On a sultry June evening in 2007, more than 100 people camped out at the offices of Emaar, a prestigious Dubai property developer, to ensure that they would land a coveted spot in a gleaming new skyscraper scheduled for opening this year near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Today, the property, designed by the New York architect Frank Williams, who died this year, is, like a number of others around Dubai, little more than a rotting foundation. Its value has plunged by more than 40 percent since 2008, after the collapse of Dubai’s real estate boom. “It’s really a disaster, the situation in Dubai,” said Silvia Turrin, a real estate agent who bought into the property, 29 Boulevard, and has been unable to get her money out. “It’s not like in Western countries — it’s very difficult to exit here if there’s a problem. And we’ll never get our money back, but now we’re stuck dealing with this hole.”
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