Dubai ruler says finance crisis a ‘passing cloud’
Dubai, September 5, 2009
Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum called on the private sector to work with the government to get through the financial crisis, which was a 'passing cloud', state news agency WAM said.
'(The crisis) is a passing cloud that will not stay longer, despite pessimistic speculations and analyses by economists and financial experts,' the leader, who is also the UAE's Vice President, told business executives on Thursday, WAM said.
Sheikh Mohammed, a dynastic ruler whose family controls the Dubai government, said he was upbeat about the ability of the UAE government to join forces with the private sector to get over the crisis.
He said the UAE, a federation of seven emirates, would continue to provide an investment-friendly environment. The UAE is the top recipient of foreign direct investment in the Gulf Arab region.
'...there is nothing to panic or fear about the future under the available protection and incentives offered by the UAE government,' he said. WAM did not say which businessmen attended the meeting.
A business and tourist hub, Dubai has been hit harder than other UAE emirates and cities in the Gulf Arab region since it has few oil reserves left and borrowing for rapid development was high.
The crisis ground to a halt a six-year-long Dubai property boom, while construction has continued in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, where most of the UAE's oil is located. The UAE is the world's third largest oil exporter.
In February, Dubai sold $10 billion of bonds to the UAE central bank to raise funds to support state-linked companies suffering from the crisis and investing in Dubai's infrastructure. – Reuters