This weekend the dark clouds gathered around the global economy once again and this time it was on concerns that two of Dubai - owned companies may default on their debt obligations. Watching the news develop in the television stations a thought crossed my mind … “How happy we were there”.
I was transported to another world when I read Oscar Wilde’s “Selfish Giant” for the first time. The statement “How happy we were there” remained closed to my heart and popped into my mind every now and then.
This time it was not so much for us as we had reached Dubai as matters had already started to get sour, though I would have loved to live there. There has been hundreds of thousand s of families who had to leave the land of their dreams. The economy was buyout many people lost control over their lifestyle started to live beyond their means. They were sitting on the edge spend their past , present and future income with an illusion that they are immune to the global economic downturn without realizing that a strong breeze could throw them off balance. While some developed cardiac problems when hit others departed abandoning their earthly possessions. The state does not have personal bankruptcy protection and that prompted many to leave behind massive amount of unpaid credit card and personal loans. Many of them left behind their much loved new cars in one of the many parking lots. About 6 months back the government auctioned about 3000 sparingly used cars but there are still many and I guess new ones are joining the ranks like this one that I spotted in the expensive airport short time parking lot.
But this place was not fair to the people who actually built the city. The wages were as low as 1000 dirham while the bosses at the developers were at times taking home as much as 170,000 dirham a month. While the rentals for the apartments skyrocketed every effort were being made to drive the laborers, taxi drivers and other low income groups to outskirts keeping the city only for the rich, famous and the tourists.
Hope the city will embrace everyone rich and poor with open arms when spring returns to its gardens.How happy we are here! They will cry out to each other once again.