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Dubai : foreclosure of a dream.

By Christopher M. Davidson


Glitzy Dubai, long considered the new Monte Carlo\ud or the Las Vegas of the Middle East, has suff ered one\ud of the worst crash landings of this global recession.\ud Dubai might be considered a bellwether of the global credit\ud crunch. Until recently touted as a beacon of progress in\ud an otherwise unstable region, the tiny emirate’s seemingly\ud innovative economic and political model is now unravelling,\ud with no end in sight to the uninterrupted stream of bad news.\ud Construction has ground to a shuddering halt, unemployment\ud is rising, sovereign debt is exposed, lawsuits are being\ud prepared, and the population is decreasing, as those who\ud moved to Dubai in search of a better life have either lost\ud their jobs or are cutting their losses and leaving.\ud To make matters worse, as the city empties itself out,\ud traffi c thins, and cars and credit cards are abandoned at the\ud airport, the embattled authorities have embroiled themselves\ud in fresh controversies by introducing protectionist policies\ud for their citizens and a new media law that forbids criticism\ud of the economy, and earning Dubai an anti-Semitic branding\ud in the sports world by denying a visa to an Israeli athlete.\ud With investor confi dence in tatters and debt repayments\ud looming, its humiliated rulers have had little choice but to\ud turn to their wealthier neighbors. But although help has\ud fi nally arrived, it is by no means the lifeline that the emirate\ud really needs, and Dubai’s future hangs in the balance

Publisher: Middle East Research and Information Project
Year: 2009
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