Slow to the punch, I was recently directed to an article from The Independent published in April of this year: The dark side of Dubai.
It’s the story of a failed experiment in city/utopia building, where the global economic crisis has emptied malls and hotels and halted nearly all construction — this in a city that gave rise to the oft-repeated (and oft-debunked) factoid that it employees a quarter of the world’s construction cranes.
According to the article, Dubai has failed not only economically, but also socially. Emiratis (who make up just 5% of the population) are educated up to the PhD level at no cost, while armies of impoverished foreign laborers live in bondage and lack clean drinking water. Anyone who raises a critical voice is deported (expats), financially ruined (Emiratis), or imprisoned (foreign workers).