Some have called it the Vegas of the Gulf. Now it looks like those investing in Dubai could be gambling with their money.

Dubai's debt runs at around $80bn. Dubai World, its leading investment corporation, is responsible for over two thirds of that - and it is having trouble paying it back.

Dubai has been trying to establish itself as a financial and tourist destination, but the global economic crisis has taken its toll.

Last week, the emirate asked for a delay on its debt payments - a move that triggered panic amongst investors. Stock markets across the world fell amid fears that Dubai would not be able pay back its many creditors.

Is Dubai defaulting on its debts? Is the once prosperous, gleaming city in the Gulf on the brink of collapse? And what are the implications for the global economy?
Inside Story, with presenter Nick Clark, is joined by Ibrahim Khayat, a strategic and business analyst, Ibrahim Saif, an economist at the University of Jordan, and Aly Khan Satchu, a stock market analyst.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, November 29, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera