There is undoubtedly a contingent of mafia types (both organised and remarkably un-organised!) that is very prominent and looks to be unimpressed by the supposed growth in worldwide police co-operation. However there is also a growing genuinely upmarket segment to the local area, which is now significant.
Marbella and region nowadays is a fascinating mix of the squalid and the extravagant. Though I reckon for most people, the seedy sphere of pharmaceuticals and hoodlums in viewed as glamorous so there is possibly some cross-over between both.
Likewise, the Olivia Valere club just perseveres doing its own thing in its own way as it has done for several years. It should be said, by the way, that tthe outdated hood laden Sleek disco has been replaced by the racketeer laden Cavalli Club.
As a traveler and occasional resident of Marbella over the past number of years, it has been stimulating to check out the mood of the region change throughout the years. From the original crest of the 1980s "Costa Del Crime" upsurge, when thugs took refuge in Marbella with their gangs to revel in the questionable or non existent extradition treaties, to today's worldwide jet-set scene, Puerto Banus and Sotogrande, Marbella and its neighboring regions like Riviera, Nueva Andalucia, has evolved at a spectacular speed while nonetheless being unaffected at its heart.
Marbella and the Costa Del Sol will always adapt. I hope it will be in a positive way. It has had the tendency to be in the past, even with the periodic major misstep on the odyssey.
Anywhere you pay a visit to on the Costa del Sol, it is obvious that there are an expanding amount of tourists from North America and Asia. They are driving the investing and property development boost in the same way that Arab and narcotic laundering money did in the 80s. Their appearance is propelling the local business community to adapt to meet their different needs.
To give a very dissimilar example from the service sector; escort agents on the Costa del Sol who solely offer unexciting young chicas with no English and are resistant to agree to payment in dollars or plastic money will be helpless to compete with agencies such as 2nd Circle Escorts Marbella orthe Marbella Escort Agency. Those companies are providing exquisite high-class prostitutes from a range of backgrounds with a large range of language skills. And due to the fact that they are properly managed organizations instead of some kind of "life-style" business, they can offer many different payment alternatives. They are also reliable, truthful and keep their agreements. That makes a change evidently!
People from the USA would be very dissatisfied with the poor quality "steak" that a large number of restaurants supply. And this in a country widely known for its bulls! Because of this low end restaurants are progressively more transforming into specialists or are elevating their standards to those of the leading restaurants in the area such as Tango in Puerto Banus.