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Sat 30 May 2009 09:55 AM

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Property slowdown 'exaggerated' - UAE bank governor

Al Suwaidi says real estate sector fine and UAE will keep foreign reserves in dollars.

The UAE's real estate problems have been exaggerated and the country is not diversifying its foreign currency reserves away from the dollar, according to the governor of the central bank.

Speaking about the Emirate’s property sector Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi said: "There are reports exaggerating the problems of the sector but we are okay."

"We are not diversifying our foreign currency reserves. We are sticking to the dollar,” Al Suwaidi said on the sidelines of a finance conference in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

Within the UAE federation, Dubai's economy has been hit hard, with many construction projects held up.

The emirate has outstanding debt of around $80bn.

The central bank bought up $10bn of a $20bn bond scheme issued by the Dubai government in February, the second tranche is due later this year.

"We are not worried about deflation. The United Arab Emirates economy is very competitive," Suweidi said.

The UAE minister of economy said in March inflation in 2009 would be in the range of five to eight percent.

Inflation claimed to record highs in Gulf Arab countries last year but falling oil revenues and the global downturn have helped bring it down.

The UAE, which has the second largest Arab economy, hopes to remain the biggest recipient of foreign direct investment in the Gulf region, accounting for 50 percent of capital inflows last year. (Reuters)

sandi 10 years ago

Perhaps the Governor needs a Reality check; perhaps he is being provided inaccurate information who knows! What he should be doing is stop mouthing ridiculous statements at international conventions. Denying the truth won’t change it! These statements only hurt the credibility of the office he holds.

S Ricardo 10 years ago

Is this the same person who last year said that UAE will not be affected by the global crisis ?

Punky Brewster 10 years ago

Huh? Where does he get his info from? Please look out the window, see how many sites are idle. Or, just drive up to the Marina Area, and or Business Bay area, and check out yourself. I don't think this will prove to be a bonus for this region, considering these same leaders never acknowledged the downturn to begin with!

Karim 10 years ago

Sad to read such inaccurate comments rom a person ranking so high in the financial system.. it shows a serious lack of touch with reality or disrespect for readers' mental abilities...As Brewster, in a comment before, me put it take ..... drive down the road to Marina, Burj Dubai area, discovery gardens, international city,......

donjuan 10 years ago

Govt must accept the reality and move on to improve the situation. Must boost the liquidity level and create demand.Small and medium businesses are the lifeline of the economy, provide necessary support and a positive environment to grow them. Lets build DXB slowly and steadily where common man can also find a decent flat to live with his family. Dxb is still an ideal place for business and plzzz keep the real estate mafia under tight control. Allow non-real estate industries prosper. Govt and residents jointly working together can build a prosperous Dubai again. Kindly note Iam one of those person who is on the brink of losing job but feel I will get a better one.Also like to see the 6 months work permit ban removed for 1 year. I love Dubai

Madhulal Bhatia 10 years ago

The article is very much of interest and it deals with present economy scenario of the country. The authorities do have records available that what sort of contructions work is going on and what projects work have been stopped. The general thinking is negative so things are being exaggerated. But the position is not good over all. I do not want to be passimist but things are not rosy too. It is time that authorities have to come down with solid solution instead of seating on the situation. Everybody has to put up right efforts to bring out the economy from the recession. The authorities have to act instead of issuing only statements. We have to acknowledge that water is definitely deep. Thanks and Good luck.

Omar 10 years ago

All the real estate prices are still EXTREMELY expensive in DUbai by all standards! Prices are still higher than southern France or Spain or California or .... Prices MUST drop by 40% MORE. Just saw ads in Gulf News for prime locations in London cheaper than Dubai!!!No other than the ultra-greedy brokers who took us to hell with their crazy prices. They came here benefiting from the kindness of this government and wanted to make millions in 1 day on the expenses of the regular people.The Dubai real estate market will be more professional and stable in the coming years. The real estate brokers are still driving brand new Mercedes, professors at Harvard do not have!

Ram 10 years ago

Now the price is very reasonable...Look at the returns here? Still Dubai is giving good return on investment. The two thing has to change is the stable rule and maintenance fee. If stable & confident rule applies to buyers and maintenance fee is less many and more buyers will come into the market. So many people complain about Dubai and enjoy the luxury & benefits of Dubai. Shame on them complaining and staying in Dubai….If those people leave the country the country will flourish more.

SYED 10 years ago

ONE OF THE WRITER TO THIS ARTICLE IS COMPARING DUBAI WITH LONDON PRICES, I JUST CAME THIS MORNING FROM LONDON HOPING TO BUY ONE FLAT OF ONE BEDROOM WHEN I HEARD THE RUMOURS THAT THE LONDON PRICES HAS GONE DOWN BY MORE THAN 50% TO MY DISAPPOINTMENT I COULD NOT EVEN BUY A STUDIO FOR 100,000 POUNDS AND THE BROKERS WERE LAUGHING WHEN I ASKED FOR ONE BEDROOM DECENT APARTMENT, THIS IS ALL MEDIA, AND BELIEVE ME THERE IS NO BUYING GOING ON YET ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD LET ALONE DUBAI, EVEN INDIA, USA, KUWAIT YOU NAME ANY COUNTRY WHERE IS THE REAL ESTATE IS BOOMING ? YES DUBAI HAS BEEN HIT MAINLY DUE TO WORLD CRISIS AND ALSO DUE TO GOV'T CHANGE IN VISA RULES WHICH IS THE MAIN CAUSE WHERE PEOPLE WERE BUYING TO GET VISA AND COME FOR RETIREMENT, I AM SURE WHEN THE WORLD MARKETS WILL IMPROVE DUBAI WILL DEFINATELY IMPROVE AS IT IS SITTING AT THE MOST STRATEGIC LOCATION WITH SO MANY FACILITIES PROVIDED FOR BUSINESS AND TOURISM. WE ALL WISH THE BEST FOR DUBAI AND I AM ONE OF THE MOST HIT INVESTOR IN DUBAI SELLING MY PROPERTIES IN INDIA AND INVESTED IN DUBAI BUT STILL I AM CONFIDENT ONE DAY I WILL RECOVER MY MONEY. WISH EVERYONE BEST OF LUCK IN THEIR INVESTMENTS BUT DONT PANIC GOD IS GREAT.

paul 10 years ago

I guess we all have to look around us and decide for ourselves what we believe. Regarding London prices, yes they have some way to fall too. But they should always be at a premium to Dubai. After all, the UK is a safe investment environment with a strong legal system that gives foreign property buyers the same ownership rights as locals. And you can apply for permanent residency and citizenship.