How Dubai’s burst bubble has left behind the last days of Rome

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Hugh Tomlinson and James McLean
Times Online
December 5, 2009

[efoods]The engine of the black Corvette revved to a gasket-popping roar. Its driver leant out of his window. He was dressed in traditional Arab robes but wore a rubber wizard’s mask. He held an aerosol aloft and directed a jet of party foam into the air. Four-wheel drives plastered in pictures of Dubai’s Royal Family roared their engines back in approval. The cacophony was deafening.

On the opposite carriageway smoke billowed from the spinning back wheels of a new Land Cruiser as the driver pressed the brakes and floored the accelerator. This was the favourite way for many of the fervently patriotic and car crazy Emiratis to mark National Day in Dubai this week, the 38th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates, and one of the biggest celebrations of the year.

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