26 June, 2010

On Malls, Projects, and Amman New Centers

I received this video by email the other day, it's a bit old and I'm sure most of you know this segment by Abu Mahjoob.

Ever since I watched it I couldn't help thinking about all these malls and projects scattered all around the city, and the new future of Amman in a couple of years propaganda. As much as it may sound like development and progress in the country I found it a bit confusing; Amman already has its own authentic identity that needs to be cherished and taking care of, does it really need all those glamorous lavished buildings? And don't we have enough malls already?

Feels like transforming Amman into a totally different city maybe like Dubai for instance! And for what? They are spending huge amounts of money on these kinds of projects and eventually who will they really serve!?

Here in Amman there are far more essential projects to be done, where the citizen is the number one priority and will actually benefit from all this mess, like fixing roads, supporting and improving public schools, providing decent public facilities for families and children, helping less privileged families with projects of their own to support their family and efficiently contribute in their society, helping their children as well with decent education..ect! And what about governorates other than the capital Amman? Don't they deserve to be involved!?


  1. You got it all wrong my friend; it might seem a bit fair for anyone to ask for the roads to be fixed before you see flashy towers in the skies, but fact is, the government pays nothing on those investments, for all those projects, it's pretty much money going in not out as for the official side.

    Not only that, in most of the cases, even the money involved in those mega projects are not even physical. As big as 70% would be digital money, that is, money on papers on forms of debts to a cocktail of international banks and holding companies, my point is, it's not as simple as "why do you build a mall, build more schools and fix the roads first".

  2. Thank you Omar for a very informative comment!

    Well it's a good thing to know that no local money is being spent on these projects!

    But what if they couldn't pay those debts for some reason?

  3. Then we will end up like Dubai :)

    Dubai is the biggest example in the world on that, 90% of the economy cycle in Dubai is basically debt; when the crisis crippled mega investors from paying their debts, huge projects stopped and the money cycle got hit, therefor, even the biggest most flashy companies didn't have enough cash to pay the salaries for a single month, and from that, they started sending people off back to their countries.

    Though unlike Dubai, in a place like Amman, the actual human resource is the locals! So, when a merely close case to what happened to Dubai happens in Amman, the effects will be far more worse on the country, when a Jordanian gets laid off in Dubai, he simply packs and leaves to Jordan, taking his problems with him, but if you lay off a Jordanian in Jordan, where do you think his problems will go? Nevertheless, those new investments will not have any real effect on the economy of Jordan, it will pretty much make Amman look better, and give an opportunity for some people to earn a couple of extra thousands without having to burn under Dubai's sun.

  4. Interesting!

    It will make Amman look better true, and yet a bit different. And I kinda feel that there are too many projects, so hopefully we will not going to end up like Dubai!

    Thank you for your comments :)