Monday, November 30, 2009

When Spring Returns


This weekend the dark clouds gathered around the global economy once again and this time it was on concerns that two of Dubai - owned companies may default on their debt obligations. Watching the news develop in the television stations a thought crossed my mind … “How happy we were there”.

I was transported to another world when I read Oscar Wilde’s “Selfish Giant” for the first time. The statement “How happy we were there” remained closed to my heart and popped into my mind every now and then.
This time it was not so much for us as we had reached Dubai as matters had already started to get sour, though I would have loved to live there. There has been hundreds of thousand s of families who had to leave the land of their dreams. The economy was buyout many people lost control over their lifestyle started to live beyond their means. They were sitting on the edge spend their past , present and future income with an illusion that they are immune to the global economic downturn without realizing that a strong breeze could throw them off balance. While some developed cardiac problems when hit others departed abandoning their earthly possessions. The state does not have personal bankruptcy protection and that prompted many to leave behind massive amount of unpaid credit card and personal loans. Many of them left behind their much loved new cars in one of the many parking lots. About 6 months back the government auctioned about 3000 sparingly used cars but there are still many and I guess new ones are joining the ranks like this one that I spotted in the expensive airport short time parking lot.


But this place was not fair to the people who actually built the city. The wages were as low as 1000 dirham while the bosses at the developers were at times taking home as much as 170,000 dirham a month. While the rentals for the apartments skyrocketed every effort were being made to drive the laborers, taxi drivers and other low income groups to outskirts keeping the city only for the rich, famous and the tourists.
Hope the city will embrace everyone rich and poor with open arms when spring returns to its gardens.How happy we are here! They will cry out to each other once again.


10 comments:

  1. Ah, I guess the crises hit many all over the world. We can also feel it here, although the Danish economy is very strong and there has been only problems with one of the banks. Of course, some small companies did go out of business and there has been some foreclosures. But overall, the economy is sound.
    Sorry that this makes you feel somewhat sad...
    May I ask why the car in the lot is covered in ashes or dust or sand? Is it because of sand storms? Sorry if this is a stupid questions.
    ;)
    Zuzana

    ReplyDelete
  2. My next door neighbour is one of the people who left Dubai. It is fortunate that he got a job in a top company of India. Sad, the state of affairs there...hope things work out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Recession has affected all over the world mainly in USA, Dubai and UK. Even in Australia thousands of people have lost their jobs. But the situation in India is far far better now compare to all other countries and the people are rushing there and getting good job with handsome salary. The market is reviving slowly and I hope by mid 2010 everything will be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The newspapers are full of stories of the record number of Malayalees who returned home after the situation in Dubai, the stories of Dubai world on an idefinte hold, Oman now uses Dubai as an example to showcase its slow but steady progress, Dubai is now a fable that picturises the downturn of reckless growth

    ReplyDelete
  5. This post was so thought-provoking for me. About false economies and how we lose sight, sometimes, of reality. In my present newly-single situation, I am more fortunate than many because of my profession. Still, dropping down to one income has been a shaking up for me. I related to those who found their lifestyles teetering and then crumbling. This experience has, however, taught me to be more careful and to value important things, not facades and trinkets...although, I must confess, I slip in that department. So easy. Thank you so much for giving us this insight we would not have had without your sharing. C

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes its a sorry state of affairs in Dubai. I read the news too about how laborers were not being paid their dues. Its so unfortunate!

    Here's hoping the city gets its sheen back soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is a scary situation. In news papers I read that the jobs of people who have come to India on vacation has been terminated by just sending an SMS.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We've been directly affected in some ways; my husband is a scientist and research grants are the first to go. I always think how short sighted that is. But when needs must, I suppose.

    I never understand when I hear about workers being driven out of a city, to live in the outskirts; a true city has diversity, it has reduced rents and incentives so that hard working locals can stay within their own city walls or so that those travelling far from home have a reason to stay and work, to help build and see a city thrive and succeed. Again, how short sighted.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The dusty car picture is enough to tell this sorry tale....hope things turn out in a better way.You are right it is not fair to the people who built this city.

    ReplyDelete