How Dubai's dream sank in a sea of debt, rants one headline.
Dubai dream over, screams another.
It's time to bash Dubai again. The vitriol has started to spew, but what is the agenda?
Is it jealousy? Maybe.
Is it ignorance? Perhaps.
Is it a deliberate attempt to bring down a testament of success? Plausible.
Or is it a pre-meditated campaign by a depraved group that so dearly wants a slice of the pie, but has not even been given a taste of the crumbs? Maybe.
The vicious attack was launched this time after Dubai World requested a six-month delay on payment of its debts.
One special report aired by a foreign television channel showed the rolling sands and the sun bearing down. The camera then zoomed into a labour accommodation. A worker appeared and said times were tough. The Dubai dream is over, said the reporter. And that was it — special report over.
Another article says Dubai is not to be trusted.
Then why are there more than four million expatriates still living in the UAE and more than a million in Dubai alone? Why have they left their safe and secure, prosperous homelands to come here?
The attack was so concerted that panic spread not just across the markets. Fear entered homes on foreign shores. Would loved ones have to pack up and come back in droves? People who have returned to their countries with fond memories after long years in Dubai seemed bewildered. How could this have happened?
But what has happened?
Adair Turner, chairman of the UK's Financial Services Authority, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying it is a normal and expected part of the adjustment process to the global financial turmoil and not part of some new threat to the financial system.
"I think actually this should not be seen as something extraordinary, this is part of the normal adjustment process. I don't think it's telling us something fundamentally new which we didn't already know," he was quoted as saying.
Turner said banks operating in Dubai would have known "for some time" there may have to be an adjustment or restructuring process in the lending to the region as a result of an over-extension of commercial bank lending similar to that seen elsewhere around the world in the run-up to the financial crisis.
The $26 billion (Dh95.62 billion) figure "confirms that it's a relatively minor problem," Bloomberg quoted Michael Atkin, who helps oversee $10 billion in fixed-income assets as head of sovereign research at Putnam Investments in Boston.
Perhaps these morally bankrupt groups with vested interests which attack Dubai should look inward. Soul searching can be a revelation.
The Huffington Post looked at a figure called the gross external debt, which is a tabulation of the debt taken out by a country's government, corporations and citizens and held by foreign entities. Using second-quarter data collected by the World Bank, it listed the 10 countries with the biggest total foreign debt.
The US came first with a debt of $13.454 trillion, followed by the UK with $9.087 trillion, Germany $5.208 trillion, France $5.021 trillion, Italy $2.567 trillion, Netherlands $2.452 trillion, Spain $2.409 trillion, Ireland $2.386 trillion, Japan $2.132 trillion and Luxembourg $1.994 trillion.
Is not a request to delay a payment of $26 billion small compared to these figures?
Why then aren't the self-appointed watchdogs attacking these countries and accusing them of just about everything, from a failing economy, to a decadent society ravaged by grisly crimes to a community of drunks who cannot behave themselves in sports arenas?
Dubai has metamorphosed from a barren land to a hub for business and tourism. Its people prosper courtesy welfare policies by its leadership. There is peace and security. It is home to people of more than 150 nationalities, who live in mutual respect and understanding. There is religious tolerance.
This is not the first time that these groups have attacked Dubai. The attacks have come with unfailing regularity; the arguments have been weak, but the motive has been unchanged: show Dubai in a poor light, a land in the doldrums.
And when the onslaught is so concerted with single-minded determination, the agenda must be questioned.
Yes, there must be jealousy.
Yes, these vested interests are ignorant.
Yes, these groups are enemies of success.
Yes, these sections want a piece of Dubai.
These groups are not credible. They do disservice to journalism. They are trouble mongers.
And if they do have such an appetite for exposing a dark world, they should go digging in their own homelands to feed their possessed minds. They will only have to scratch the surface as they are wont and their appetites will be satiated. Stories of slavery, of hunger, of human perversion, of a bankrupt society are aplenty. Do them. They need to be told.
And perhaps these groups should ask why their compatriots come here in millions. Have they ever wondered?
Dubai has seen phenomenal growth. In a mere span of 38 years, it is now a force to reckon with and continues to grow. It is vibrant and warm. Ask its people.
So leave Dubai alone. Leave it to its leadership. Leave it to its people. We don't need you.