One thing, though: the immediate crisis has been brought about by a near-default on $59 billion of debt (that's not all Dubai borrowed. The UK alone apparently loaned $50B). $59B is a lot of money, but it's just a little less than the $62B that was given to GM and Chrysler to bail them out. Question: what the hell were they doing at those companies? Dubai built a glittering fantasy play-land for the transnational rich, while GM built ... the Chevy Cobalt? The misallocation of resources at all levels of society during this decade has to be its overriding theme.
I leave you with the apocalyptic stylings of Simon Jenkins, who seems to have watched the 30th Anniversary Edition of Mad Max while contemplating the fading mirage that is Dubai: Dubai: A City Built On Sand