This article is very powerful. The message is:
You can’t build a country and solely rely on economic development and disregard political and social development. As a friend once told me, ” A nation has to choose, does the government want to build a mall or a country.”
No one knows how bad things have become, though it is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or canceled. But with the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.
Now, many expatriates here talk about Dubai as though it were a con game all along.
Instead of moving toward greater transparency, the emirates seem to be moving in the other direction. A new draft media law would make it a crime to damage the country’s reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million dirhams (about $272,000). Some say it is already having a chilling effect on reporting about the crisis.
“Before, so many of us were living a good life here,” Mr. Thiab said. “Now we cannot pay our loans. We are all just sleeping, smoking, drinking coffee and having headaches because of the situation.”