Dubai's infrastructure failures should serve as a cautionary tale to other Middle Eastern countries looking to mirror its successes, says Liz Alderman. The essential process of desalinating water for drinking is raising the gulf's salinity rate to levels that threaten marine life. Sewage treatment systems can't keep up with development. Furthermore, construction and industrial projects use so much energy that oil-rich Dubai is turning to nuclear power.
"Authorities acknowledge that the breakneck pace has stressed natural resources throughout the region. Efforts to achieve developed status within the next 20 years have ‘magnified' the challenges to environmental protection."