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Alabbar’s finger is “on the pulse”

Alabbar’s finger is “on the pulse”

Even as Emaar hints that it may lay off its employees, its chairman, Alabbar, says that Dubai’s success story continues to attract international investors.

November 25, 2008 10:34 by

“Yes, we accept the challenges that face us and the world,” said Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the chairman of the Advisory Council (a government body created to help the stability and growth of the economy’s key sectors), and head of the real estate developer Emaar Properties during his key note address at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Forum on Monday.”Yes, we recognize this new reality.”

“But our feet are firmly planted on the ground,” he added, “and our eyes remain fixed on new horizons, on a future that remains bright. Here in Dubai, we are realists. And we are also optimists.”

There’s more. Much more. His speech painted a grandiose picture, one that we hope you’ll visualize as you read through sections of his speech we’ve reprinted here.

“I will not mince words. I am here to state facts.

These are serious times that require frank talk and real action. All of us know that to be true. So let us speak clearly and honestly and openly.”

(Kipp: Is it only serious times which require frank talk and real action? Isn’t honesty to be expected at all times?)

“Dubai, my friends, is a great city. […] We have built roads and bridges, schools and hospitals, ports and airports, financial centers and power stations. We have built iconic structures and strong business clusters. Just look around the city and you will see for yourself.

Imagine if we were to start building all this today.”

(Kipp: This really got us confused. Why exactly would we start building all this today? Any suggestions?)

“Let me assure you that we (the Advisory Council), have our finger on the pulse of the real estate sector.”

(Kipp: Again, a visual delight)

“The city continues to attract international investors and professionals who want to be part of the Dubai success story and sought-after global lifestyle.”

(Kipp: No comment.)

“Currently, the Dubai Government’s sovereign debt obligations stand at $10 billion (AED 37 billion). While our key sovereign assets are currently being evaluated, I can give you a rough estimation of their value, being over $90 billion (AED 330 billion). And this does not include our airports, bridges and the Metro.”

“Let me therefore state categorically: the Government can and will meet all its obligations going forward. Let there be no doubt about this fact.”

(Kipp: Vanquish the doubts. Immediately.)

“Dubai represents the opportunity to achieve economic dignity.”

((Kipp: What is “economic dignity?”)

Conversely, while at the conference Alabbar said there “might be” redundancies at Emaar due to the downturn in the local real estate market. He also said the company will do whatever is in the best interest of shareholders, even if that means cutting jobs.- AN

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  1. DG on November 25, 2008 12:31 pm

    If Dubai wants to continue with its confidence index remaining high it will need to protect the interests of the homeowners who have ready properties through supply side controls. They will also need to ease both access and residency processes for homeowners, in particular the Asian & non GCC Arab investors who are subject to restrictions visa and fees even when they and their families try to visit.
    There is no dignity for a multimilion dollar homeowner who is non-resident who cannot even easily visit the country, leave alone live there.
    Give them fast ,easy access for all family members with a free residence visa ( non-employment ) to drive the economy forward and bind ties to the country they have invested their dreams in.
    Mr. Abbar needs to start standing in the homeowners shoes and represent their cause to the government. Confidence is built by ownership and empathy with peoples needs, much betters that press releases. Remove the barriers that hinder making UAE the “home” or “second home” for the foreigner who has bought in.

  2. Tom Adler on November 26, 2008 9:38 am

    Got this yesterday – DP World got laid off yesterday. Was informed a ‘few hundred’ jobs have gone the past week alone in one division alone.

    Of course, you will not read about it anywhere. It’s all fine and dandy.
    We’ve been reading there are ‘hundreds of billions of dollars’ of projects, underway and we’re being told now they only have US$10 billion in obligations?

    Its a bit like ‘S.N.A.F.U’ commonly used in the military – Situation Normal, but all Fouled Up’. Let’s not behave like an ostrich here.

    I genuinely hope, it gets better for everyone.

  3. Nadeem Qureshi on November 26, 2008 9:56 am

    In the end it is people like Mr. Abbar who are responsible for the mess that Dubai is in. Grandiose designs and soaring ambition hugely disproportionate to the sliver of sand they rule have ultimately sealed their fate. And the people who will pay the ultimate price are Dubai’s unfortunate citizens. They have had their tranquil lifestyle obliterated by the tsunami of ill thought ‘modernization’ engineered by Mr. Abbar and his ilk. It is time for you, Mr. Abbar to leave and let some one else sort out the mess you have created.


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