August 2011, Batumi, Georgia:
Wealthy Georgians seen at Party in Batumi.
Since the money has begun to flow from the Baku-Tbilis-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, designer shops and expensive hotels and restaurants have sprung up in Baku. The disparities between rich and poor are however still enormous.
August 2011, Batumi, Georgia - High class 'model' in the nightclub of the Sheraton hotel.
Batumi has been undergoing intensive development since the end of the 2008 Georgia-Russia war. Many of the new five star hotels cater to the oil rich Azeris from across the border who are flush with petrodollars flowing from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
Since it became operational in 2006 the BTC has allowed Azerbaijan to export its oil to world markets through Georgia and Turkey, thus avoiding Russia. It has given Azerbaijan a greater sense of independence and a new role for Georgia in Europe's energy security to the annoyance of Russia. Some blame the BTC for Russia's continued covert involvement in regional latent conflicts especially the South Ossetian crisis which led to the Russia-Georgia war.