<$BlogItemTitle$> <$BlogItemTitle$>Broadcasters of Tomorrow

Monday, December 17, 2007

Haj Pilgrimage: Get it on Credit

The annual Haj pilgrimage, the largest regular religious gathering in the world, has begun. More than 1.6 million pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia for the Haj.

Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank issued a credit card with a photo of Mecca. It promotes a rewards program that encourages people to spend money by offering trips to Mecca. The more you spend the more reward "steps to Mecca" you get. Students, and a professor, debated the merits of this marketing campaign. Click for the Video excerpt.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dubai's Dangerous Debt

Dubai has grown at a rapid pace....but at what cost? Human rights groups point to Dubai's exploitation of workers who suffer from fatal accidents and low salaries. But now the Wall Street Journal has pointed the finger at Dubai's financial stability. Here's the growth.
Dubai in 1991.

Dubai today. The Wall Street Journal reports that international "financial analysts are starting to wonder about the amount of debt the city-state is racking up." The article paints a picture of a city with dwindling oil revenues but a limitless appetite for growth. It places Dubai's debt, relative to gross domestic product, at about 42%. That's pretty high compared to Abu Dhabi's debt of 2.9% of GDP. More from WSJ.
Duabi's debt load is four times the average among other Persian Gulf states. Credit-rating companies are asking for more information to determine how sound the government really is.

In the end, if Dubai gets into financial trouble it would take its neighbours with it. Or perhaps they're counting on a regional bailout.