By Sarah Townsend
Mohammed Al Shaibani seeks to reassure investors amid persistent economic uncertainty
Global economic uncertainty and low oil prices will have little lasting impact on Dubai, according to the CEO of the emirate’s $183 billion sovereign wealth fund.
Mohammed Al Shaibani, executive director and CEO of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), sought to reassure the public that “Dubai will weather the storm”.
He said the emirate did not rely on oil revenues as much as the other GCC states and would not have to significantly cut spending.
“[Economic uncertainty and cheap oil] is not really a Dubai issue, it’s an international or regional issue but we think [Dubai] will weather the storm as we’ve weathered it before.
“As I’ve said before, we are not completely dependent on oil; we have a very diverse economy and I think we can rise through this.”
Asked whether Dubai would have to “cut spending for small projects”, Al Shaibani added: “No, this is just a little bit of issues and we look forward to most of these being resolved, and to a more positive environment going forward.”
He was speaking to reporters at the launch of ICD and Brookfield Property Partners’ $1 billion office and retail development, ICD Brookfield Place.
The scheme is the first new development at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) since the recession, and comprises a 53-storey tower with 900,000 square foot of office space, and an adjacent five-storey tower with 150,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants and bars, fitness and private members facilities. The two towers will be connected by pedestrian pathways and seven levels of underground car parking.
ICD and Brookfield formed a 50:50 joint venture named ICD Brookfield to develop the scheme. It bought the land from the DIFC in September 2014.
Sorry Mr Al Shaibani, but this is not a "storm". Well in that case it's a storm that will not blow over. Even if you look 9 years out (Dec 2024), WTI Crude Oil remains below $49/bbl. Pain for petroleum based firms and economies. Major economic diversification and structural change on the cards for the Gulf Economies. Decades of decadence and privilige will be replaced a new reality. Oil and gas demand is for ever fading.
Mike it will blow over, its all a geopolitical game. Shale oil is a farce and will never be sustainable. The US wants to export oil ? The only reserves extracted from shale so far is 10 billion barrels and that comes with a very high price to convert it to a minimum level of quality crude. 14 companies have already gone bust and were already financially overleveraged from the get go.
Oil accounts for only 2% of Dubai's GDP. Even Brookfields' Chairman Ric Clarke acknowledged that the low price of oil is actually beneficial for Dubai as a consumer. I suggest you become better informed about the specifics of this economy: it is not Saudi Arabia or South Africa.