The opinion of local Dubai people - the native Emiratis - on Dubai's rapid growth is scarce compared to expat opinion. Partly it's a language issue, many of them probably express themselves more in Arabic than in English. It may be cultural in that they don't like to speak out. But one Emirati shares their view here:
A lot of us Emiratis feel this downturn is exactly what we have needed. The chance to finally slow down and see things as they are without the stink of greed distorting everything. To finally concentrate our efforts where it counts such as improving our schools and colleges, completing the metro, building a stable civil society, and a sustainable economy.
Here are the negatives that I feel the boom brought:
Pollution: I remember when one could see the Trade Centre as a little dot on the horizon when travelling from AbuDhabi to Dubai. Something no longer possible with the haze we have now
Prostitution: Before the boom, people would travel to South East Asia to get their sin fix and bring back AIDS. The only difference being the prostitutes are here, and all the nefarious enablers that goes with it. A great shame
Greed: Not an expat only phenomenon. It's weird when the only things some members of the family would talk about is money, money, money. This flaunting of wealth was once considered unseemly by most Emiratis.
Here are the positives of the boom:
Coverage: Dubai in the international media made us see ourselves from the point of view of others, and what was written usually contradicted our own self image
Culture Change: The boom added a measure of optimism to the somewhat pessimistic culture that is part of our birthright. Emiratis are working in sectors of the economy that before would have been considered beneath them.
Greater Efficiency and transparency in government: Yes, these are halting steps forward. I remember the hair pulling experiences I have had with Dubai government 5 years ago and how much more modern it is.
Metro: Can't wait for it to go live