Over the last decade, many of us have been fascinated by the development of Dubai, and watched with incredulity how a piece of desert in the Arabian peninsula gave rise to gigantic air-conditioned malls, hotels, ski slops, the highest skyscraper in the world, artificial islands and a semblance of democracy that gave hope that Islam and Western values could coexist. If it seemed too good to be true, it was.
In a new article published by Daniel Pipes in Front Page Magazine, he explains how the development of this emirate owed its success to the economic bubble and speculators in and outside the emirate. Of course, like every economy developing as a result of a bubble, Dubai in 2009 has become the victim of what seems a gigantic Ponzi scheme, with real estate property prices plummeting, thousands of investors fleeing and the inherent conflicts between Islam and modernism once again on a collision course.
This is an interesting case study of the Arab world and the clash of Islam and Western values. Read it!