On Du-BAN-i, the new Gulf Emirate formerly known as Dubai. The party is over

Can’t stay away from the news these days, can you? A friend sends me a message forwarded to her from Dubai. She looked into moving down there as a Retail Manager for a fashion house down there, but the conditions where apocalyptic, lucky enough she had her father’s employer’s legal department have a closer look to the contract and decided to pull out at the last minute.


However, a staff member of hers at the time, decided to go easy and move from Supervisor in London to Store Manager in Dubai. Apparently it has been a gross mistake, they pay in advance your rent and utility bills, flights in business class to Paris for training that are great to make your friends back home envious, but if you decide to quit before the 12/18 month contract expires, you have to pay everything back, or face imprisonment. She calls UK in tears every night. She could just go, but her family lives in Doha, and that would ban her of ever going back to the Gulf.

At least, my Italian friend pulled out when she was told she had to surrender her passport until the end of the contract, literally living in a sand and sun prison.

I guess you all have seen the pictures of dusty cars formerly owned by foreigners who lost their jobs and decided to leave the dream, escape Dubai (some here).

But after a few heavily indebted (I thought debt was a sin by Islam standards) Dubai banks had to be rescued by their big brother westbound along the coast, Abu Dhabi, the little building capital of the world has turned nasty. Who can believe these days what you receive on an email, but it is actually on Alarabiya.net site.

Playing loud music, dancing, nudity, kissing and even holding hands in public is considered inappropriate behavior under new guidelines laid down by the authorities of Dubai, according to a press report on Saturday.
Dubai Executive Council issued a list of public behaviors that requires Dubai residents and visitors to respect the customs of the Muslim country and avoid what the council considers inappropriate behavior, according to the Arabic-language daily Al Emarat Al-Youm. […]

And I say, that this is the inevitable result of exuberant times. If you sell your soul (to expats in search of the holy grail of East/West middle ground), when the tide goes, everyone realises that you have been swimming naked.

Of course, if your less westernised Muslim neighbours have to bail you out, the covenants will be significant.

Like Nevada in the States, the Scottish economy, the Spanish or the Irish one, Dubai’s economy was based in only one thing: debt. UAE’s debt and exorbitant and ridiculous lifestyles of ridiculous worldwide millionaires and their court of slaves.

Dubai was like the young heir who spends his youth and inheritance in parties, drugs, women and cars thinking that he only needed his friends, and not listening to his siblings’ warnings. He knew better.

But in the end, when the going went rough, the so-called friends left the party and pay back time came, all was under his name and could not get out without having some humble pie and going cap in hand to his older brothers and ask for help.

They helped him, but he had the pledge no more parties, models, fast cars or more trips to the dealer. And it had to be in a humiliating and public fashion.



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