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Sun 20 Jun 2010 11:42 AM

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Media right to criticise Dubai mistakes - Tamim

EXCLUSIVE: Police chief urges Dubai to learn 'consequences of overconfidence'.

Media right to criticise Dubai mistakes - Tamim
WAY FORWARD: Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim has urged Dubai to learn from its mistakes if it wants to emerge from the financial crisis.

Dubai’s police chief has admitted that the emirate made “mistakes” during its boom years, and acknowledged that the Western press was “legitimate” in some of its criticism of Dubai during the financial crisis.

“We might have been carried away in our expansion plans, and there were mistakes,” Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim told Arabian Business in an interview.

“However, it is an experience to learn the consequences of overconfidence on the part of some officials and companies.”

After years of record growth, the global credit crunch has battered Dubai’s real estate market and left many of the emirate’s companies unable to raise loans to repay debt. Property prices have fallen 50 percent in the city as banks have reduced mortgage lending and speculators have fled.

Government-owned holding company Dubai World said on May 20 that it had reached an agreement with its main creditor group to restructure $14.4bn of bank debt and $8.9bn of government liabilities.

But while the sudden downturn has drawn fire from some elements of the Western media, Lt Gen Tamim told Arabian Business that criticism was to be expected in such circumstances.

“Some of the Western media outlets which criticised Dubai during the financial crisis were giving legitimate criticism,” he said.

“Even those who criticise Dubai, they are just trying to do their jobs and analyse what is happening. Some may hit the point, some may miss it, but still all are legitimate endeavours,” he added.

Read the full interview in Arabian Business magazine on Sunday June 27.

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Gordon 9 years ago

What a refreshing change to read mature comments from senior officials. Hopefully other officials will follow suit and we do not read a retraction of these comments in the next couple of days.

MM 9 years ago

Dahi Khalfan Al Tamim, as always, the man UAE was gifted. A gem of a person and honest. He is a true representation of Emirati culture. A man who is not scared to admit his mistakes and always for the welfare of humans.

Zak Wehby 9 years ago

I wish the Arab World had one like Dahi Khalfan in every city and in every town!

Angelika Lancsak 9 years ago

Excellent attitude - a great personality!

Jebel Ali Baba 9 years ago

Every criticism if it is constructive will lead to improvement and betterment. In a fast developing region like the Middle East and especially in the booming Dubai mistakes are consequences of the speed and lack of experience. As long as every mistake is only done once, one hardly can do better. Well spoken, Mr. Tamim. Both thumbs up! But one has to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

OK YA HENRY 9 years ago

Refreshing article, I think this may be one of the first times I have read a news post admitting there have been mistakes made in Dubai. Making mistakes is how we learn to adapt and improve things, everything in the west was built over a long period of years and on a base of millions upon millions of mistakes. The important parts of any mistake is first Acknowledging it and then having the willpower and determination to want to improve it. We all make mistakes but we all suffer from denial sometimes, its what makes us human. Sometimes out pride can get in the way of real progress. In the west constructive criticism is common and often pretty harsh and straight to the point, what's the point of sugar coating serious issues - get to the facts then you can get on and do something about it. Why waste time ?

Dr. M. Abdulrahman 9 years ago

So far what I've read about his interview I must say This is what an educated man sounds like. Who doesn't make a mistake, learn from it, make a proper actions and adjustments, and move on. I love his attitude.

hans 9 years ago

What an refreshing article, I can only congratulate the respected General for his openness and courage. More people like this gentleman would make a big difference. congratulations Sir, well done.

Jon 9 years ago

Reading the responses below, it is clear that people identify with honesty and facing up to the truth rather than the endless spin they have become accustomed to.

Ben 9 years ago

I am always impressed by Mr Khalfan Tamim intellectual honesty. Dubai needs more people of this caliper to rebuild investors trust. Mr Khalfan can play a key role in coaching others to remove the bad image about Dubai. Keep up the good work and hope he can help investors who do believe in Dubai potential by supporting transparent and fair property laws too