Bill Lewis, the senior editor for ZweigWhite's newsletters group, noticed what he called "a telling sidelight to this week's opening of Burj Khalifa, the half-mile tall Dubai tower, billed as the world’s tallest building."
"As recently as last week, the structure was to be called Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower), but opened Monday with the new name, in honor of the president of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It’s probably no coincidence that Sheik Khalifa’s nation spent $10 billion last month to help bail out Dubai from its much-publicized economic collapse. Jim Krane, author of City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism, called the building’s rebranding, 'the most expensive naming rights deal in history.'"
This makes the $1.5 billion New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and the $1 billion-plus Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spent on new stadiums in the past year or so seem a bit more reasonable, no? At least they didn't name the monuments to themselves after themselves. Somewhere, Donald Trump weeps.
What's your take on this? Are you surprised about this last-minute change of name for the historic edifice? Do you see it having any sort of widespread effect across the industry? I find it interesting that Sheik Khalifa waited so long to fork over the cash. Maybe he wanted to see how the tower turned out before ponying up.