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Lessons From Dubai Lessons From Dubai

Lessons From Dubai

by Amanda M. Fairbanks
December 31, 2009

I think we can safely say that when we saw ski resorts being built inside of shopping malls in Dubai that something was more than a little off.First, news of Dubai's debt crisis. Then, Dustin Aksland and Lauren Greenfield's haunting series of photographs-the collapsed palm trees, the unused swimming pools, the white businessmen celebrating with hookah pipes in hand.And just this week, word from Tamar Lewin at The New York Times that American universities, which once hoped to erect lucrative outposts in the United Arab Emirates, are encountering more than a few obstacles.While Abu Dhabi, which is one of the seven emirates that make up the U.A.E., is faring better than debt-plagued Dubai (New York University, for instance, still plans to forge ahead with its Abu Dhabi campus next fall), Michigan State University and Rochester Institute of Technology are having a tougher time securing enough students.Lewin goes on to quote Brendan Mullen, executive director of Michigan State Dubai as saying: "Nobody could have anticipated the global meltdown, which has certainly had a negative effect on our student marketing."A previous series, also reported by Lewin, called Global Classrooms, is more than a little timely. In a story based in Qatar, Education City is described as a 2,500-acre campus where five American universities offer degree programs oversees and "where oil and gas money pays for everything from adventurous architecture to professors' salaries."Is this the part when we ask to get off the ski slope?Photo via
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