DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Just a year after the global downturn derailed Dubai's explosive growth, the city is now so swamped in debt that it's asking for a six-month reprieve on paying its bills -- causing a drop on world markets yesterday, and raising questions about Dubai's reputation as a magnet for international investment.
The fallout came swiftly after a Wednesday statement that Dubai's main development engine, Dubai World, would ask creditors for a "standstill" on paying back its $60 billion debt until at least May.
The company's real-estate arm, Nakheel -- whose projects include the palm-shaped island in the Persian Gulf -- shoulders the bulk of money due to banks, investment houses and outside development contractors.
WHITE ELEPHANT: Critics say Palm Jumeirah, a manmade group of islands, is emblematic of Dubai's financial overreach. It wants a reprieve on its $60