Dubai Rides Growth Wave as Winter Lockdowns Hit Europe
22 November 2021 – Bloomberg – www. bloomberg.com
Tables at Gaia, one of the hottest dining spots in Dubai, are booked two weeks in advance and the crush of businesspeople emerging from surrounding offices keeps staff on their toes.
“Every day feels like a Friday” said Evgeny Kuzin, chairman and co-founder of Bulldozer Group, which owns and runs several restaurants including Gaia. They’ve been hiring staff to keep up with renewed demand.
As infection rates in Europe explode and governments tighten restrictions once more, Dubai’s economy is rebounding faster than expected. Property sales are at decade highs, and streets so choked with traffic it’s hard to find an empty taxi.
Postponed as Covid-19 swept the globe last year, Expo 2020, one of the world’s biggest in-person events since the pandemic, is now in full swing, attracting both Dubai residents and visitors fleeing new lockdowns that have sparked unrest in Austria, the Netherlands and other European nations.
The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, has so far avoided a new wave. About 90% of its population is fully vaccinated and high-risk individuals are being offered boosters. The economy’s been open for months but new cases have held below 100 a day since October. Deaths are rare, helped by a relatively young population and well-equipped health system.