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The dark side of Dubai

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  • The dark side of Dubai

    A very scary article about the real state of Dubai including slavery, pollution and expats living in cars after losing everything. Once I read this article I will never touch Dubai as an investment opportunity.

    Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging. Johann Hari reports

    The wide, smiling face of Sheikh Mohammed Рthe absolute ruler of Dubai Рbeams down on his creation. His image is displayed on every other building, sandwiched between the more familiar corporate rictuses of Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders. This man has sold Dubai to the world as the city of One Thousand and One Arabian Lights, a Shangri-La in the Middle East insulated from the dust-storms blasting across the region. He dominates the Manhattan-manqu̩ skyline, beaming out from row after row of glass pyramids and hotels smelted into the shape of piles of golden coins. And there he stands on the tallest building in the world Рa skinny spike, jabbing farther into the sky than any other human construction in history.

    But something has flickered in Sheikh Mohammed's smile. The ubiquitous cranes have paused on the skyline, as if stuck in time. There are countless buildings half-finished, seemingly abandoned. In the swankiest new constructions – like the vast Atlantis hotel, a giant pink castle built in 1,000 days for $1.5bn on its own artificial island – where rainwater is leaking from the ceilings and the tiles are falling off the roof. This Neverland was built on the Never-Never – and now the cracks are beginning to show. Suddenly it looks less like Manhattan in the sun than Iceland in the desert.

    Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing – at last – into history.


    Also watch "Dubai Bubble Burst" video here...


    Last edited by Marc; 14-04-2009, 10:19 PM.
    Free business resources - www.BusinessBlogsHub.com

  • #2
    I was offered a role to run a real esate group there last year. I am glad I did not take up the offer


    • #3
      Woah!!!! and we still see shots of Dubai hotels and Islands on CNBC and CNN.......I for one will be avoiding a place built on slavery!
      The mission of any business enterprise should include the aim to develop economic conditions rather than simply react to them.


      • #4
        This articles gone viral on the net! I've seen it in two other places.

        What an eye opener! A couple of years ago an Aussie & I got talking to a group of Bangladeshi at the Dubai airport. They had no money & probably paid a fortune to get to Dubai, but their visas weren't sorted (by the agency that recruited them) Really nice folk & looked quite old, to think that they could have ended up part of this story, quite disturbing when I think about it....


        • #5
          An you get fined for surfing too. From Today's SideSwipe in the Herald:

          Joseph writes: "My brother Samuel is working as a landscape architect in Dubai and is a keen surfer. One day last month, Dubai's keen surfers, including my brother, paddle out into the surf. They were soon interrupted by six police cars and municipality trucks, flashing their lights and blowing their whistles. They called everyone out of the water and demanded their driving licences, with no explanation. After all the commotion six of the surfers were issued fines for, according to the officers, 'sliding on the waves'. Samuel said the emerging market of Dubai is not accustomed to this increasingly popular water sport and appears to be looking at methods to control it. This is currently taking the form of a total ban and infringement penalty system."

          So Dubai is still pretty backwards in lots of respects.
          Squadly dinky do!