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Is Dubai fixed?
According to Sheikh Mohammed, after the rigors of the financial downturn, Dubai is back. Kipp asked if you agree.
October 12, 2010 1:41 by Samuel Potter
Is Dubai really recovered? Or are we just hoping the power of positive thinking will make it so? Those were Kipp’s sentiments a couple of weeks ago when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced to the world in a Bloomberg interview that Dubai was back.
“We are back,” he said in the interview. “Of course we are back. This is a challenge. Life would be boring if there’s no challenge.”
The leader of the emirate and the Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE was speaking a few weeks after a majority of creditors accepted a debt deal from Dubai World, the indebted mega-holding company encompassing Nakheel, DP World, and Istithmar World, to name just a few. The debt deal calmed the nerves of creditors and investors, and regional markets have seen both stability and confidence return in varying degrees since.
In his interview Dubai’s ruler also said that all projects “that were there are going ahead,” but that some may face delays.
In last week’s poll, Kipp asked: Do you agree with Sheikh Mohammed? And the results are in. They show that just under a fifth of Kipp readers (18 percent) think Dubai is recovered, while two-fifths (40 percent) think it’s still in trouble. The largest group is bravely sitting on the fence: the remaining 42 percent say it is too early to tell.
For our money, Kipp thinks they are probably right – it is a bit early to say we’re in the clear. And, in fairness, Sheikh Mohammed hasn’t denied that hard work remains ahead for the emirate and the country. At the recent Cityscape Global event, he further qualified his belief in the UAE, emphasizing that the people of the UAE are hard working and capable of overcoming challenges no matter how big they are, according to a WAM report. But in his statement he also said that the economic situation is gradually improving and things are returning to normal. So we’re not all the way back yet.
[It’s worth saying that “normal” for Dubai is very different to everywhere else. Here’s hoping that rather than Dubai normal, we can establish a calmer, common-sense based business environment in a more considerate, rational place to live.]
As for the recovery, some media outlets believe it’s well under way: Emirates 24-7 reported this week that four sectors have offset the damage suffered by the economy in the financial crisis, and are poised to lead us into a more prosperous age. Industrial, banking, insurance and retail have all managed to take positive lessons from the recession, according to the paper, which spoke to key players in each field.
All this positive talk is not exactly paying the rent, but given the gloom of the last year or two, we’ll take it for now.