Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Indians fleeing Dubai?
DUBAI: It’s the great escape by Indians who’ve hit the dead-end in Dubai. Local police have found at least 3,000 automobiles - sedans, SUVs, regulars - abandoned outside Dubai International Airport in the last four months.
Police say most of the vehicles had keys in the ignition, a clear sign they were left behind by owners in a hurry to take flight. The global economic crisis has brought Dubai’s economic progress, mirrored by its soaring towers and luxurious resorts, to a stuttering halt. Several people have been laid off in the past months after the realty boom started unraveling.
On the night of December 31, 2008 alone more than 80 vehicles were found at the airport. “Sixty cars were seized on the first day of this year,” director general of Airport Security, Mohammed Bin Thani, told DNA over the phone. On the same day, deputy director of traffic, colonel Saif Mohair Al Mazroui, said they seized 22 cars abandoned at a prohibited area in the airport. Faced with a cash crunch and a bleak future ahead, there were no goodbyes for the migrants - overwhelmingly South Asian’s, mostly Indians - just a quiet abandoning of the family car at the airport and other places.
While 2,500 vehicles have been found dumped in the past four months outside Terminal III, which caters to all global airlines, Terminal II, which is only used by Emirates Airlines, had 160 cars during the same period. “The construction and real estate industry has been hit following the global slowdown and the direct fallout is that professionals working in the realty industry are rapidly losing their jobs,” said a senior media professional, in-charge of a realty supplement in Dubai.
“In fact, my weekly real estate supplement usually had 60% advertisement and ran into 300-odd pages. In the last seven weeks, its down to 80 pages and with fewer advertisments,” he added.