.

We have no-one to blame but ourselves. Really.

The blame for this can ONLY rest on the shoulders of the voters that reward sociopathy with votes....... and reward honesty with oblivion.

Yours,

TGP

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The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever being one.

On a more serious note.......

We create a system where only the most amoral, two-faced, inveterate liars and shysters can be successful.

Then wonder WHY the people at the top of this system are first class amoral, two-faced liars and shysters.

If you want politicians to be different, the only way to do so is to reward with votes the politicians who are different.

The day a politician can come on TV and say "Sorry, I screwed this right up. Here's where it went wrong, and here's what we are doing to put it right".........And his votes/popularity/influence go UP........... is the day we start to get honest and worthy politicians.

We don't do that. Any screw up is seized upon as a reason for him to resign and never be let near a lever of power again by the supporters of the opposittion who smell blood in the water.

We have no-one to blame but ourselves. Really.

The blame for this can ONLY rest on the shoulders of the voters that reward sociopathy with votes....... and reward honesty with oblivion.

Yours,

TGP

We didn't create the system.

Ever read 'Animal Farm'?

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We didn't create the system.

Ever read 'Animal Farm'?

Yes, I have read animal farm......... and No, we didn't create the system.

HOWEVER.......... we have the votes.

Your manager at work didn't "create the system" but because he has the power to hire and fire you.......... he has no-one to blame but himself if he is desperetly unhappy with your quality of work or if you keep lying to him and he lets you get away with it.

We are in the same situation vis-a-vis politicians.

We COULD reward those politicians who are honest, even about mistakes and screw ups, we do not. We consistently reward those that lie to us and tell us "everything is fine, move along, move along". Those that are honest, or admit mistakes, or tell us unpalatable truths do not win elections.

Take.....in this election......... the Lib-Dems.

They have been much more honest than most about a lot of these issues (perhaps largely because they can be)....... they were not afraid to say "this is unsustainable" when it was....... they stood against Iraq....... they have, in many respects, been honest and principled in the way the top two parties haven't been......... they are even relatively honest with us about the economics of it all and seem to have a grasp of that issue not apparent in the pronouncements of the other two parties.

If we rewarded them with sufficient votes to gain power........ it would send a signal that this is what we want. We won't do so, but maybe we should.

If we did next time the tories would try being even more honest....... or labour......or someone else........ and if we rewarded them too further signals would be sent. "Voters are rewardingt unvarnished truth. Unvarnished truth is winning votes". Politicians would be just as happy to tell us the truth as they are to tell us lies IF they thought they'd get the votes doing the former they do doing the latter.

We COULD use our votes in this way. We do not. We reward those that tell us "happy positive" lies.

That is only EVER going to produce politicians who rise to the top by telling those happy positive lies.

Just like the manager that keeps promoting the guys who tell him positive lies about how well things are going, and who sacks anyone who "dares" to b e honest with him concerning the situation......... we have no-one to blame but ourselves when the house of cards built on those lies comes crashing down.

Yours,

TGP

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Yes, I have read animal farm......... and No, we didn't create the system.

HOWEVER.......... we have the votes.

Your manager at work didn't "create the system" but because he has the power to hire and fire you.......... he has no-one to blame but himself if he is desperetly unhappy with your quality of work or if you keep lying to him and he lets you get away with it.

We are in the same situation vis-a-vis politicians.

We COULD reward those politicians who are honest, even about mistakes and screw ups, we do not. We consistently reward those that lie to us and tell us "everything is fine, move along, move along". Those that are honest, or admit mistakes, or tell us unpalatable truths do not win elections.

Take.....in this election......... the Lib-Dems.

They have been much more honest than most about a lot of these issues (perhaps largely because they can be)....... they were not afraid to say "this is unsustainable" when it was....... they stood against Iraq....... they have, in many respects, been honest and principled in the way the top two parties haven't been......... they are even relatively honest with us about the economics of it all and seem to have a grasp of that issue not apparent in the pronouncements of the other two parties.

If we rewarded them with sufficient votes to gain power........ it would send a signal that this is what we want. We won't do so, but maybe we should.

If we did next time the tories would try being even more honest....... or labour......or someone else........ and if we rewarded them too further signals would be sent. "Voters are rewardingt unvarnished truth. Unvarnished truth is winning votes". Politicians would be just as happy to tell us the truth as they are to tell us lies IF they thought they'd get the votes doing the former they do doing the latter.

We COULD use our votes in this way. We do not. We reward those that tell us "happy positive" lies.

That is only EVER going to produce politicians who rise to the top by telling those happy positive lies.

Just like the manager that keeps promoting the guys who tell him positive lies about how well things are going, and who sacks anyone who "dares" to b e honest with him concerning the situation......... we have no-one to blame but ourselves when the house of cards built on those lies comes crashing down.

Yours,

TGP

That I agree with. Voters prefer the soft option.

However, the notion that electing seemingly decent / honest politicians to change things, is pure fantasy.

Think Obama and "hopenosis".

Edited by urban commando

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That I agree with. Voters prefer the soft option.

However, the notion that electing seemingly decent / honest politicians to change things, is pure fantasy.

Think Obama and "hopenosis".

Well to be honest the problem their is their f*****ed political system.......

Where one party can sweep both houses and the presidency......... and the minority can STILL stop the majority from doing anythinbg at all (as they are at the moment).

As far as I can see......... Obama is trying to enact the policies he campaigned on....... and if he were allowed to do so by the minority the state the US is in would actually improve pretty drastically.

This absolutely SCARES THE PANTS off the opposittion, who know that should his agenda pass it will do well........ and so they'll be super-screwed for a generation......... so they are attempting, successfully, to stop it all happenning.

You've got this insane situation where........ the guys who have the sensible policies can't get them enacted because an insane minority can stop them with the fillibuster......... and the insane minority are reaping the electoral rewards of this because the American people are blaming the majority for failing to pass stuff, because they just don;t understand their own system and the fact that it's the insane minority stopping them.

Sorry........ US Politics is a heavy interest of mine (the other board I post on is a US politics board and I've been heavy into that for nigh on 10 years now).

The US situation is simply unbelievably insane at the moment and shows no signs of getting sane any time soon. Given the sheer idiocy of one party, and the inability of the other party (due to systemic constraints) to enact sane policies........ I think the US is going to have a very severe problem in the medium term.

Yours,

TGP

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Well to be honest the problem their is their f*****ed political system.......

Where one party can sweep both houses and the presidency......... and the minority can STILL stop the majority from doing anythinbg at all (as they are at the moment).

As far as I can see......... Obama is trying to enact the policies he campaigned on....... and if he were allowed to do so by the minority the state the US is in would actually improve pretty drastically.

This absolutely SCARES THE PANTS off the opposittion, who know that should his agenda pass it will do well........ and so they'll be super-screwed for a generation......... so they are attempting, successfully, to stop it all happenning.

You've got this insane situation where........ the guys who have the sensible policies can't get them enacted because an insane minority can stop them with the fillibuster......... and the insane minority are reaping the electoral rewards of this because the American people are blaming the majority for failing to pass stuff, because they just don;t understand their own system and the fact that it's the insane minority stopping them.

Sorry........ US Politics is a heavy interest of mine (the other board I post on is a US politics board and I've been heavy into that for nigh on 10 years now).

The US situation is simply unbelievably insane at the moment and shows no signs of getting sane any time soon. Given the sheer idiocy of one party, and the inability of the other party (due to systemic constraints) to enact sane policies........ I think the US is going to have a very severe problem in the medium term.

Yours,

TGP

Hmmm...I too have an interest in US politics, having studied this as an undergraduate. Philip Norton was my tutor:

http://www2.hull.ac.uk/FASS/politics_homepage/staff/professor_philip_norton.aspx

You make the point that filibustering can halt the will of the majority; the US legislative system of checks and balances means that reform can be watered down.

However, the system (be it here, the US or indeed any Western government) is not IMHO to blame. It is those who manipulate the legislative and electoral processes, those who put "Manchurian candidates" in public positions, those who manipulate the control of information, those who manipulate economic conditions, those who control the money supply, that have real but hidden power.

Mass electoral suffrage cannot override the power of the "hidden hands". Think what happened to the UK in 1997. Most of the populace were conned into thinking that NuLiebour were a force for change and a force for good. Such is the power of "hopenosis".

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