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Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:36 am
by ArchGuy1
Do you think that Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will become a world class city like Dubai has become in the past 20 years. Dubai has built the world's tallest building, become a major tourist destination, a major financial capital for the Middle East, ans a major airline hub for Emirates. Since Addis Ababa is poised to become a major hub for Ethiopian Airlines once COVID-19 is done, do you think Addis Ababa will become a major financial hub and tourist destination for East Africa. I feel that an architectural landmark or more than one that would become world famous should be built. A monorail system for use as public transportation should also be built.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:41 am
by DTVG
Building monorails and landmarks aren't features that a "world class city" has to have. These can just as well be white elephant projects with which politicians try to visualize so-called progress.

What, however, most "world class cities" feature are stable and functioning governance, institutions and infrastructure which attract firms and capital, which in turn create economies of scale and network effects.

Does Adis Abbab and Ethiopia in general have that? In other words, how easy is it to set up a business? How easily can I bring capital in and out of the country? If there is a legal dispute, is there a reliable judicial and executive system? How well educated is the local labor force? The list goes on...

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:01 am
by ArchGuy1
DTVG wrote:
Building monorails and landmarks aren't features that a "world class city" has to have. These can just as well be white elephant projects with which politicians try to visualize so-called progress.

What, however, most "world class cities" feature are stable and functioning governance, institutions and infrastructure which attract firms and capital, which in turn create economies of scale and network effects.

Does Adis Abbab and Ethiopia in general have that? In other words, how easy is it to set up a business? How easily can I bring capital in and out of the country? If there is a legal dispute, is there a reliable judicial and executive system? How well educated is the local labor force? The list goes on...

How did Dubai manage to become a global city on the lines of New York or Hong Kong and does Addis Ababa have that potential?

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:37 am
by Kiwirob
ArchGuy1 wrote:
DTVG wrote:
Building monorails and landmarks aren't features that a "world class city" has to have. These can just as well be white elephant projects with which politicians try to visualize so-called progress.

What, however, most "world class cities" feature are stable and functioning governance, institutions and infrastructure which attract firms and capital, which in turn create economies of scale and network effects.

Does Adis Abbab and Ethiopia in general have that? In other words, how easy is it to set up a business? How easily can I bring capital in and out of the country? If there is a legal dispute, is there a reliable judicial and executive system? How well educated is the local labor force? The list goes on...


How did Dubai manage to become a global city on the lines of New York or Hong Kong and does Addis Ababa have that potential?


The right location, they also started with oil, the ruling family realised this wasn't going to last forever so diversified quickly into banking, construction, airline, they made Dubai look and feel safe to tourists, they were also smart and hired the best and brightest to make Dubai into what it is today.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:01 am
by P1aneMad
ArchGuy1 does the Ethiopian government allow foreign businesses and nationals to take their money out of the country? No, not really.
So do not hope for massive foreign investment to Addis that would turn it into a world class city.
And massive foreign investment is what is needed for this to happen since Ethiopia is not a petro-state with a small population..

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:33 am
by Aesma
Security is also an issue, with islamists making attacks in the country from time to time.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:14 pm
by zakuivcustom
Umm...a world class city takes more than a few fancy buildings and fancy mass transit system.

Arguably, right now pretty much every single mainland Chinese cities have some fancy skyscrapers, mass transit system, etc., but how many of the cities an average person can name anyway?

As for Addis Ababa - it is not even the regional financial center yet (that arguably is Nairobi). Never say never, but even HK or Dubai was not built overnight (although for Dubai it feels like it - but things started in the 90s).

P.S. ET most popular intra-Africa flight is probably ADD-NBO...that should tell you something (RIP for those on ET302).

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:48 pm
by LCDFlight
Africa will surprise everybody. The world is becoming so wealthy that Eastern Europe is turning first world. Mexico is fairly wealthy. India continues to become wealthy.

It will take a while, but Addis Ababa, Nairobi will get things figured out. Rule of law and a functioning business environment are the key important things. Without that, no, it won't happen. With that, yes, it will happen.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:29 pm
by Braybuddy
Addis Ababa is a vibrant, colourful and interesting city, and Ethiopians are extremely warm, friendly and welcoming, but is -- or could it be -- it world class? Most of the population exist in desperate poverty and architecturally it is a complete mess. ADD would have been considered modern in the 1980s, and it woud take a lot more that a new airport and a few landmark buildings to put the city on the map.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:55 pm
by Jetsgo
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city on the lines of New York or Hong Kong and does Addis Ababa have that potential?


I would argue Dubai is no where near New York and Hong Kong in terms of global importance/impact and being a world class city.

As for Addis Ababa, I wouldn't expect it to reach any elevated status before Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:01 pm
by ArchGuy1
Addis Ababa actually has a light rail system, so they are heading in the right direction as far as public transportation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addis_Ababa_Light_Rail

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:09 pm
by bhill

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:19 pm
by zakuivcustom
ArchGuy1 wrote:
Addis Ababa actually has a light rail system, so they are heading in the right direction as far as public transportation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addis_Ababa_Light_Rail


That OBOR boondoggle that no average Ethiopian use?

LCDFlight wrote:
Africa will surprise everybody. The world is becoming so wealthy that Eastern Europe is turning first world. Mexico is fairly wealthy. India continues to become wealthy.

It will take a while, but Addis Ababa, Nairobi will get things figured out. Rule of law and a functioning business environment are the key important things. Without that, no, it won't happen. With that, yes, it will happen.


Africa is indeed the "next thing", hence all the Chinese investment there.

But of course, we all know that also mean cronyism and corruption. That will take at least a generation to solve.

Jetsgo wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city on the lines of New York or Hong Kong and does Addis Ababa have that potential?


I would argue Dubai is no where near New York and Hong Kong in terms of global importance/impact and being a world class city.

As for Addis Ababa, I wouldn't expect it to reach any elevated status before Johannesburg or Cape Town.


Jo'burg/Cape Town? Addis Ababa is not even remotely catching up to Nairobi yet...

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:03 pm
by ArchGuy1
zakuivcustom wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
Addis Ababa actually has a light rail system, so they are heading in the right direction as far as public transportation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addis_Ababa_Light_Rail


That OBOR boondoggle that no average Ethiopian use?

LCDFlight wrote:
Africa will surprise everybody. The world is becoming so wealthy that Eastern Europe is turning first world. Mexico is fairly wealthy. India continues to become wealthy.

It will take a while, but Addis Ababa, Nairobi will get things figured out. Rule of law and a functioning business environment are the key important things. Without that, no, it won't happen. With that, yes, it will happen.


Africa is indeed the "next thing", hence all the Chinese investment there.

But of course, we all know that also mean cronyism and corruption. That will take at least a generation to solve.

Jetsgo wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city on the lines of New York or Hong Kong and does Addis Ababa have that potential?


I would argue Dubai is no where near New York and Hong Kong in terms of global importance/impact and being a world class city.

As for Addis Ababa, I wouldn't expect it to reach any elevated status before Johannesburg or Cape Town.


Jo'burg/Cape Town? Addis Ababa is not even remotely catching up to Nairobi yet...

How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:19 pm
by LittleFokker
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?


Easy...oil money, and a government that turns a blind eye to its businessmen using slave labor from SE Asian nations and treat them like Serfs. To quote comedian Louis CK, "Of course, of course, slavery is a bad thing, of course! But maybe...every single amazing building in history was the result of slavery. Humans accomplish amazing things because we're such shitty people."

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:47 pm
by zakuivcustom
ArchGuy1 wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
Addis Ababa actually has a light rail system, so they are heading in the right direction as far as public transportation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addis_Ababa_Light_Rail


That OBOR boondoggle that no average Ethiopian use?

LCDFlight wrote:
Africa will surprise everybody. The world is becoming so wealthy that Eastern Europe is turning first world. Mexico is fairly wealthy. India continues to become wealthy.

It will take a while, but Addis Ababa, Nairobi will get things figured out. Rule of law and a functioning business environment are the key important things. Without that, no, it won't happen. With that, yes, it will happen.


Africa is indeed the "next thing", hence all the Chinese investment there.

But of course, we all know that also mean cronyism and corruption. That will take at least a generation to solve.

Jetsgo wrote:

I would argue Dubai is no where near New York and Hong Kong in terms of global importance/impact and being a world class city.

As for Addis Ababa, I wouldn't expect it to reach any elevated status before Johannesburg or Cape Town.


Jo'burg/Cape Town? Addis Ababa is not even remotely catching up to Nairobi yet...

How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?


As somebody already said - is Dubai really a global city? Or is it just a city that has tons of money to throw around, and make itself a rich people paradise, having a hidden sector that UAE don't want people to see?

Also, as I said many times, the business AND international politics center of East Africa is Nairobi, period. Addis Ababa has to catch up to that first, then we can talk about global city.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:04 pm
by ArchGuy1
zakuivcustom wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:

That OBOR boondoggle that no average Ethiopian use?



Africa is indeed the "next thing", hence all the Chinese investment there.

But of course, we all know that also mean cronyism and corruption. That will take at least a generation to solve.



Jo'burg/Cape Town? Addis Ababa is not even remotely catching up to Nairobi yet...

How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?


As somebody already said - is Dubai really a global city? Or is it just a city that has tons of money to throw around, and make itself a rich people paradise, having a hidden sector that UAE don't want people to see?

Also, as I said many times, the business AND international politics center of East Africa is Nairobi, period. Addis Ababa has to catch up to that first, then we can talk about global city.

What I do know is that Ethiopian Airlines has a bigger hub in Addis Ababa by a huge margin than Kenya Airways has in Nairobi. So, I could see Addis Ababa becoming like Dubai.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:00 am
by PlymSpotter
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?


In my opinion, Dubai benefited from pure luck and opportunism. Regional politics dealt them a good hand, and they capitalised.

Don't get me wrong, I have long admired Dubai's ambition. But, without the 1979 Iranian revolution, Dubai would still be relatively small fry. In fact, I fully expect we would be referring to Tehran instead, and the Civil Aviation forum would boast stories about Iran Air operating a fleet of widebodies on ULH routes across the globe.

As the revolutionary dust settled, thousands of Iranian merchants and traders relocated their operations to Dubai, in part due to Jebel Ali, which had just opened. At the same time, they welcomed displaced Western corporations searching for a stable and Western friendly base to do business in the ME region. Together these were a vital adrenaline shot to Dubai's then fledgling economy - it's worth remembering that Dubai's oil reserves are relatively small, meaning they could only fund limited development from energy resources. And of course a few years later Emirates was established, lifting the same business model Iran Air had proposed to connect the globe.

Now, compare this scenario to Ethiopia and Addis - I think there is some reasonable alignment. It would not surprise me if Addis Ababa develops into a global player over the next 10-20 years.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:16 am
by ArchGuy1
PlymSpotter wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?


In my opinion, Dubai benefited from pure luck and opportunism. Regional politics dealt them a good hand, and they capitalised.

Don't get me wrong, I have long admired Dubai's ambition. But, without the 1979 Iranian revolution, Dubai would still be relatively small fry. In fact, I fully expect we would be referring to Tehran instead, and the Civil Aviation forum would boast stories about Iran Air operating a fleet of widebodies on ULH routes across the globe.

As the revolutionary dust settled, thousands of Iranian merchants and traders relocated their operations to Dubai, in part due to Jebel Ali, which had just opened. At the same time, they welcomed displaced Western corporations searching for a stable and Western friendly base to do business in the ME region. Together these were a vital adrenaline shot to Dubai's then fledgling economy - it's worth remembering that Dubai's oil reserves are relatively small, meaning they could only fund limited development from energy resources. And of course a few years later Emirates was established, lifting the same business model Iran Air had proposed to connect the globe.

Now, compare this scenario to Ethiopia and Addis - I think there is some reasonable alignment. It would not surprise me if Addis Ababa develops into a global player over the next 10-20 years.

What uses would you see an architectural landmark for Addis Ababa serve and would boosting ridership for the light rail in Addis Ababa also help. I would also like to see a heavy rail subway system built for the city.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:01 am
by ArchGuy1
Here is the Mesob Tower that will be built in Addis Ababa in the next five years. It is poised to become the city's iconic symbol and an iconic landmark for Ethiopia as well.
https://www.press.et/english/?p=19756#

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:25 am
by Aesma
zakuivcustom wrote:
As somebody already said - is Dubai really a global city? Or is it just a city that has tons of money to throw around, and make itself a rich people paradise, having a hidden sector that UAE don't want people to see?


No income tax in Dubai, so already wealthy people go there, propping up the economy, making everything expensive, so that white collar workers need high salaries... Now that there is a crisis it seems many are leaving.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:30 pm
by Jetsgo
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?


Dubai is not on the same level as London, Hong Kong, Paris, or New York City. Neither is Istanbul.

Perhaps you could share with us the reasoning behind your particular interest in Addis Ababa? Like most developing cities, the potential is unlimited provided the capital outlay is there. Many other cities however are further along in the process to becoming world class that it's unlikely Addis Ababa will overtake them sans some unforeseen major world discovery or event.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:45 pm
by Jetsgo
Global Power City Index
The Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation in Tokyo issued a comprehensive study of global cities in 2019. They are ranked based on six categories: economy, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment, and accessibility, with 70 individual indicators among them. The top ten world cities are also ranked by subjective categories including manager, researcher, artist, visitor and resident.

1. London
2. New York City
3. Tokyo
4. Paris
5. Singapore
6. Amsterdam
7. Seoul
8. Berlin
9. Hong Kong
10. Sydney

Global City Lab
An analysis report compiled by the Global City Lab of the Global Top 500 Cities was released in New York 27 December 2019. The top 10 cities by brand value were:

1. New York City
2. London
3. Tokyo
4. Paris
5. Los Angeles
6. Sydney
7. Berlin
8. Singapore
9. Hong Kong
10. Toronto

Global Cities Initiative
The Global Giants classification includes wealthy, extremely large metro areas that are the largest cities from developed nations. They are hubs for financial markets, major corporations, and serve as key nodes in global capital and talent flows.

- London
- New York City
- Paris
- Los Angeles
- Osaka
- Tokyo

Wiki link and subsequent sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

Note Dubai does not make an appearance.

I look at this list and wonder when we can expect to see cities like Vancouver, Melbourne, and Beijing make an appearance. Not necessarily Addis Ababa.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:32 pm
by directorguy
Dubai as a previous poster pointed out is a much more recent development and as much as they like to think they’re in the same league as NY or London or Singapore (the city that Dubai famously tries to copy), Dubai is less mature and established.
On paper Addis Ababa could have a lot going for it. It’s the capital city of a country with a population roughly that of Germany. The potential is there. What I do know is that the government is very ambitious in bringing about economic growth and has a lot of flagship projects. One example being the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is opposed by Egypt who believe that the dam will reduce their water supply. There is some talk of a military confrontation over the GERD as the talks keep failing.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:50 pm
by ArchGuy1
directorguy wrote:
Dubai as a previous poster pointed out is a much more recent development and as much as they like to think they’re in the same league as NY or London or Singapore (the city that Dubai famously tries to copy), Dubai is less mature and established.
On paper Addis Ababa could have a lot going for it. It’s the capital city of a country with a population roughly that of Germany. The potential is there. What I do know is that the government is very ambitious in bringing about economic growth and has a lot of flagship projects. One example being the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is opposed by Egypt who believe that the dam will reduce their water supply. There is some talk of a military confrontation over the GERD as the talks keep failing.

Could Addis Ababa become something like Doha, Qatar in the next 10 years with futuristic skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, and distinctive museums.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:01 pm
by zakuivcustom
Jetsgo wrote:
Jetsgo wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?


Dubai is not on the same level as London, Hong Kong, Paris, or New York City. Neither is Istanbul.

Perhaps you could share with us the reasoning behind your particular interest in Addis Ababa? Like most developing cities, the potential is unlimited provided the capital outlay is there. Many other cities (Dubai and Istanbul to use your examples) however are further along in the process to becoming world class and it's unlikely Addis Ababa will overtake them sans some major world event.


I believe the OP use Addis Ababa as it is the hub of an airline (i.e. ET) that have destination all over the world and how ET could replicate EK and build a "world city" from there.

The "global" part of Addis Ababa stop right there, though. Ethiopia has great culture and rich history, but it is just not all that developed.

Jetsgo wrote:
I look at this list and wonder when we can expect to see cities like Vancouver, Melbourne, and Beijing make an appearance. Not necessarily Addis Ababa.


For Beijing (or Shanghai for that matter, since the latter is actually more global and cosmopolitan) to become true "world city", the entire political structure of mainland China will have to change. There is a reason why HK is still around (until recently...) as a economic center as no sane person would trust the mainland Chinese system 100%.

Which leads me to Addis Ababa - the Ethiopian govt is stable enough, and thus, does have the potential to rise up. The problem? Unless disaster hit Nairobi that badly, international business are just not going to uproot from there as the East African business center as there are already the infrastructure and people in Kenya. And infrastructure is a lot more than a few fancy building, public transit, or roads.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:29 pm
by ArchGuy1
zakuivcustom wrote:
Jetsgo wrote:
Jetsgo wrote:


Dubai is not on the same level as London, Hong Kong, Paris, or New York City. Neither is Istanbul.

Perhaps you could share with us the reasoning behind your particular interest in Addis Ababa? Like most developing cities, the potential is unlimited provided the capital outlay is there. Many other cities (Dubai and Istanbul to use your examples) however are further along in the process to becoming world class and it's unlikely Addis Ababa will overtake them sans some major world event.


I believe the OP use Addis Ababa as it is the hub of an airline (i.e. ET) that have destination all over the world and how ET could replicate EK and build a "world city" from there.

The "global" part of Addis Ababa stop right there, though. Ethiopia has great culture and rich history, but it is just not all that developed.

Jetsgo wrote:
I look at this list and wonder when we can expect to see cities like Vancouver, Melbourne, and Beijing make an appearance. Not necessarily Addis Ababa.


For Beijing (or Shanghai for that matter, since the latter is actually more global and cosmopolitan) to become true "world city", the entire political structure of mainland China will have to change. There is a reason why HK is still around (until recently...) as a economic center as no sane person would trust the mainland Chinese system 100%.

Which leads me to Addis Ababa - the Ethiopian govt is stable enough, and thus, does have the potential to rise up. The problem? Unless disaster hit Nairobi that badly, international business are just not going to uproot from there as the East African business center as there are already the infrastructure and people in Kenya. And infrastructure is a lot more than a few fancy building, public transit, or roads.

Could you see Addis Ababa become a major tourist destination and financial hub along the lines of Dubai and Doha though.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:36 pm
by DTVG
What I see from this discussion is that the starter has a hard-on for futuristic buildings, shopping malls, monorails and airline hubs. For some reason they are are all associated with progress and a „world class city“.
As others have mentioned there are „soft factors“ that may not be as visible as futuristic skyscrapers but contribute much more to the success of a city.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:07 pm
by ArchGuy1
DTVG wrote:
What I see from this discussion is that the starter has a hard-on for futuristic buildings, shopping malls, monorails and airline hubs. For some reason they are are all associated with progress and a „world class city“.
As others have mentioned there are „soft factors“ that may not be as visible as futuristic skyscrapers but contribute much more to the success of a city.

What made Dubai and Doha successful and do you think that Addis Ababa could follow their path?

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:40 pm
by Aesma
Personally I have not much interest in Dubai. I planned to go (still probably will) for the EXPO, and the only thing other than that that I would do is go up the Burj Khalifa, and swim in the Persian Gulf. Qatar has a bit more to see but not much.

I could live there, but only for the money.

Having lived in Paris' suburbs all my life (and in Paris itself for a few years) yes a good transit system is crucial, else you need very large roads that make a city not feel like a city anymore (Dubai...), you can't easily cross a street, and there is nothing at street level anyway. Malls are the hallmark of suburbs not cities.

Paris has a single skyscraper, by the way (that most parisians hate, but personally I like it). When walking through the city I used the tour Montparnasse and tour Eiffel to estimate my position and walk in the right direction, before smartphones...

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:45 pm
by ArchGuy1
Aesma wrote:
Personally I have not much interest in Dubai. I planned to go (still probably will) for the EXPO, and the only thing other than that that I would do is go up the Burj Khalifa, and swim in the Persian Gulf. Qatar has a bit more to see but not much.

I could live there, but only for the money.

Having lived in Paris' suburbs all my life (and in Paris itself for a few years) yes a good transit system is crucial, else you need very large roads that make a city not feel like a city anymore (Dubai...), you can't easily cross a street, and there is nothing at street level anyway. Malls are the hallmark of suburbs not cities.

Paris has a single skyscraper, by the way (that most parisians hate, but personally I like it). When walking through the city I used the tour Montparnasse and tour Eiffel to estimate my position and walk in the right direction, before smartphones...

What does Addis Ababa have to do from what you heard?

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:12 am
by zakuivcustom
ArchGuy1 wrote:
DTVG wrote:
What I see from this discussion is that the starter has a hard-on for futuristic buildings, shopping malls, monorails and airline hubs. For some reason they are are all associated with progress and a „world class city“.
As others have mentioned there are „soft factors“ that may not be as visible as futuristic skyscrapers but contribute much more to the success of a city.

What made Dubai and Doha successful and do you think that Addis Ababa could follow their path?


(I know it is a lost cause when responding to the OP...)

What Dubai and Doha (and soon, Neom...if that ever go anywhere) has and Addis Ababa/Ethiopia does lot is money, and by that I mean lots of money.

Qatar for one thing has the highest GDP (PPP) per capita in the world and one that is 500x that of Ethiopia.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:14 am
by B777LRF
Just to clarify, Qatar and Doha are by no measure a tourist attraction, and can't begin to compare with Dubai on any measure. Yes, it has shiny new buildings around the Pearl and, yes, it's defecated by various shopping malls. But it has nothing at all going for it which will attract your average tourist, and is pretty expensive. Particularly if you enjoy an adult beverage.

Dubai is a castle in the sky, and just as fragile.

As for Addis I can't see who, apart from Ethiopians, would have use of it as a "global city". As for ADD as an airline hub, it has very little in the way of geographic advantage, particularly not on the major trunk routes between Europe and Asia or the sub-Continent. It's somewhat better placed between Europe and East Africa, but that market is well served with direct flights, negating the need for a stop in Addis.

Last, but certainly not least, the politics of Ethiopia is the biggest obstacle to its development. It is regularly subject to famines, unable to reliably feed it's population, and has some pretty draconian regulations on investment and remittance of funds.

So the pathway for Ethiopian and Addis to become a major city (world city it will never become), is first and foremost political, agricultural and fiscal. Shiny buildings, shopping malls* and museums are so far down the priority list they don't even register.

*Shopping malls. Who on earth would select a destination over another because it has bigger shopping malls, offering the same tat you could buy at home at more or less the same price?

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:46 am
by zakuivcustom
B777LRF wrote:
Just to clarify, Qatar and Doha are by no measure a tourist attraction, and can't begin to compare with Dubai on any measure. Yes, it has shiny new buildings around the Pearl and, yes, it's defecated by various shopping malls. But it has nothing at all going for it which will attract your average tourist, and is pretty expensive. Particularly if you enjoy an adult beverage.

Dubai is a castle in the sky, and just as fragile.

As for Addis I can't see who, apart from Ethiopians, would have use of it as a "global city". As for ADD as an airline hub, it has very little in the way of geographic advantage, particularly not on the major trunk routes between Europe and Asia or the sub-Continent. It's somewhat better placed between Europe and East Africa, but that market is well served with direct flights, negating the need for a stop in Addis.

Last, but certainly not least, the politics of Ethiopia is the biggest obstacle to its development. It is regularly subject to famines, unable to reliably feed it's population, and has some pretty draconian regulations on investment and remittance of funds.

So the pathway for Ethiopian and Addis to become a major city (world city it will never become), is first and foremost political, agricultural and fiscal. Shiny buildings, shopping malls* and museums are so far down the priority list they don't even register.

*Shopping malls. Who on earth would select a destination over another because it has bigger shopping malls, offering the same tat you could buy at home at more or less the same price?


I would argue that Dubai is one of those "visit once, but that's it" city - there is just nothing to deeply explore once you visit all the fancy buildings. Hack, give me the choice of Dubai and Addis Ababa, I would say Addis is more interesting.

Doha is worse, as my relative who stayed there for 3 months for work (as an engineer) once said - it is a boring city that's simply hot all the time with nothing to do.

BTW the two largest market for ET is East Asia (especially China) to rest of Africa, follow by Europe to East/Southern Africa. There is the niche N. America to West Africa via LFW/Asky also, but that's now outside of Ethiopia.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:08 am
by ArchGuy1
zakuivcustom wrote:
B777LRF wrote:
Just to clarify, Qatar and Doha are by no measure a tourist attraction, and can't begin to compare with Dubai on any measure. Yes, it has shiny new buildings around the Pearl and, yes, it's defecated by various shopping malls. But it has nothing at all going for it which will attract your average tourist, and is pretty expensive. Particularly if you enjoy an adult beverage.

Dubai is a castle in the sky, and just as fragile.

As for Addis I can't see who, apart from Ethiopians, would have use of it as a "global city". As for ADD as an airline hub, it has very little in the way of geographic advantage, particularly not on the major trunk routes between Europe and Asia or the sub-Continent. It's somewhat better placed between Europe and East Africa, but that market is well served with direct flights, negating the need for a stop in Addis.

Last, but certainly not least, the politics of Ethiopia is the biggest obstacle to its development. It is regularly subject to famines, unable to reliably feed it's population, and has some pretty draconian regulations on investment and remittance of funds.

So the pathway for Ethiopian and Addis to become a major city (world city it will never become), is first and foremost political, agricultural and fiscal. Shiny buildings, shopping malls* and museums are so far down the priority list they don't even register.

*Shopping malls. Who on earth would select a destination over another because it has bigger shopping malls, offering the same tat you could buy at home at more or less the same price?


I would argue that Dubai is one of those "visit once, but that's it" city - there is just nothing to deeply explore once you visit all the fancy buildings. Hack, give me the choice of Dubai and Addis Ababa, I would say Addis is more interesting.

Doha is worse, as my relative who stayed there for 3 months for work (as an engineer) once said - it is a boring city that's simply hot all the time with nothing to do.

BTW the two largest market for ET is East Asia (especially China) to rest of Africa, follow by Europe to East/Southern Africa. There is the niche N. America to West Africa via LFW/Asky also, but that's now outside of Ethiopia.

Dubai also has a heritage district, which includes the Dubai Museum.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:39 am
by B777LRF
ArchGuy1 wrote:
Dubai also has a heritage district, which includes the Dubai Museum.


Dubai's "heritage" is that of a small, dirt poor, fishing and pearl diving community. The associated "district" can be seen in less than 15 minutes, including the "museum". Have you ever been to Dubai, Doha or Addis?

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:12 am
by directorguy
ArchGuy1 wrote:
directorguy wrote:
Dubai as a previous poster pointed out is a much more recent development and as much as they like to think they’re in the same league as NY or London or Singapore (the city that Dubai famously tries to copy), Dubai is less mature and established.
On paper Addis Ababa could have a lot going for it. It’s the capital city of a country with a population roughly that of Germany. The potential is there. What I do know is that the government is very ambitious in bringing about economic growth and has a lot of flagship projects. One example being the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is opposed by Egypt who believe that the dam will reduce their water supply. There is some talk of a military confrontation over the GERD as the talks keep failing.

Could Addis Ababa become something like Doha, Qatar in the next 10 years with futuristic skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, and distinctive museums.


As far as museums are concerned, Ethiopia has a very rich heritage. It was among the first countries to embrace Christianity, has some very old (and very beautiful) churches, and a lot of distinctive artwork. There is a lot of mythology associated with the Queen of Sheba, and until now you can visit the town of Aksum (or Axum) which is associated with her. Contrast that with Dubai, which of course has a very interesting history, but not particularly remarkable. The Louvre Abu Dhabi contains very few artifacts from the UAE itself and features collections from all around the world (but then again, there is nothing particularly "British" about the British Museum). Ethiopia certainly has no need to import artifacts to lure visitors in.
To have huge shopping malls and futuristic skyscrapers on the other hand, Ethiopia would need a large and growing business sector, a lot of heavy industries, a developed services sector, banking. Basically the country would need to have a developed economy. The segment of the population that is moneyed, able to travel, or consume is very small. As I said earlier, the country is in the middle of a very bitter dispute with Egypt and the Sudan over Nile water resources-a dispute that could evolve into military conflict.

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:45 pm
by zakuivcustom
How did this turn into a discussion of whether Addis is a world city to whether Dubai is one :white:

B777LRF wrote:
Dubai's "heritage" is that of a small, dirt poor, fishing and pearl diving community. The associated "district" can be seen in less than 15 minutes, including the "museum". Have you ever been to Dubai, Doha or Addis?


I doubt the OP had been to anywhere. To him, fancy skyscraper is the way to go...

Seriously, Lalibela and Aksum alone makes me want to visit Ethiopia, not some futuristic Addis Ababa Tower with a fancy rooftop bar.

Oh, and Ethiopian food is good enough for Ethiopian restaurant to be worthwhile to go to in US. While Dubai? Group under "Middle Eastern" food perhaps?

directorguy wrote:
but then again, there is nothing particularly "British" about the British Museum


To be fair, it does show the British past of pillage and plunder, especially Egypt. :duck: :duck:

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:55 pm
by directorguy
zakuivcustom wrote:
Oh, and Ethiopian food is good enough for Ethiopian restaurant to be worthwhile to go to in US. While Dubai? Group under "Middle Eastern" food perhaps?

directorguy wrote:
but then again, there is nothing particularly "British" about the British Museum


To be fair, it does show the British past of pillage and plunder, especially Egypt. :duck: :duck:


I've been living/frequently visiting Dubai for something like twenty years now, and I can't name a single dish or food specific to UAE cuisine. Some hotel tried to make hamburgers made from ground camel meat and edible gold a thing a few years ago, maybe that'll appeal to certain people :P

And touche about the British =)

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:30 pm
by Braybuddy
ArchGuy1 wrote:
How did Dubai manage to become a global city like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul, or New York City and would it be possible for Addis Ababa to do the same?

How do you define world class? You cannot put Dubai in the same league as London, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul or New York. Those five cities are streets ahead of Dubai, which is actually quite boring by comparison. It has money to splurge on expensive projects, but it is nowhere near as vibrant or exciting as those other five cities (and many more).

Re: Can Addis Ababa Become a World Class City?

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:44 pm
by ArchGuy1
directorguy wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
directorguy wrote:
Dubai as a previous poster pointed out is a much more recent development and as much as they like to think they’re in the same league as NY or London or Singapore (the city that Dubai famously tries to copy), Dubai is less mature and established.
On paper Addis Ababa could have a lot going for it. It’s the capital city of a country with a population roughly that of Germany. The potential is there. What I do know is that the government is very ambitious in bringing about economic growth and has a lot of flagship projects. One example being the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is opposed by Egypt who believe that the dam will reduce their water supply. There is some talk of a military confrontation over the GERD as the talks keep failing.

Could Addis Ababa become something like Doha, Qatar in the next 10 years with futuristic skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, and distinctive museums.


As far as museums are concerned, Ethiopia has a very rich heritage. It was among the first countries to embrace Christianity, has some very old (and very beautiful) churches, and a lot of distinctive artwork. There is a lot of mythology associated with the Queen of Sheba, and until now you can visit the town of Aksum (or Axum) which is associated with her. Contrast that with Dubai, which of course has a very interesting history, but not particularly remarkable. The Louvre Abu Dhabi contains very few artifacts from the UAE itself and features collections from all around the world (but then again, there is nothing particularly "British" about the British Museum). Ethiopia certainly has no need to import artifacts to lure visitors in.
To have huge shopping malls and futuristic skyscrapers on the other hand, Ethiopia would need a large and growing business sector, a lot of heavy industries, a developed services sector, banking. Basically the country would need to have a developed economy. The segment of the population that is moneyed, able to travel, or consume is very small. As I said earlier, the country is in the middle of a very bitter dispute with Egypt and the Sudan over Nile water resources-a dispute that could evolve into military conflict.

I agree that Aksum could benefit from Ethiopian Airlines making Addis Ababa a global hub and Addis Ababa becoming a global city. A world class museum with Ethiopian art and heritage could also be built in Addis Ababa.