Signs of a global cosmopolitan city include brand names such as Apple or Louis Vuitton and transportation methods such as a large-scale underground metro system. Is this all wishful thinking for Ulaanbaatar?
Steve Jobs has come to Mongolia, although not literally. Last week marked the official opening of Ulaanbaatar’s first Apple store, recognition by one of the world’s largest and most recognized brands that Mongolia may be onto something and a commitment to participate in it. And Louis Vuitton, along with Cartier, Dior, Shangri-La, Hilton, Boss, Mont Blanc, BMW and Benetton has all already staked ground.
As for that metro system, reports say it will be ready by 2017. Potentially wishful thinking, but a South Korean consortium has already been selected to build the underground railway in UB. Construction is planned to begin in 2013. The railway will have two main lines: 28 km east-west and 21 km north-south, dipping above and below ground throughout.
An Asian precedent, Almaty, will complete its 45-km underground metro system this year. Over the last eight years, property prices in Almaty increased 10x (residential), 20x (retail) and up to 50x (land) and Kazakhstan has grown exponentially through resource extraction.
Mongolia’s future feels bright.
Source: ResCap
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