middle east

Darryl Chen, 08 04 09

J.G. Ballard could give up now. Dubai is quickly surpassing his dystopian imagination by conjuring this phenomenon from its maxed-out economy: There is now a subclass of western expats who having been made bankrupt from over-extended mortgages have been evicted from their gated villas, had their bank accounts frozen and are now seeking refuge in hotel carparks camped out in their SUVs.

Homelessness is not supposed to happen in this oasis where flowers bloom in the desert. Certainly not for white-collar executives who have been shipped in for the promotion, the tax-free paypacket, the lifestyle, the blissful unaccountability of expat life. Even in an economic downturn, we expect this savvy international class to have some fallback position, some funds back home, a legal safety net…. (more…)