Bahrain: property bubble was just waiting to burst
A number of us "oldies" have been laughed at for saying the "real estate" bubble would eventually burst and many fingers would get burnt, if not chopped off.
Those of us who have watched Bahrain develop over the last 30 years have repeatedly cautioned that this is not the other little emirate further east. Maybe, there was a small market for luxury villas and apartments for sale to our neighbours in the west and north, but the potential would be minimal.
Despite our advice, investors invaded from around the Arabian Peninsula and the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean and proceeded to announce - nearly on a daily basis - new luxury developments that are now mostly uncompleted and very expensive eyesores.
What this country needed, and still needs, is reasonably priced housing for its citizens. But, of course, the developers would not become millionaires going down that route.
And now we read that millions are owed to contractors; that the banks cannot or, maybe, will not put up any more finance; that more than 3,500 workers will lose their jobs (possibly not even being paid for the hours that they have already toiled); and that many subcontractors risk going into liquidation, '3,500 jobs threatened' (GDN, June 13). Yet, on the same page, we read of yet another roadmap for the country, 'New roadmap'.
Maybe, it is time to form a consultative committee made up of experienced practitioners who could take suggestions from focus groups to put together a mission statement to give guidelines for the next 10 years. Of course, such a proposal would limit the potential for even more millionaires, but it would guarantee proper growth.
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