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You had to know it was going to end. Dubai's storied boom is starting to falter as the worldwide economic woes catch up with the nation's real estate and financial services-fueled good times. Abandoned cars are beginning to pile up at Dubai International Airport as overextended expatriates flee. Dubai throws debtors in the pokey, and if you lose your job, they yank your visa; two good reasons to drive to the airport and leave your maxed out credit cards on the passenger seat with an "I'm sorry" note. 3,000 cars are reportedly stockpiled at the airport so far, and with reports of 1,500 visas a day being cancelled, there may be a lot of dusty, cut rate luxury cars available for closeout prices.

[Source: Gadling, Photo: Bryan Denton/NYT]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      For those of you praising Dubai, I guess you don't care about human rights at all? Though one of the more "progressive" Arab countries, Dubai is still a dictatorship (Absolute Monarchy) with severe punishments for things that most of the civilized world takes for granted.

      In addition, it's low skilled foreign workers are treated as slaves with little if any rights as are it's women. Enslaved prostitutes (many underage) are shipped in from around the world (how amusing that you think Russian prostitutes are "entertaining". Would you think that if it was your sister who had been kidnapped and sent to the Middle East to service several men a day?). Gays and religious minorities haven't any rights and can be arrested for being themselves as well.

      In general, while an "interesting" place, Dubai is no paradise.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Our prostitutes in Vegas are rarely "entertaining"!

        So there, Chiro!
        • 6 Years Ago
        "LloydChiro 1:46PM (2/18/2009)

        I know Vegas is not ruled by an autocrat, but I can't help but notice the irony of your post. There are a lot of similarities between Vegas and Dubai. "

        First of all, we in Las Vegas are ruled by a drunken ex mob lawyer.

        Second, well, damn you!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd be glad to give one of those cars a good washing and a home.
      • 6 Years Ago
      When you build 200 skyscrapers in 5 years, and then the bottom falls out..yeah, it will be bad. It's not like other metropolitan areas, that grew up gradually over time, but instead an instant, just-add-water city.

      I bet images of its deserted streets and properties will come to be a main visual example of the global economic meltdown.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think that's what happened to Toyota on a corporate level.They were gaining market share in the double digits and adding capacity etc.right up to the onset of the world economic collapse,whereas as bad as it is for say GM,they were at least paring down and adjusting to their dwindling market share.
        Now suddenly Toyota has got these operating costs to fund.It must be quite a shock.
        The Japanese are very guarded about their inner financial workings in business,but I think the news from Toyota will reflect a company that's staggering to stay on it's feet after one big sucker punch.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I bet that their governement will do everything in it's power to keep the company from going under.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The price of oil, though heavily manipulated, in the end is at the mercy of supply and demand. Now, with every home garage mechanic working on an electric car design (without a hell of a lot of overhead, or thousands of retired workers to support) and billions of VC$ going into advance electrical storage research, do you suppose the economists may have been wrong about the demand for crude oil?
      They used to say they could make a profit pumping Kern heavy crude @ $10/barrel, but that number must have changed. Does anyone have an idea about at what price does pumping crude not make any sense anymore. Have we reached equilibrium here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I forgot to add in that these are the break-even prices for pumping crude out. And to think oil was over $140 at one time...
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's not true.

        First, it's only it's only 18 billion barrels over 30 years, half of what Mexicos largest field had in it at one time. The rest of the oil is unrecoverable.

        Also, the US uses about 7 billion barrels a year, so this is less than 1/10th of what is needed just to satisfy current US demand. Also this is a lower rate than Mexico is currently producing at, and that is expected to run out soon. Mexico will have a net REDUCTION in oil production, not increase.


        Also, these are old (1960s discoveries) and this oil was already on the books in Mexico once before, the US Securities & Exchange Commission forced Pemex to remove these (already known) reserves off their balance sheet in 2002 because they weren't operating the field and it was known to be unrecoverable.

        It is expected this field is marginal at best and it will not stop Mexicos decline in production.

        • 6 Years Ago
        In US dollars as of Jan 2008...

        Bahrain 40
        Kuwait 17
        Saudi Arabia 30
        U.A.E. 25
        Oman 40
        Qatar 30
        Canada's oil sands 33

        Source http://www.oil-price.net/
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey listen, if nobody's going to grab that F430 over there, I'll take it.

      You sure? Last chance! Anybody at all?

      Okay. Dibbs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No more gold plating here!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess the financial crises is the boogie under the bed!! It's not really there or I mean, people got scared of something that they don't know about in the first place!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      So how do I go about getting the M3 or M6 for $10k from the Dubai airport?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wonder this too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I emailed a friend of mine who lives in Dubai asking him about this story that's been around on the blogs for awhile. He said that the number of cars left at the airport is more like 300.

      Additionally, regarding the debtors prison . . . mortgage holders in Dubai are required to sign a year's worth of post-dated checks in advance. Should one of those checks bounce, the person writing the check could be arrested, just like in the United States and elsewhere. It's not automatic "go to the pokey" for being in debt.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well this isn't a surprise for me. I did guess that Dubai would eventually fall, its what makes the middle-east an overall weak business region.

      Relying on natural resources to fuel almost the entire economy is very very risky, and we are seeing its results here.

      Over here in Canada & the U.S, natural resources make up less than a quarter of our GDP and economy (which is a good thing in most cases).
      • 6 Years Ago
      What I want to know is how many of those cars are gold or chrome plated. :-P
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh, the perils of immense wealth and little foresight. Dubai is a global example of something we have even seen this in the West; consumerism and excess. When you live for today, tomorrow doesn't really matter and, now that tomorrow has come, what are you left with? Not too much.
      I guess there were more people out there who should have heeded the words of the Dutch person on the ING commercials: "Save your money."
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