Aug

19

 Some recent observations from my vacation in Singapore:

1. Kinnevik's 'Zalora' is by far the most visible online shopping site in Singapore

2. As house prices risen, the Singaporean population have turned against low skilled labor in a big way. Not to lose the next election the PAP is making it tougher to immigrate

3. A high speed train between Singapore and KL is in the making, might be positive for KL real estate prices among other things

4. As the case in most of Asia the subway in Singapore is day and night compared to NYC. It's silent, fast and efficient

5. The biggest change since my last visit 7 years ago is the entrance of the (mega) casinos. The government doesn't let locals gamble

6. The Singaporean government publicly says they like to reduce the labor force through efficiency measures.

7. The container harbor seems to have expanded several miles on the coast

8. The best restaurants in Bali are comparable to anywhere in the world

9. Bali still feels like a third world country, much more so than Thailand for example

10. Don't surf in low tide, you risk injuring your ankles (the market analogy; don't go in over your head)

11. The building boom in Dubai is still very much in full swing

12. Emirates' rapid expansion has meant deteriorating service, but still way ahead of any Western airline

13. All the 'real' work in Dubai is done by foreigners. The 25-30% of the population that are local mostly work for the government

14. Burg Khalifa is not only the tallest building in the world (at almost twice the height of Empire State building) but going to the top is 10x less painful and faster than the Empire State experience.

15. Dubai is everything that Singapore aspires to be.

16. Dubai is full of American chains and US celebrities endorsing the brands. IHOP, Shake Shack, Starbucks and the list goes on and on

17. Amazingly the price of car service from the airport is almost exactly the same in Singapore, Dubai and New York.


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