Today stock markets worldwide including Taiwan’s are being rocked by bad news from Dubai. A Dubai government-owned company has asked for 6 more months to repay its debts, raising serious concerns about Dubai’s financial health. This former metropolis of the future and memorial to excess has already been suffering really hard times since the 2008 global financial crisis with giant construction projects going unfinished or scrapped, aid having to sought from national rival Abu Dhabi (also part of the same country UAE), property values dropping and hordes of expats fleeing. A BBC roundup of opinions from a few people in Dubai provides some excellent quotes- “The days of building big buildings to fill them with people who are going to build more buildings are gone” and “As my husband says, Dubai has been going too big too fast and now there are not enough funds to sustain this development.” What more needs to be said?

This city-state, which had been highly touted as a place of the future with its bigger is better mantra and deliberately conspicuous embrace of excess, built on the backs of exploited, wretched foreigners, arouses no sympathy from me.