Road to Recovery, Part I
Come on – it wasn’t all bad. The crash of 2009 put the Gulf economies on a more solid footing, reports Trends magazine. Part I.
November 18, 2009 3:42 by Scott MacMillan
Bad news is often stickier than good news. Regardless of whether it’s true or not, it’s something that certainly holds true for the economic outlook of the Gulf. Dubai in particular has received a severe lashing from the international press since late 2008, with the UAE’s largest city painted not merely as a victim of the global economic malaise but as a symbol of hubristic overreach that received its deserved comeuppance.
A growing number of economists say the pessimism has been overdone and that the picture for the Gulf is not nearly as dark as it seemed just a few months ago. Indeed, a consensus is building that not only is the region headed for robust recovery, but that the silver lining may soon eclipse the cloud itself.
Some experts say the Dubai crash, along with the lessons likely to be learned from it, may have even been the best thing that could have happened to the UAE and its neighbors, for if the 2002-2008 boom had continued, a number of much needed reforms might have been delayed indefinitely, leading to more lasting damage further down the road.
To be sure, those interested in the bad news have no shortage of stories to choose from. There’s the $10 billion fraud allegation leveled against the head of Saudi conglomerate Saad Group, a scandal that suggests lending practices at Gulf banks have been less than stringent.