Wednesday, April 8

Do we really need this: Baku another Dubai?

Amidst all the recent international commotion, Azerbaijani government instead of staying focused on the NK conflict and the possible solutions, its been busy with signing up a contract to launch a new master plan on an island off the coast in Baku (or too busy with making Baku another Dubai or Abu Dhabi).

The island of Narghin once the "Devil's Isle" where German prisoners were sent in the 1900s is now to become a residential development- 300 luxury villas- with leisure facilities- several five star hotels. The residents of the island will have several options of getting to the island- air, water and a new road. The total cost of the project is between 4-4.5 billion dollars. Once completed, no other means will be used on the island apart from electricity generated with 16 wind mills. The only means of transportation on the island will be electric cars.  

The question is: do we really need this when 30% of Azerbaijani population is unemployed and 20% lives in poverty and regions still don't have gas, running water and constant electricity? And who is going to afford to live on that island anyway? A pensioner who gets 75AZN a month, or a doctor who earns on the average of 150AZN a month? And given that the whole world is coping with the financial crisis? Wouldn't it be better to invest that money into building new orphanages, schools in villages that actually have sewage or water or even toilets inside, sending more girls to school and making sure they stay there? So I ask again, do we really need this, amidst all thats been going on?

1 comment:

northwestjeff said...

I agree with this completely. I get weirded out when I come to Baku and see the luxurious lifestyles that people are accommodating, but here in the regions, I'm sitting in my living room in my sleeping bag because the gas is out.

Have you seen the proposed Death Star Hotel? I think it beats out Luxury Land on Devil's Island:

http://www.vagabondish.com/azerbaijans-death-star-hotel/