Mahmoud Tamimi's friends call it the "Dubai syndrome" — the insatiable longing for a city he loves but was forced to leave.
Back in Dubai, the 31-year-old had a good job, nice apartment and a $3,700 monthly salary, dozens of times what he'd ever made before.
Then, early last year, the Jordanian of Palestinian origin was laid off as Dubai's economy plunged. With his residency permit tied to his job, he couldn't stay.
He now squeezes into a two-bedroom apartment with his wife, daughter and seven other family members in a poor neighborhood of Jordan's capital, vainly looking for work.
Dubai's downfall is not only hurting the city-state and the financiers who bet big on its promises.
Even before Dubai's financial crisis, the sheikdom's growing economic woes had begun rippling out across the Arab world, forcing workers like Tamimi back to their home countries, where jobs are scarce and wages often rock bottom.
That is eating away at the money many Middle East families depend on, sent home from relatives who work in Persian Gulf countries and emirates such as Dubai.
It is bad news for the Arab world, where chronic economic stagnation, high unemployment and low-paying jobs have long caused frustration among workers, especially the young.
Overall, the amount of money shipped back home by workers abroad, called remittances, fell by more than 7 percent in 2009 across the Mideast and Arab north Africa, the World Bank estimates. That is the first drop in a decade.
In some countries the impact is worse: Worker remittances into Egypt have already plunged nearly a quarter over the past year, the International Monetary Fund said in October. Arab workers go to many places for jobs, including Europe.