Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dubai Meets Its Reckoning

Eh, Dubai. I have read several fantastic articles about the state, which is the most populous of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It has become known as an aspiring prime financial city and as a tourist destination. It has spawned many extravagences, including the world's tallest building, the Palm Islands, where people like David Beckham own small plots of land, and an underwater hotel. It has also become known for its decidedly unfriendly environmental practices; the average person in Dubai has a larger carbon footprint than that of any other on Earth, including your average American. They also are unsympathetic towards debtors; people are regularly jailed for not paying their bills or bouncing a check. This applies to foreigners, by the way. (I re-discovered this excellent article here)

Anyway, Dubai has been hurt pretty badly by the imploding economy. So much so, that they have asked for a standstill on all of their debts, which total $80 billion. Please don't take this as a snide commentary on the state of affairs in Dubai; our nation has far greater financial problems than Dubai, or any other country, actually. Not really exciting news; I've just always been fascinated by the internal machnications of Dubai.

And, BTW, this is an excellent link to a slide show on the Business Week website about Dubai's buildings. Some of them are beautiful, and awe-inspiring, but the energy it took to build these (as well as the emissions that they spew) must have been awesome. They look like something out of the video game "Final Fantasy VII".

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