Could opulent Dubai end up being more of a mirage than a desert oasis? Throughout the Middle East, nations are limping through the economic recession, with regional growth set to shrink by 50 percent in 2009, according to the IMF. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and others are enacting their own stimulus spending to keep their economies afloat as they suffer the consequences of low oil prices. Last year, oil reached a record high of $147 a barre; it now has plummeted to $90. One expert tells Bloomberg that 2009 will likely be "a reality check for the region."