Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dubai: miracle of capitalism?

"The owners of these vehicles are mainly British expatriates, who have left in a hurry because they faced "crippling debts" as a result of Dubai's financial meltdown and their own profligate behaviour. Many of them, says Hollingsworth, have defaulted on loans; rather than risk arrest and jail, they drove at top speed to the airport where they jumped on the first flight to London. If you're looking for a microcosm of the world financial crisis, then Dubai is it. The Alice-in-Wonderland atmosphere of crazed spending was more extreme than anywhere else and now the tourism-and-expatriate-dependent little kingdom is heading precipitously towards bankruptcy. Last month it was bailed out with a $20bn package by its oil-rich neighbour, Abu Dhabi, but, with $80bn worth of debts, it could still go bankrupt this year." (thanks Saeed)