By Joanne Bladd
Ruler of Dubai says emirate has proved its merits but warns some state departments failing to meet expectations
Dubai has recovered from the impact of the global financial crisis, the emirate’s ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said Wednesday.
The UAE’s trade and tourism hub proved its financial credentials and core business was strong, Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement posted on his website.
“Past experiences have proved Dubai’s merit as a hub for business and finance with the necessary infrastructure to attract investors from the UAE and abroad,” he said.
The Vice President of the UAE also warned that, while some government departments had performed well in countering the effects of the downturn, others failed to meet expectations.
We are not in the process of holding departments accountable, what's done is done,” he said, adding that all must work towards securing Dubai’s position and achievements.
Dubai was the worst-hit of the UAE emirates, a legacy of the emirate’s rapid rise and fall.
The city had the Gulf’s fastest-growing property market from 2006 to mid-2008, the collapse of which took a significant toll on Dubai’s largest state-backed conglomerates.
Dubai World roiled world markets in 2009 when it said it would seek to change terms on $24.9bn of debt.
The chairman of Dubai's Supreme Fiscal Committee, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said Tuesday the state-owned conglomerate will sign its final debt agreement next week.
He said the emirate did not need to make assets sales this year to meet debt obligations.
Sheikh Mohammed said the crisis required a financial regulatory system to oversee government departments but will not curb future development.
"We must look forward and find ways to work freely without hindrance," he said, warning government officials not to rest on their laurels.
With reference to His Highness' comment "We are not in the process of holding departments accountable, what's done is done" while it's important to look forward, accountability is just as important.
Accountability will assist in identifying where mistakes were made and how they were made possible. Only then can checks and balances be put in place to avoid future mistakes.
H.H. correctly identified the lack of performance among many government entities and authorities. Public Private Partnerships are the key to improve on government performances as is a well known given.
An economy is not judged on how governent entities perform, but on the performance of private business. Government entities and authorities are a service provider to private industry, on the other hand the private industry is there to make governments operate more efficiently, as one will read in all PPP charters.
H.H. statement therefore should boost a more active policy of entering into PPP's.
Dubai was always there and will remain a hub for the entire Arab World..His Highness should value the residents of Dubai who have stood shoulder to shoulder to him to support Dubai out of the crisis..
As an expat resident, Dubai should relook at its regulatory framework which includes but not limited to investors who have been taken for a ride by the developers, Banks which charge the highest interest rates for credit,mortgage,etc. in the region, highest fuel cost in the gcc, security checks used as a reason by banks to put residents in prison, etc...
I hope our Highness can ease the life of the expat to truly utilize the expat power to overcome any crisis..
Yes, one can really see and feel the economical recovery in Dubai. Roads are getting more crowded again and Jebel Ali port is almost as busy as at the high times.
The reasons for the recovery are versatile. First it is Abu Dhabi with its huge projects and investments which stimulates Dubai as well. Secondly its the fast developing economy in India and the Far East and Dubai acting as a hub between them and Europe. And last but not least its the Dubai people who never gave up and want to make Dubai growing again.
But I disagree with the regulations of some of the biggest losers in the crisis. They are all semi-government or fully government owned and burned billions. Billions which now are missing in supporting the comeback. Billions we are paying now with more hidden taxes. And hardly no one was hold responsible and no lesson was learned.
Abdul is right. you can't just ignore what went wrong. I can point to two departments where change is needed urgently.
Plaintiffs in the Dubai Municipal Rent committee, even after winning a case , have to wait for months to get the written judgment leading to a delay in getting their rent contracts and subsequently badly needed visas for new staff.
The labor department is also very restrictive in approving " quota for staff " - a new expensive procedure that hurts in two ways : delays and cost. If a company had obtained labor permits for a certain number of staff in 2007 or 2008 and then reduced the staff to survive the down turn why should they be hampered from returning automatically to their original strength when business is growing and clients demand service ?
I am a small entrepreneur. We lost a lot of money in 2009 but unlike others we did not cut our losses and run away. We should not be punished for showing this loyalty to Dubai and the UAE !
H.H., please review your judgement. Rera has perfomed in a very bad way to say the least. Investors never got answers. Many developers are holding the monies. I feel defrauded and these words are not credible for me.
with all my respect, but not yet..
I don't think that Dubai has even had the worse of it yet. The Emirates boom times were based primarily on property and this is now its worst performing sector, and it's only going to get worse with oversupply and dwindling demand.
I do however admire his Highness's optimism.
Tourism is undoubtedly picking up, along with meetings incentives, conferences and exhibitions business, property is definitely not.
Japanese trade sadly has just been hit as a result of the worst of natural disasters.
The financial sector still has a long way to go I feel, the stock market is at a low ebb and under pressure due to socio-political unrest which is consistently apparent as regular reports continue to emerge from GCC neighbours.
Tourism figures may be up for number of visitors, but not sure at all about revenue. We can still pick up very cheap hotel rates; also the only congress I usually go is the MWC, this year was lower than previous here in Dubai, while Barcelona's edition seems to have recovered better.
Even if demand picks up in Dubai there is overcapacity for 5 stars hotels, I think medium priced hotels may have a better business case, but for sure in the high end they are not out of the woods and most likely some player will need to do something to reduce capacity.
It is great for me, but I can understand the worries of the hoteliers.