Projects Halted as Dubai Copes With Debt

After years of spectacular growth and even more spectacular architecture, the city state of Dubai is facing crushing debts and has requested a 6-month "standstill" on its repayments.
November 30, 2009, 12pm PST | Michael Dudley
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The glitzy city-state of Dubai, which until recently was announcing one mega project after another, is now "swamped" under $60 billion in debt and is asking for a 6-month reprieve on debt payments, to give it time to come up with a plan to get its finances in order. Global markets took a hit with the news, but the signs were there: in recent months the city's real estate projects have also slowed to a crawl:

"After months of denial that the economic downturn even touched the glitzy city-state, the Dubai government earlier this year showed signs of trying to deal with the financial fallout that has halted dozens of projects and touched off an exodus of expatriate workers...The more than 2,600-foot (800-meter) Burj Dubai is scheduled to open in January as the world's tallest building. But many other projects, including a tower even taller than the Burj Dubai and satellite cities in the desert, are still just blueprints."

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Published on Friday, November 27, 2009 in Huffington Post
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