A piece from the New York Times on the crashing of Dubai’s economy for the many foreigners who have been living in an economic bubble of artificial wealth and lavish spending. Also discusses the tale that the Palm Jumeirah hotel may in fact be sinking, and is ridden with cockroaches.

Some things are clear: real estate prices, which rose dramatically during Dubai’s six-year boom, have dropped 30 percent or more over the past two or three months in some parts of the city. Last week, Moody’s Investor’s Service announced that it might downgrade its ratings on six of Dubai’s most prominent state-owned companies, citing a deterioration in the economic outlook. So many used luxury cars are for sale , they are sometimes sold for 40 percent less than the asking price two months ago, car dealers say. Dubai’s roads, usually thick with traffic at this time of year, are now mostly clear.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/12/world/middleeast/12dubai.html?_r=2&hp