Bye-Bye, Dubai

I saw this on JMG’s blog today.

The Empty Sky Of Dubai

The construction boom town of Dubai, where 200 fantastically tall skyscrapers have been started in the last five years, is emptying out of foreigners who fear being sent to debtors prison for defaulting on their home loans.

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). No one knows how bad things have become, though it is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or canceled. But with the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.

The United Arab Emirates are drafting a law making it a crime to damage the country’s reputation or economy by writing about the crisis. (And you thought things are bad here. At least we get to bitch about things.)

Let this be a lesson to those who wallow in excess. You are not invincible. It will be interesting to watch this country of sickening self-centered wealth get battered by the world wide economical downturn.

Have a nice day, Dubai!

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