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Commentary

Dubai's Dreams in Tatters

Newsweek: Dubai’s last hurrah

“It’s a tragedy in the making,” said a senior executive with one of the city’s biggest real-estate-development companies as he peered into his champagne. “A lot of people are going to get hurt. A lot of dreams are going to be shattered,” he said, referring not only to the erstwhile rich and the speculators. Imported workers are already being exported, jobless, back to their homes. Skyscrapers are standing unfinished, baking in the sun. “Have you seen all those ships lined up on the horizon?” he said, gesturing toward the open gulf. “They’re stuck out there full of steel and concrete nobody wants anymore.”

This is scary stuff. Talks about real estate prices dropping like crazy, with the famous Palm Jumeira houses dropping from $4.5 million to no takers even at $3.13, with a Bentley thrown in.

The outflux of workers will cut of a reasonably large source of NRI remittances to India. Plus it’ll bring them back as very expensive unskilled labour – not a very good thing.

Dubai now owns stakes in the world economy like never before. Stakes in Nasdaq, LSE, ports in the US, high end retain all over the world. And it only reflects the state of the middle east, which has a considerable stake in the US economy and the dollar. When everything is slowing down, the desert will become more difficult to live in.

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