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Circa 2007, Dubai was literally and figuratively the hot spot on the map. The city’s masive office towers, hotels and master-planned communities were poised to drag the rest of the development community into the future. But even the super-charged city in the United Arab Emirates must answer to the cruel mistress of time and the vicissitudes of the global economy. “Dubai thought trees grow to the moon,” explains Mike Straneva, partner & Americas director at Ernst & Young. “It doesn’t happen.”

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