Dubai is a Potemkin village, a house of cards, a mirage, quicksand, a bubble, any of these. It is, finally, a house built on sand. And it is sand under which there is no oil.

Of course, Dubai has a masterful P.R. company working for the little emirate whose neighbors are also built on sand. But sand with plenty of oil beneath it.

An article in the Financial Times last week shows that Dubia is deeply in debt, very deeply in debt.  A gargantuan credit crisis all unto itself.  When will the sandcastle collapse? The bubble burst? The mirage disappear? The house of cards crumble? The quicksand drag everyone down under?  Soon.

In the meantime -- and maybe for good and sufficient reasons -- the U.S. props up the mini-kingdom. It is, after all, a civilized placed: the Louvre is coming and all the fashion designers. And also, according to the MEMRI Economic Blog, the Saderat Export Bank, owned by the Iranian government and found to have been involved in Tehran's nuclear trade, thus under the interdict of the U.S. government.