Dubai’s downfall just as spectacular as its rise

NYT has a report on the situation in Dubai:

With Dubai’s economy in free fall, newspapers have reported that more than 3,000 cars sit abandoned in the parking lot at the Dubai Airport, left by fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners (who could in fact be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills). Some are said to have maxed-out credit cards inside and notes of apology taped to the windshield.

The government says the real number is much lower. But the stories contain at least a grain of truth: jobless people here lose their work visas and then must leave the country within a month. That in turn reduces spending, creates housing vacancies and lowers real estate prices, in a downward spiral that has left parts of Dubai — once hailed as the economic superpower of the Middle East — looking like a ghost town.

“Why is Abu Dhabi allowing its neighbor to have its international reputation trashed, when it could bail out Dubai’s banks and restore confidence?” said Christopher M. Davidson, who predicted the current crisis in “Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success,” a book published last year. “Perhaps the plan is to centralize the U.A.E.” under Abu Dhabi’s control, he mused, in a move that would sharply curtail Dubai’s independence and perhaps change its signature freewheeling style.

But Dubai, unlike Abu Dhabi or nearby Qatar and Saudi Arabia, does not have its own oil, and had built its reputation on real estate, finance and tourism. Now, many expatriates here talk about Dubai as though it were a con game all along. Lurid rumors spread quickly: the Palm Jumeira, an artificial island that is one of this city’s trademark developments, is said to be sinking, and when you turn the faucets in the hotels built atop it, only cockroaches come out.

Also, check this video from German TV (in English, via The Big Picture):

7 thoughts on “Dubai’s downfall just as spectacular as its rise”

  1. NHK did a quite excellent doco on this theme about 2 months ago. The 3000 cars are a spectacular image, but the Japanese crew went to the mansions built on one of those wing shaped artificial islands and found that not only are most deserted, but many have been ransacked by irate day laborers.

  2. If I was a day laborer in Dubai I’d certainly squat in a mansion built by a megalomaniac billionaire on an artificial island.

  3. Why is anyone even remotely surprised at what’s happening in Dubai? the bubble had to burst. The recession merely hastened the demise. It was the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme and the only people who have made money are the developers and the speculators. The chicken have now come home to roost.

  4. Many thanks to Allah, I left these troubled waters of Dubai 5 years back.

    I think Dubai Goverment should bring all palstine people and let them enjoy good days after thier long sufferings. Even I doubt if they will leave their Holy mother land, to which they have invested their blood not money.

    They surely won’t like to stay in this 7star ruines skint.

    My advise to the investement Cos, is that they should have invested in Jewish Settlements rather than Dubai.

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