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10 catchiest Dubai headlines in 2009
The financial crisis, the ever-existing labor problems, and the recent debt debacle….Dubai and its blunders became juicy fodder for the international press during 2009.
December 30, 2009 2:00 by Aarti Nagraj
Dubai made global headlines throughout 2009, mostly for the wrong reasons. While the global financial crisis in 2008 had global media questioning the city’s glamor, the announcement of debt problems in the emirate in November this year had them predicting its death.
Government owned Dubai World said it will ask creditors for a six-month debt standstill, and the announcement led to stock markets falling across the world. The media immediately began discussing how the desert’s bubble had burst, and questioned whether the city would ever rise again.
But the bubble had not burst, insisted General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of Dubai Police at the time. “I noticed that Gulf and foreign media, as well as a large segment of general public, confuse between debts of Dubai government, which are almost non-existent, and the debts of local companies. This confusion should be corrected and the public should be made aware that to separate between the two types of debts,” he told official news agency WAM.
Abdul Rahman al-Saleh, the director general of the Dubai Finance Department also accused the international media of creating “blind panic” about Dubai’s economic troubles. He said that the response by world markets was “exaggerated” and that the media wrongly reported Dubai World’s debt as sovereign.
Earlier in the year, following reports speculating a possible buyout of Dubai by Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al-Maktoum warned critics to stop questioning the UAE’s unity.
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