Thursday, February 12, 2009

Goodbye, Dubai!

Looking for things to make you feel better? How about "at least I don't work in Dubai!"

From the New York Times:

Laid-off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down

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.


Anny said...


Anonymous said...

Just moved to Dubai 2 weeks ago. Things arent pretty here, but calling it a ghost town is a bit overkill... Traffic is still terrible in the morning and late afternoon.

Car Free in Philly said...

Well, there's a surprise! That place is the epitome of excess and rapid growth.

KB said...

I was offered a job at a big 4 accounting firm in Abu Dubai in September 2008 - and my friends all thought I was crazy for not taking it! I'm so glad I didn't.

moocifer said...

The interesting thing to me is that the credit crisis is showing the big gap between the "hyper capitalistic" Dubai economic region, which is exempt from many of the traditional Islamic banking laws, and *some* of the existing laws. So, if because of the worldwide credit crisis you lose your job and can't pay your mortgage or car payment, you can go to prison. As the article indicates, this is causing foreign born workers to flee Dubai like the plague as soon as they lose work, abandoning their cars at the airport with "I'm sorry" notes on the dashboard. Citizens of the UAE who do not have secondary citizenship elsewhere will not have that out.

Interesting times.

Anonymous said...

kind of like mailing in your keys to your mortgage lender, sans the sorry note.