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Thursday, February 05, 2009

"Skips" in Dubai

by Calculated Risk on 2/05/2009 05:37:00 PM

With crashing house prices in Dubai, the owners are "driving away" as opposed to walking away ...

From The Times: Driven down by debt, Dubai expats give new meaning to long-stay car park (hat tip James)

[F]aced with crippling debts as a result of their high living and Dubai’s fading fortunes, many expatriates are abandoning their cars at the airport and fleeing home rather than risk jail for defaulting on loans.

Police have found more than 3,000 cars outside Dubai’s international airport in recent months. Most of the cars – four-wheel drives, saloons and “a few” Mercedes – had keys left in the ignition.
Those who flee the emirate are known as skips.
“There is no way of tracking actual numbers, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Dubai is emptying out,” said a Western diplomat.