Monday, 4 May 2009

Recession? What recession?

Rich tea biscuitImage via Wikipedia

Gulf News is weighing in at something like (don't forget I'm using a Dhs19 scales from Lal's, so I can't really do the old atomic level measurements here) 540g these days, down from 1.3 Kg in November 2008 - and also down from the 640g-odd that it had sort of settled down to in February.

It peaks and troughs a bit, but it's been steadily trending down - the majority of the loss has, of course, been in the enormous volumes of clamorous and directive real estate advertising that last year was telling us to 'Live your dreams' and 'Dare to drivel' and whatnot.

At the same time, Al Nisr Publishing's Property Weekly (Al Nisr is GN's parent company) has dropped again from 72 pages to 66 - from a high of over 144 pages last year.

I take no pleasure in recording this. I have pals at Gulf News & PW and the newspaper has been my constant companion in over 15 years' living in the UAE. I'm rather fond of it, in a strange way.

But it's interesting, perhaps, for those who thought the worst was over in Jan/Feb and that we'd bottomed with the great Q1 shock, to see that the market's still losing value and that real estate advertising (and, arguably, advertising across the board) continues to shrink.

Disclaimer. This article is in no way intended to damage the economy or indeed to provoke any other economic affect beyond a mild look of passing interest between dunking the first and second Rich Tea biscuit in one's morning tea. No acarpi were harmed in the production of this post.
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Anonymous said...

Alexander: nice disclaimer and keep the good blogging up.

samuraisam said...

Meh. I think most of Gulf News content is ads, it really reached the point for me where there were just so many ads in GN that it wasn't worth getting the paper anymore (that's why I get the national instead now)

I used to actually have a favorite page on Gulf News which was IIRC the very back page, but they got rid of it and turned it into ad-space.

I don't mind the quarter page ads, I don't mind full page ads, what I mind is putting bands around the entire paper, or front page ads, or second page ads.

The Wizard of D said...

And was it surpsing that GN covered the recent visa rules so much. At times I really doubt the editorial intent.

GN makes it sound like the recent news about visas for some property buyers is going to turn the market around. Sure its good news but not expected to have even a mild impact on the market. Unless the credit crunch and the price risk is taken care of, this market will stay put.

But may be on account of its falling ad revs (and weight), GN is trying to make a noise about the 6 month visa to a select few.

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