Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down

Globalization bestows and eliminates wealth with speed. A global credit crisis has struck tourism and financial industries hard, even for fast-growing economies like Dubai. Recent investors and home-buyers in Dubai have watched values plummet in the past year. Unpaid debt is a crime punishable by imprisonment. With a workforce that is about 90 percent foreign, many want to escape the downward spiral, leaving expensive homes, cars and ample debt behind. “A new draft media law would make it a crime to damage the country’s reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million dirhams (about $272,000),” reports Robert Worth for the New York Times. “[W]ith the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.” The report focuses on professionals and not the many poor migrant laborers from Bangladesh and India, packed into dormitories. Oil-rich UAE neighbors are not stepping forward to assist, and some analysts suggest that could signal the end to Dubai's independent and freewheeling ways. – YaleGlobal

Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down

Robert F. Worth
Thursday, February 12, 2009

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A New York Times employee in Dubai contributed to this report.

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