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What would happen if you pitted the two biggest markets in the UAE and compared their core ‘values’? We’ll show you.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM)


The DFM began operations on March 26, 2000, only months before the establishment of the ADX. However, in 2005 the DFM went public and established the first IPO of its kind in the region. Its shares were oversubscribed and raked in more than AED201 billion. Score: 7


According to its website, the DFM’s vision is “The Financial Market of Choice.” The authorities must have come up with this ‘vision’ before Dubai went vision crazy. The statement doesn’t mention anything about the DFM being ‘iconic’ nor ‘visionary’, which are staples in most statements. Score: 2

Investor relations

Like many government-owned institutions in the emirates, you’d be the luckiest caller in the nation if you can get one of the DFM’s executives to give you a straight answer. We called to ask for some annual reports of companies, and no one (seriously, no one) knew who or where to get them from. They then asked us to refer to the website, and when we noted that the website was inaccessible due to internet disaster this week, they hung up on us. Score: 0

Public relations

Here’s the thing: if you visit the DFM yourself and ask for directions to the public relations department, no one will know what you’re talking about. Finding the right person who deals with the media is like tackling a trigonometric problem: you know you’ll get the wrong answer, but you go ahead and try to solve it anyway. It may be one of the reasons why rumors are constantly flying about the DFM. If the public relations officer were accessible, the media wouldn’t need to resort to reporting rumors. Score: 1


The DFM isn’t having a good year at all. In fact, it’s having a historically bad one. So far, it has lost 71 percent of its value in 2008 (there are still eight days to go), and it has been named the worst performing market in the region. Bloomberg even listed it as one of the world’s top 10 worst performing markets. Score: 1

Final score: 11


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