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Fri 10 Oct 2008 02:19 PM

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Economy and markets 'sound' - Sheikh Mohammed

PM says UAE able to weather global economic slowdown, not hit by credit crunch.

The UAE economy is able to weather the global economic slowdown and has not been hit by the credit crisis, the country's prime minister said on Thursday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, described the country's economy and markets as "sound" and said they were "doing well", state news agency WAM reported.

Sheikh Mohammed pointed to "huge demand" in all sectors as evidence the UAE was not affected by the global slowdown.

"Our national economy, banking sector and financial markets are sound. They draw their strength from a long-term vision, boosted by flexible legislations that protect local and foreign capitals," Sheikh Mohammed said while touring the Cityscape real estate exhibition.

"Our economy and markets are doing well. Our economic history shows the sound vision of the country's leadership and the best example for that is the huge demand witnessed in all sectors, especially real estate."

He said the government was determined to protect the national economy and financial markets.

Sheikh Mohammed’s comments come at the end of a turbulent week in UAE markets.

Fears over the escalating global financial crisis and its impact on the region saw markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi lose an average of 20 percent in the five days following the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, dragged down by real estate and banking stocks.

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