There’s a pretty good article here that covers the surreal ridiculousness of Dubai, and how, in retrospect, its collapse was inevitable.
What the author doesn’t mention is how this paradise was essentially an orwellian nightmare—a place where people could be detained for almost any infraction, up to and including supposedly legal narcotics found in their bloodstream.
It was also built on the backs of what was essentially legalized slave labor
Engineering and technology are amongst our most powerful tools, and there’s a certain amount of hubris necessary to take any project of significant size and vision. But there’s a point at which what you can do far outstrips what you should do.
As our financial system has become more divorced from actual human work we’re seeing the danger that comes from an ability to turn our wildest dreams into reality, both good and bad. And while I’m all for urban fantasy and modern re-interpretations of classic fairy tales, it’s important to remember that our most enduring stories of fantastic creatures are mostly cautionary allegories about the dangers of what happens when our wildest dreams come true.