Dubai recovers from meltdown says ruler
Dubai, April 19, 2009
Dubai has recovered from the worst of the fallout from the global economic crisis, the emirate's ruler Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the UAE Prime Minister, has said.
'We have overcome the crisis with the least amount of losses,' Shaikh Mohammad told Dubai's first e-Press conference.
'For us in the UAE, I can safely say that we have succeeded in containing the risks of the global financial crisis in record time,' said Shaikh Mohammad, according to a report in our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.
Shaikh Mohammad put the recovery down to 'the additional liquidity that the Abu Dhabi government pumped into the emirates' banks' and the bond issuance of $20 billion.
However, he acknowledged that economic growth in the UAE would probably fall to around three percent this year, down from 7.4 per cent last year. But he ruled out introducing income tax.
'I think the panic phase is over now, especially after the intervention of governments in many major countries to regulate financial and banking sectors, and the allocation of large sums of money to revitalise their economies,' he said.
As for Dubai itself, Shaikh Mohammad shrugged off comments that 'the bubble' had burst on its rapid development.
'I keep hearing the expression of 'the bubble' for the past couple of decades. In my opinion, this bubble is found only in the minds of those who often keep repeating it and do not know its meaning,' he said.
'The stereotypes are being brought up. It seems that any successful Arab model in economic development invites such negative treatment in the international media,' he said.
The architect of Dubai's emergence on the world stage as a regional business, IT and leisure hub defended the emirate's achievements.
'We are not growing in order to be a model for its highest building in the world, best airport, and most luxurious hotel, and the largest seaport and man-made islands,' he said.
It has 'succeeded through investments in human resources, its unique geographical location and trade expertise.'