The Middle East Channel

Dubai’s cultural waste land

When the bubble burst last year in Dubai, an endlessly reported detail was the number of cars abandoned — some supposedly with apology notes stuck to the windshields — by debt-burdened foreigners fleeing an economy in free fall. Now the German impresario hired to oversee the emirate’s ambitious cultural plans has also quit his post, ...

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images
KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

When the bubble burst last year in Dubai, an endlessly reported detail was the number of cars abandoned -- some supposedly with apology notes stuck to the windshields -- by debt-burdened foreigners fleeing an economy in free fall. Now the German impresario hired to oversee the emirate's ambitious cultural plans has also quit his post, leaving behind not a missive on the Volkswagen Touareg SUV he drove in the desert boomtown, but Dubai Speed, a unique insider's memoir of the grandiose -- and all too fleeting -- attempt to use state power to reinvent a culture.

Read the article.

When the bubble burst last year in Dubai, an endlessly reported detail was the number of cars abandoned — some supposedly with apology notes stuck to the windshields — by debt-burdened foreigners fleeing an economy in free fall. Now the German impresario hired to oversee the emirate’s ambitious cultural plans has also quit his post, leaving behind not a missive on the Volkswagen Touareg SUV he drove in the desert boomtown, but Dubai Speed, a unique insider’s memoir of the grandiose — and all too fleeting — attempt to use state power to reinvent a culture.

Read the article.

<p> Michael Z. Wise has covered Central Europe for Reuters and the Washington Post. </p>

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration of a captain's hat with a 1980s era Pepsi logo and USSR and U.S. flag pins.

The Doomed Voyage of Pepsi’s Soviet Navy

A three-decade dream of communist markets ended in the scrapyard.

Demonstrators with CASA in Action and Service Employees International Union 32BJ march against the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Washington on May 1, 2017.

Unionization Can End America’s Supply Chain Crisis

Allowing workers to organize would protect and empower undocumented immigrants critical to the U.S. economy.

The downtown district of Wilmington, Delaware, is seen on Aug. 19, 2016.

How Delaware Became the World’s Biggest Offshore Haven

Kleptocrats, criminals, and con artists have all parked their illicit gains in the state.