Can Azerbaijan be the new Dubai?
The country of Azerbaijan is a little known place on the coast of the Caspian Sea that was once a part of the former Soviet Union.
The country had the world’s fastest growing economy at an average annual rate of 28 percent between 2006 and 2008.
Like other small countries in the region, the majority of their wealth comes from drilling oil.
One of the powerful billionaires of Azerbaijan, Ibrahim Ibrahimov is in the process of building a series of artificial islands complete with the world’s tallest skyscraper, luxury hotels, and high rise apartment complexes, costing an estimated 100 billion dollars to build.
The Khazar Islands project is reminiscent of the many artificial islands in Dubai.
However, just like with other fast growing economies, there are challenges.
Azerbaijan was in the news earlier this year because of a riot lasting two days that happened in the resort town of Ismayilli.
Some 50 protestors were arrested after riot police came with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The residents of Ismayilli said that the riot was part of growing unrest over income inequality and government corruption.