I read somewhere that The New York Times declared Dubai to be 2008's must-see vacation spot. How things have changed in just the past few months.
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.Gee, maybe they need some tax cuts. [Yes, that was sarcasm.] Read the whole story, it's fascinating.
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.
As I understand it, the towers pictured above are not completed yet. I wonder if they ever will be.