Why is Dubai in so much trouble?

Great rant from blogger David Galbraith via Boing Boing: Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
588408_090218_dubai5.jpg
588408_090218_dubai5.jpg

Great rant from blogger David Galbraith via Boing Boing:

Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai - it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous.


Great rant from blogger David Galbraith via Boing Boing:

Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai – it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous.

RGE Monitor’s Rachel Ziema has a somewhat more sober version:

Unlike some of its neighbours (especially Abu Dhabi) Dubai’s growth was primarily debt financed, making it more vulnerable to the global liquidity crunch and more local liquidity tightening triggered first by the withdrawal of speculative capital and – later by the fall in the oil price. Although Dubai has little oil, it was clearly a petrodollar recycling hub. It accounted for much of the UAE’s external debt stock (some of Abu Dhabi’s state investors like Mubadala and others accounted for the rest ). Dubai based banks likely also accounted for much of the bank lending to the UAE. Moodys vulnerability indicators show that the UAE is among the most vulnerable in the MENA region.

David Cannon/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.