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March 06, 2009

Great Moments in Invective -- Blogosphere Edition

The_world_dubai_03 Suppose you're like me, a loser who sits around watching the Discovery Networks and the National Geographic Channel. Also suppose that, like me, you're at least a somewhat intelligent loser. Then, you will have undoubtedly watched shows about all the construction going on in Dubai: the Burj al Arab, the "world's only seven-star hotel," the Burj Dubai, soon to be the world's tallest building, and Ski Dubai. (That's not a joke. Really.)

You will have also wondered: why? What's the point? Dubai is hot. Very hot, and it's not a dry heat, either. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of places where people with money can go to have a good time. Why would anyone think that they would choose someplace on the Persian Gulf? More to the point: why would bankers lend people money to build expensive properties like this in the expectation that people with money would choose to make this their home away from home?

Well, it seems that reality has caught up with Dubai. In a truly great bit of invective, the folks at Smashing Telly sum up the idiocy that is Dubai (article contains profanity):

Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea, and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai - it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous. . . .

Dubai is a place for the shallow and fickle. Tabloid celebrities and worn out sports stars are sponsored by swollen faced, botox injected, perma-tanned European property developers to encourage the type of people who are impressed by fame itself, rather than what originated it, to inhabit pastiche Mediterranean villas on fake islands. [It's] a grotesquely leveraged version of time-share where people are sold a life in the same way as being peddled a set of steak knives.

It gets better: Dubai is a little like the Hotel California.

As people scramble for the exits in Dubai, there is no 'key mail', like in America, where people can often mail back their house keys and walk away from a mortgage without the immediate threat of jail. People are literally fleeing this place, to date leaving 3000 cars stranded at the airport with keys still in the ignition. And the reason for this is that if you default on your Dubai mortgage, you can end up in a debtors prison.

When you wonder why we face a possible global depression, think "Ski Dubai."

(H/T The Cunning Realist; image © TEN Guide)

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Dan Gill

For Sale, Cheap: Barren pile of sand. Bring your own fresh water.

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