"Bye-Bye, Dubai": The tarnish is showing on this once golden tourist destination


Dubai has been slapped down. Half of all construction projects are on hold, the stock market value has tumbled 70%, and banks aren't lending. The government is doing everything it can to make the news seem less dire, but word has been flooding out.

We all knew a little about how bad things were there, but Dubai's crash went mainstream a few week ago, when the New York Times ran a bruising story that showed the world a side of the United Arab Emirates that had been ignored during the hyper coverage of its ostentatious wealth. The paper reminded everyone that Dubai runs debtor's prisons. Expats are so terrified of being locked up for owing money on their condos that they're fleeing the crippled city in droves, some taping notes of apology to their Beemers in the airport parking lots as they fly for safety. With the country ending 55,000 residency visas in January alone, nearly twice the rate of a year ago, foreigners are given no choice but to run like hell.

Debtor's prisons? What the Dickens?