UPDATE: In an email interview with Dan Stuart who works for Byat.com - the Middle East's #1 job site, Stuart said their experience is somewhat different than the picture painted by The New York Times.
- Our surveys and polls on attitudes and perceptions in the region (which we have a lot of and which confirm people are hurting but its not the end of the world nor are they leaving en masse )tell us that they are certainly layoffs, but that companies are moving forward with growth projections, but optimizing and leaning is the theme for 2009. The flight to quality for staff is going strong here. "Imploding" is definitely a misrepresentation, in my opinion.
It seems for the past year main stream media was stepping all over itself to promote Dubai which they painted as part Las Vegas/ part Disneyland on steroids. But like Bernie Madoff's investment funds, Dubai's economy turns out to have been a mirage and thousands of expats are being laid off. If they can't pay their bills, they can end up in Debtor's Prison. That's the topic of my post today at BlogHer. Bubye Dubai
Back to the media love fest with Dubai, there have been fewer bigger fans of Dubai than Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Tom Friedman who called it fantastic.,
Then there was 60 Minute's Billet Deux to Dubai. I fell in love.
<br> Fast Forward to February 2009, writing about the fall of Dubai's economy in The Spine, Marty Peretz says,
Sir Winfried Franz Wilhen "Win" Bischoff, who is to step down as chairman of Citigroup having done such a magnificent job shepherding the gargantuan bank, was the source for a Wall Street Journal story on December 12, 2008, barely two months ago, proclaiming that "Citi Voices Upbeat View on Dubai." Bischoff went on to say that, "This is in line with our commitment to the (U.A.E.) market in general, and reflects our positive outlook on Dubai is particular."
In the New York Times article that reported on the debtor's prison, reporter Robert F. Worth wrote
"Dubai's paper thin society seemed to fool almost everyone."
However, a commenter on The Spine wrote,
To which another commenter said,
lots of naive Europeans and American (the type that read the fashion sections and believe what's printed there and have no clue about the real world) got fooled.
Meanwhile, there are are now thousands of expats who have lost their job and who now are desperately trying to figure out how to get out without ending up in Dubai's Debtor's prison a place you have to stay until the debt is paid.