By Anthony DiPaola
'Worst for us and for that matter, Dubai, is over,' says Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
Dubai World, the government-owned holding company, will resume growth after naming new executives and reorganising holdings, Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said.“The worst for us and for that matter, Dubai, is over,” Bin Sulayem said in an interview with daily Gulf News that was confirmed by a spokesman today. “The situation at Dubai World is much better and we are going to move ahead with most of our programs.”
Dubai World, one of the three-largest government-owned groups in the sheikdom, had $59.3bn in liabilities at the end of 2008 and is restructuring amid a slump in Dubai and a decline of nearly 50 percent in property prices. The company last week named two top executives and shifted assets to streamline the business.
The emirate’s state-run investment and real-estate companies are cutting expenses by putting projects on hold and reducing staff as the global recession cuts access to credit.
Dubai will soon return “to a strong growth path” as government steps to support the economy during the financial crisis will help expansion restore investors’ confidence, Bin Sulayem said.
The government plans to raise the second half of its $20bn bond program to aid state-owned firms struggling to refinance debt. The first $10bn was raised by selling bonds to the UAE’s central bank in February.
Those measures have helped restore confidence in Dubai’s economy, meaning bankers are “ready to fund projects,” Bin Sulayem said. (Bloomberg)