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16 February, 2009

Dubai: boom to bust?

"You don't have to be Einstein to work out that things are slowing down."

Not the words of an Embittered Expat™ retrenched from his tax-free job in one of Dubai's endless "Cities", nor a disgruntled journalist having a whinge over an overpriced pint of frothy haram-juice in the Radisson's Media Bar, but a quote from the CEO of one of the world's biggest construction companies operating in Dubai:

"There are undoubtedly issues in Dubai."

The latest word has it that Abu Dhabi has already bailed Dubai out. Dubai allegedly made the desperate (or cunning?) move of courting Saudi and Iranian funds, and fearing increased Iranian influence, Big Dhabi stepped in.

Despite that, the official line is that Dubai still has US$80 billion worth of debt, and no one knows exactly what needs refinancing when:

"The Dubai government has announced it has debts totalling $80bn, but has yet to release a detailed outline of its servicing requirements or the ability of its assets to generate cash flow.

"Borse Dubai is seeking to refinance a $3.8bn loan which matures this week, but officials say the government-owned group is finding it hard to secure the financing it needs from foreign banks, in spite of strong initial interest."

Meanwhile Dubai Holdings is restructuring and consolidating to cut costs, while local newspapers blame the international economy rather than any wobble in the sheikhly Vision™ :

“Dubai will be the fastest city to recover from the impact of the ongoing credit crunch, and the emirate’s real estate sector will once again witness a period of long term boom."

But when international newspapers are printing "lurid rumours" that the Palm Jumeira is sinking and only cockroaches come of out of the hotel taps, the confidence needed to restore Dubai's boom times may be a very long way away.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does feel that the international news agenda for a long period was to focus on the Dubai success story (with the occasional sidetrack into tales of unhappy construction workers), but now that's moved on.

Every story now seems to be a new variant on the end of the Dubai bubble.

Just as the international coverage helped feed the Dubai boom, now every story is building on the image of a country that's in trouble. There was more in the Guardian at the weekend.

Today Dubai's downfall was a topic of casual conversation from my taxi driver - and I'm in Sydney.

16 February, 2009 11:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about bust, but it's certainly been a slide. I freelance for a couple of magazines in Dubai and one has cut its rates in half and the other doesn't answer its e-mails.

16 February, 2009 12:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Dubai seems largely to have been created by a bubble of confidence, in the absence of much substance the growing weight of negative press could really do it some long term damage

16 February, 2009 17:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dubai will be the fastest city to recover from the impact of the ongoing credit crunch, and the emirate’s real estate sector will once again witness a period of long term boom."

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they.

Here's another DubaiDoom® article in the Trib from a couple of days ago.

Instead of moving toward greater transparency, the emirates seem to be moving in the other direction. A new draft media law would make it a crime to damage the country's reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million dirhams (about $272,000). Some say it is already having a chilling effect on reporting about the crisis.

Hope you've got deep pockets, Luv!

16 February, 2009 19:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Secret,

Alot of us Emirati's feel this downturn is exactly what we have needed. The chance to finally slow down and see things as they are without the stink of greed distorting everything. To finally concentrate our efforts were it counts such as improving our schools and colleges, completing the metro, building a stable civil society, and a sustainable economy.

Here are the negatives that I feel the boom brought:
- Pollution: I remember when one could see the Trade Centre as a little dot on the horizon when traveling from AbuDhabi to Dubai. Something no longer possible with the haze we have now
- Prostitution: Before the boom, people would travel to South East Asia to get their sin fix and bring back AIDS. The only difference being the prostitutes are here, and all the nefarious enablers that goes with it. A great shame
- Greed: Not an expat only phenomenon. Its weird when the only things some members of the family would talk about is money,money,money. This flaunting of wealth was once considered unseemly by most Emiratis.

Here are the positives of the boom:
- Coverage: Dubai in the international media made us see ourselves from the point of view of others, and what was written usually contradicted our own self image
- Culture Change: The boom added a measure of optimism to the somewhat pessimistic culture that is part of our birthright. Emirati's are working in sectors of the economy that before would have been considered beneath them.
- Greater Efficiency and transparency in government: Yes, these are halting steps forward. I remember the hair pulling experiences I have had with Dubai government 5 years ago and how much more modern it is.
- Metro: Can't wait for it to go live

17 February, 2009 00:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best story is from the horses mouth

its illegal to fire emiratis!! Bunch of retards! Imagine they are trying to save the laziest of workers.

17 February, 2009 00:29  
Blogger screwed.mind said...

@Anonymous(supposedly Emarati)

Well, if you're a true Emarati.. then well thought and well said. I genuinely think no one else can bring any good to UAE else than Emaratis themselves.

@Secret Dubai
LOL! I loved the TM marks!! I haven't noticed before you were using them, they are so funny! I suggest you publish a post like a glossary of all the TMs and update them for the use of the whole world!!

17 February, 2009 01:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one of the previous comments mentions, they are indeed prone to be lazy. A friend has links to the airforce in Dubai. He tells us that the pilots are mostly the posh offspring of the sheikhs, and they will turn up for training in their BMWs, Mercs, Bentleys etc. If they find that the cockpit is too hot they will simply refuse to fly that day! Lets hope they never have to defend the coutry!

17 February, 2009 05:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there

The link below is also relevant to the topic being discussed. very interesting indeed...

17 February, 2009 07:31  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Dubai is a success story and it is a fact, not fictional!

My view is that the style of management, needed in Dubai, and elsewhere, for a time of Global crisis, needs revision.

Possibly the wiser/grey heads who have experienced and lived through previous recessions will now come to the fore.

Impartial reporting of the situation, from a finance/investment point of view can be found here:

17 February, 2009 09:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah yeah! grey heads u said? do i see a whiff of self promotion? time for some bum fry in the coming summer?

17 February, 2009 16:50  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

@ Anonymous 1650hrs
Me no grey head, shaved to the skin!

I will no longer be accused of being a "local" now my name and image are displayed.

Amazing how people get so confused with the nationality/religion/whereabouts of anonymity.

17 February, 2009 17:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its getting quite boring with all these anti dubai articles, like some of them are ridiculus, lets be honest, is dubai a ghost town? are the hotels, 'empty', no there not, i was at jumeirah beach hotel this past weekend it was packed! the traffic is the same, everything seems the same! im not denying hotel occupany rates are down, but they were incredibly high before, so a drop in occupancy is not really that major. Thank god we have had a property crisis some of the property prices were ridiculus, i say buy the good properties now, ie palm jumeirah, dubai marina, and wait for a few years for them to increase in price again. Good thing some of the properties have been cancelled cos they would have ruined dubai, who would have even lived in them

17 February, 2009 19:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DUBAI -- Amid the movers and shakers of this glittering city, Shahram Abdullah Zadeh cut a wide swathe. He cruised around town in a white Bentley and dined with royalty as his company developed one of the emirate's premier office complexes.

But last February, a phone call from Dubai's state security effectively ended it all.
Hauled in and locked up for 60 days, Mr. Zadeh says he was interrogated about his role in Dubai's freewheeling real-estate sector and his business relationship with the brother-in-law of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. When released, Mr. Zadeh says he had been frozen out of the real-estate company he had helped start.

Mr. Zadeh's experience, compiled though court and company documents, offers a rare window into the murky business world that helped transform this city from an empty coastline into a metropolis. It also may offer a cautionary tale for investors lured to the city, which bills itself as the modern face of a new Middle East. Dubai is one of seven semi-autonomous emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. government and human-rights groups have long criticized the judicial system in the U.A.E for a lack of independence and oversight. In the good times, investors didn't fret much about these shortcomings. Now, some of the same deals that helped build Dubai are coming undone -- in particular, a tradition of off-the-book business partnerships between Emirati citizens and elite expatriates like Mr. Zadeh, who was born in Iran.

Mr. Zadeh claims his detention came after a business dispute with his partner at Al Fajer Properties, Sheikh Hasher bin Juma'a Al Maktoum and his son, Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher al Maktoum. Both men are members of the extended family of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Mr. Zadeh alleges the two men took control of the firm while he was in custody, according to a lawsuit he filed with Dubai's public prosecution office last year.

Mr. Zadeh has not been charged with a crime. But for the past year, authorities have held onto his passport, making it impossible for him to travel or find work.

"I used to believe in the miracle of Dubai. But now I see it all as a mirage," said Mr. Zadeh, 37. Sheikh Hasher denies any wrongdoing. He says he was not responsible for Mr. Zadeh's jailing and that he removed him from the company because Dubai authorities said he had offered bribes, an allegation Mr. Zadeh denies.

"I don't need to defend my reputation. He does," Sheikh Hasher said in a telephone interview. "This man is crazy. He is a crook with a sweet tongue."

Some of Mr. Zadeh's claims are impossible to verify independently. His only copy of the real-estate partnership agreement is missing, and official company documents show the Sheikh Hasher as sole owner. Dubai's security services, the public prosecutors' office and the Dubai ruler's court all either declined to comment or didn't respond to repeated requests for comment.

Last fall, the Emirates' Human Rights Association, a government body, wrote to authorities asking for an explanation about why Mr. Zadeh's passport was being held. The group did not receive any response, according to his lawyers.

Mr. Zadeh grew up in Dubai, attending school with the children of some of the city's top families. He managed his family's hotel and retail holdings and decided to go into business himself in 2000. Real-estate development was off limits to foreigners, even longtime residents like himself. So, he turned to a common practice -- a silent partnership with a U.A.E. citizen.

Typically, such partnerships involve an Emirati acquiring a business license and then granting his foreign partner management control. The foreigner either pays an annual fee to the Emirati or the two share profits. The terms are set forth in a parallel set of documents, separate from those submitted to the government. Such contracts are so common that courts here have upheld them in disputes, according to commercial lawyers here.

In 2004, an old friend of Mr. Zadeh's father brokered an introduction with Sheikh Hasher. The sheikh owns Al Fajer Enterprises, a conglomerate that includes a large construction and contracting arm.

In affidavits filed with Dubai's prosecution office, Mr. Zadeh contends that he and Sheikh Hasher verbally agreed to a partnership, signing a contract on Feb. 1, 2006. The partnership, Mr. Zadeh says, established the two men as co-owners of Al Fajer Properties. The men would split profits equally and would invest equal amounts of capital. The contract named Mr. Zadeh as chief executive.

Mr. Zadeh provided $335,000 in start-up capital, and he invested another approximately $30 million in the company, according to bank documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Zadeh's affidavits contend Sheikh Hasher didn't contribute any capital. Sheikh Hasher denies the equity partnership ever existed.

Business took off quickly. One of Al Fajer's biggest projects was a planned $750-million development of five office towers, set just inland from Dubai's man-made, palm-tree-shaped island. Mr. Zadeh bought three of the five plots for the 40-story towers with his own money, according to financial documents. With investors lined up for units, he then awarded $215 million worth of contracts to the construction arm of Sheikh Hasher's Al Fajer Enterprises, according to company documents.

But by late 2007, the contractors were behind schedule, according to company documents and former employees. Al Fajer Properties was facing fines for the delays, and buyers were starting to complain. Sheikh Hasher wanted payments to continue to his companies, but Mr. Zadeh claims he said no. The sheikh complained in a series of text messages that unless Mr. Zadeh released more cash, his contracting companies would go bankrupt.

On Feb. 21, 2008, Mr. Zadeh claims, he received an unusual phone call from State Security, asking him to come in that evening for a talk. When he arrived, , he claims that police blindfolded him, put him into a sport-utility vehicle and drove him to a detention center.

In the eight weeks he was jailed, Mr. Zadeh says he was never accused of a specific crime or shown an arrest warrant. Instead, he says, he was repeatedly interrogated about his personal life and Al Fajer's operations, and gave his interrogators the combination to the company's safe after they asked for it. "They told me that if I did not cooperate that they would ruin me," Mr. Zadeh said.

Mr. Zadeh contends the only copy of his partnership agreement with Sheikh Hasher was in the safe. Former employees of Al Fajer say the company safe was emptied while Mr. Zadeh was jailed.

On March 6, Sheikh Hasher's son, Sheikh Maktoum, was named the new chief executive of Al Fajer Properties. Sheikh Hasher hired international accountants to audit Al Fajer's books, according to former employees. He then presented the findings to employees and select clients, accusing Mr. Zadeh of embezzling funds. Phone calls and emails sent to lawyers and accountants of Al Fajer Properties were not returned.

Sheikh Hasher says Mr. Zadeh stole money from him, but did not provide evidence, or the audit, to back his claim. Mr. Zadeh denies it.

Prosecutors refused to investigate the case, citing an order from Dubai's attorney general, an official appointed by the ruler. In November, Mr. Zadeh tried one last option. He approached the ruler's diwan, or court administration, and asked for mediation from Sheikh Mohammed himself.

So far, there has been no reply.

Original: WallStreetJournal

also published on:

17 February, 2009 21:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here a year ago to flee the oncoming bust in my home country. It seemed to me at the time that Dubai had all the money in the world; a great place to weather the storm.

But now I'm not entirely sure Dubai offers greater job security than anywhere else. Or worse: Could the amazing economic rise result in an even more amazing implosion?

The government's move away from tranparency and the new "draft law" that would prohibit print media from publising any damaging remarks about Dubai or the UAE is a massive mistake that only serves to further hurt investor confidence.

How will the UAE garner new foreign investment with a strangelhold on the city's voice, and what appears to be shadowy back-door financials?

Government and business leadership should focus on making changes that prevent supernova-style busts from happening again. Like better transparancy (not worse) and changes in laws. Change the current laws that didn't prevent real estate speculation, but [visa cancellation, lack of free market small businesses, and debtors' prison] will accelerate and increase the severity of this downturn.

The whole world is hurting now. Dubai could make some simple changes to ensure a stable future that will attract business when we all get back on a path to fiscal recovery.

How this is handled or mishandled in the coming months will determine the financial world opinion of how stable Midle East investments really are. Amid the hardships, will the glittering UAE join the heavy-weights or duck like a Third World Nation?

17 February, 2009 22:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PPL PLS! Just link the articles you noobs!

18 February, 2009 02:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lest of Dubais problems are financial. Its its moral corruption that worries me. But then again what can you expect from a people who had civilization thrust upon them.

18 February, 2009 04:53  
Blogger WebJunky said...

its neither at this point. the best and fastest boom years have gone by...but it is too premature to say bust either. dubai has halted growth (however reports indicate 2.3% positive this year). dubai will come back and stabilize once things get better on a global scale. that said, i doubt it will see the rapid growth it experienced earlier this decade. there are still a ton of good opportunities in dubai, but one must proceed with extra caution because of the volatility

18 February, 2009 05:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while Dubai's best years are behind it, it is not going anywhere. it will always be there and stabilize over time. still a ton of opportunities here for someone with the right skillset or entrepreneurial idea....

18 February, 2009 05:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

18 February, 2009 10:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

guys isnt this what everyone wanted? death to dubai? hmmmi guess people have changed there tune, all the brits complaining, now in unsecure jobs, all the laboureres protesting, air india back to kerela, i call it karma. Dubai isnt going anywhere, luckily there was stuff happening here before the palm was biult, for those of us who have been here longer than 2 years.

18 February, 2009 10:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope Dubai dosent go bust cause all the trash that went there will be comming back to their homes. God forbid! Kidding!

But seriously, think of hiring locals as a tax or charity. It softens the blow that way. If i lived in a country being taken over by harder working expats i too would buy a big white SUV, demand everything be subsidised for me like electricity, education healthcare. But give nothing back in return in the form of productivity. Prove my superior status by waring a antiquated bed sheet and driving like Bedouin on a cracked out camel. And just to remind everyone who i am i will be the last one fired before the company goes bust because they hired me in the first place.

Affrimative action for Neanderthals!

18 February, 2009 12:53  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

"Harmful stones will never knock fruit of UAE tree"

18 February, 2009 15:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as dubai being around and staying around, only time will tell. If Dubais short life so far is indicative of its future i continue to be pesimistic. Dubai wants to be a finacial center like London, New York, Tokyo ect. And it wants to import all the managers to do the work for them yet provide these workers with no rights. They want to be a international finacial hub but maintain the monarchy. Alas this will never happen. Undemocratic rule means dubai is destined to be a turist destination with a port. Big deal. Without democracy peoples only pull to dubai will be self interest, ie money. To build transparent finiacial institution requires criticism. Without criticism nothing changes. Sheik Mo, surrounded by yes men and international bankers only too willing to indebt him, has compleatly screwed up. The billions wasted can be covered for now but had the system be open to critisism then it probably would not had happend. Sheik Mo is a dictator no matter how you look at it. That is what dubai has been and will be. A spoiled dictatorship sheikdom with a narrow vision that money can solve all problems.

Mo could only fool the people for so long. They saw through his PR bullshit. No taxes, yeah right! you are taxed 5% on all imports. Company licences cost a shitloads. Bank gurnatees for all employees paid for by companies is a huge expence. The official theivery calculated makes opening a running a busines in dubai one of the most expensive.

Now lets not forget living here is also expensive and will only get worse. With the highest energy and water consumptiom rates per capita, Dubai will soon price its self out of the market.

BTW the DIFC is the finacial worlds biggest joke. Companies have left, people have left, the void will be filled buy substandard employees or even worse local. Castles made of sand melt into the sea, eventually.

18 February, 2009 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Rupert Neil Bumfrey

U sound and look like a media whore hired by Dubai Inc PR. Dubai must be in real trouble since they scraped you out from the bottom of the barrel.

You sould by a house in dubai and stay for good. Your absence from the civilized world will be greatly appriciated.

Yours truly,


18 February, 2009 17:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What goes up must come down....

I for one think it's a good thing the bubble is bursting as it weeds out the profiteers.

However, as has been mentioned in the above posts Emiratis have no one to blame this on but themselves. Laws that you can't fire Emiratis? Building residential units where there is no real sustainable demand? Not giving foreigners any reason to settle & have a vested interest in Dubai's future? Demanding everything for free and not wanting to work for it?

All the above issues are ones tackled by gulf states in general. Unless they are tackled Dubai & neighbours will never be taken seriously or have a sustainable economy.

People shouldn't complain when they put up with (even support) bad/corrupt governance, don't want to work hard to build their own country and expect to be given everything on a silver platter. Get it trough your thick skulls: THE PART IS ALMOST OVER AND STICKING TO THE OLD WAY OF DOING THINGS WILL LEAD TO DISASTER

Sorry for above rant, but it's just so frustrating that people don't seem to see the obvious.

18 February, 2009 18:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As being lebanese, the self destruction impending on dubai is our God send. Our economy is growing, the brain drain is subsiding and multinational companies are comming back. Dubai was built on the back of Lebanons destruction. When i was living in dubai they were always publishing negative stories about Lebanon (albeit that there wernt many positive ones). Now the tables have turned. We have home grown work force. Hard working people (it cant be denied that the real makers of dubai have been the lebanese) and beautiful ppl. Sun and snow and a business oriented culture. Plus you can on your own business. No need for an emirati bum to siphon of your hard work. Please come to Lebanon and enjoy life, i certainly am!

18 February, 2009 18:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Below to be sung to the tune of "Fuck Compton" by Tim Dog


Ahh shit, mother fuckers step to the rear and cheer

dubais death is near

Lets get right down to the nitty gritty

It was always a bullshit city

Built on borrowed money

now whos looking stupid sonny

The locals were livin' it up

now they just shut the fuck up

Sheik mo, what a prick

now hes sucking on the bankers dick

Now do we feel sorry


Not a chance honey!


If you like it i can add more verses, or maybe you can help complete the song.

18 February, 2009 19:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ "Harmful stones will never knock fruit of UAE tree"

The only fruit that grows in the sand pit of dubai are dates. 30 years ago dates and a little goats milk was the staple food of the emiratis. Now that Rupert "nail me in the bum" Bumfrey has linked us to the ever lasting wisdom of WAM (i thought he and george michale broke up) the locals will continue to expand their girth with Pizza Hut and MacDonals and thus enlarge movie theater seats all over the emirats for us. If thats not a silver lining then i dunno what is.

Thanks Bum...hope u fry!

18 February, 2009 19:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secretdubai, is there a way to contact you...

18 February, 2009 21:11  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

@ ano18 February, 2009 17:45

"U sound and look like a media whore hired by Dubai Inc PR."
I hate to disillusion you, but I neither have a large knot in my tie, nor do I style my hair, it is non-existent! So I am unable to pass through the doors to gain access to such hallowed territory of PR.

@ anonymous18 February, 2009 19:57
"Thanks Bum...hope u fry!"
Thanks for taking me back to my school days, with this play on my name, happy memories!

SD is it possible for your contributors to run spellchecker prior to submitting comments?

19 February, 2009 09:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we dont give a damn about self proclaimed experts on middle-east, and regions around. we understand you desperately need to advertise yourself and your wares, including your foto and website. we just need to wait till end of the year to see your proclamations bear fruit. hope you land a job with dubai pr, now that they have sacked all under dubai holdings. as for hair, believe me, they often prefer ones with no hair for a multitude of reasons.but then as an expert you would know that

19 February, 2009 13:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said... this one from Dubai PR:

Dubai the sole beacon of hope in desperate downturn:

Dubai, the largest, most magnificent, and tallest of all the liberal, westernised, free islamic countries is the only place that has been standing tall in the global economic crisis. Mr Vice Vision who leads the vision announced today that an emergency package of 500 billion was being put together by Dubai to bail out USA with immediate effect. Abu Dhabi, which has been reeling under the stress, will also be helped out by Dubai to the effect of 80 billion dollars. In return, Dubai will be the capital of UAE, and all other rulers will have to come down for committee meetings, with gifts. ALl the workers who have been losing jobs in UK, Qatar, Oman etc are all now moving to Dubai since there is an incredible surge in job opportunities here as of Feb 09. Mr. Nobody, head of research here said compared to 2005, there has been a 3000% increase in employment opportunities here. As a matter of fact, he pointed out to all the 3000 cars left outside the dubai airport saying these are all from workers so hard at work in their offices, they have no time to drive. Real estate companies are reeling from demand, and lack of employees is thinking of buying a part of asia, to provide a good supply of labourers. In the meanwhile, all the free media is being told not to report all these success stories, since it makes the rest of the world feel bad about their own failures.

c'est la vi. when is the next flight to dubai?

19 February, 2009 13:24  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anonymous@00:27, thank you very much for your detailed opinion on here. I am going to post it as a post in its own right, because I think it's important that the opinion of actual Emiratis gets more exposure.

19 February, 2009 13:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Borse Dubai's $2.5 bln refinance loan is fully subscribed.

Looks like Dubai Inc lives to breathe for another day.

19 February, 2009 15:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secretdubai, is there a way to contact you...

19 February, 2009 15:33  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

@ anonymous 19 February, 2009 13:14

Gosh "anonymous" you have initiated a game of wiff waff, alas I gave the game up on leaving school!

My expertise is Asset Management within Emerging Markets, nothing specific.

Your serve or do you have no time, as you read all posted articles within my blog?

19 February, 2009 15:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Borse Dubai's $2.5 bln refinance loan is fully subscribed.

Looks like Dubai Inc lives to breathe for another day.

19 February, 2009 15:17"

Apparently the was a shortfall of $1billion, so rather than approach Abu Dhabi, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) emptied it's wallet!

Portfolio of ICD here

19 February, 2009 15:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumfrey, you don't mention that you were banned from the DIFC by the regulator.

19 February, 2009 18:21  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

@ anonymous 19 February, 2009 18:21

Inspecteur Clouseau is on the job!

Yes the "enforceable undertaking" related to the "First Persian Equity Fund", accessible to foreign investors, which was successfully launched and is domiciled in Cayman.

When I do a Google search on "anonymous" I see there are over 203,000,000 entries!

If you wish to continue dialogue then feel free to comment in my blog, I delete nothing, but will respond no more to you here.

19 February, 2009 18:39  
Blogger secretdubai said...

rulesofwar - very sorry, I kept meaning to leave a contact then forgot. You can reach me at secretdubai at gmail dot com.

19 February, 2009 22:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bum fry. Do you have to take Mo's Burj in your Marina? nudge nudge wink wink.

"When I do a Google search on anonymous I see there are over 203,000,000 entries!"

Lord Bumfry thy humour slays me.

20 February, 2009 05:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've tried secretdubai at gmail, but seems my messages arn't getting through...

20 February, 2009 10:02  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

John Laing (EMAAR) files for Chapter 11 in USA.

20 February, 2009 10:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow I find this, your post sort of an informative tip. I'm not really sure how others feel about it after making their comment here but what I am glad is that in simple words like what you have described in this post, things are now easier to understand and as I've said, somehow, the best thought for it was "great tip". Thank you very much.

Ana Casuncad

21 February, 2009 20:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

23 February, 2009 12:43  
Blogger Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Good analysis of situation here, you may need to register:

23 February, 2009 13:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This city exploits foreign construction workers in ways that make Nazis concentratiuon camps look like a Red Cross clinic.

Dubai deserves ruin. It is a doomed city. We will tour the ruins of Dubai in 10 years. Too bad for all the red faced British expats who thought they had found the new Hong Kong. Dubai is the new Gaz strip.

04 March, 2009 05:30  
Blogger saudi doodle said...


Dude - have you been on a bender for about 2 weeks - sitting in a bath, occasionally adding warm water – possibly with a razor bade on hand...? Just your laptop and attitude to keep you company, selflessly firing off bitterness and insults to poor Rupert??

Mate you have gone from ‘us Emirati's’ (17 Feb – 0027) to ‘...moved here a year ago’ (17 Feb – 2244) to ‘those of us who have been here longer than 2 years’ (18 Feb). Whilst I enjoy your drunken rants, you do seem to have a personality crisis and you do seem a little unsure of your place. Did we have some dreams of wealth that didn’t work out...?

04 March, 2009 21:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Dubai had nothing to offer in the first place, location? weather? skilled labor? Democracy? scenery? culture? resources?.. None of the above, Dubai is NOT Singapore and certainly not Hong Kong.
It just happened to be in the right time and right place capitalizing on phenomenal global boom and elimination of major competition [Beirut].
Now that we are facing reality and paying the bill of our excesses; men are seperated from sheep and too bad, Duabi with its true competencies will just not make it.

09 March, 2009 22:42  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just got back from Dubai, and drove to Abu Dhabi. I was completely overwhelmed by the excess and mind-boggling expectations of the real estate projects. In the wildest of imaginations and in the most prosperous of times it's hard to comprehend that these developers could actually believe they could sell this much real estate to the world. Again the very rich exploit the very poor to produce excess. Ironically this manically arrogant endeavor will not accomplished a great wonder of the world that will astound mankind for centuries, it will however have created a Ghost Town that will stand as a monument to the fairyland economics of this time.

05 May, 2009 08:09  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just got back from Dubai, and drove to Abu Dhabi. I was completely overwhelmed by the excess and mind-boggling expectations of the real estate projects. In the wildest of imaginations and in the most prosperous of times it's hard to comprehend that these developers could actually believe they could sell this much real estate to the world. Again the very rich exploit the very poor to produce excess. Ironically this manically arrogant endeavor will not accomplished a great wonder of the world that will astound mankind for centuries, it will however have created a Ghost Town that will stand as a monument to the fairyland economics of this time.

05 May, 2009 08:11  
Anonymous Bookmark said...

I have a friend is an architec. His company sent him to Dubai for a project, he was there almost a year. And now, he intend to get his whole family to move there.

Bubble? Don't think so!

19 May, 2009 13:47  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well time will tell, nothing will surprise me. But just because people are moving there doesn't mean Dubai is not in deep trouble. If you check the demographics of existing real estate and proposed real estate against the UAE population, the math doesn't even come close. In order for Dubai to make steps towards filling those real estate projects a lot more than a few friends have to move there. Albeit a great place, it's a place designed for the wealthy, and if you've been watching the news lately, that group is dramatically shrinking. Even in the best of times it hard to believe that many people would move to Dubai, based simply on it's location, restrictive culture, economics and geo-political surroundings. Dubai has no sustainable business except the business of building Dubai. Personally I like Dubai, and I'd definitely go back, but simply because Abu Dhabi can afford to bail out Dubai, doesn't mean the problem is over. Even if they complete all of the Real Estate Projects with oil money, they still need to fill those properties to avoid a Ghost Town. I really hope they do, but if you have spent any time driving around to all of those mind boggling real estate is very hard to image Dubai can be a success.

Rob MacRiner, Toronto

20 May, 2009 04:16  
Anonymous Montenegro Holiday Rent said...

Well its not a surprise, when everybody is suffering, even Las Vegas where I live is not a city of entertainment its a city of ghosts.

21 May, 2009 14:06  
Anonymous saramartin said...

Still the Dubai market is not good. The financial crisis is very worse, it may take some more time to come up. The government should take alternative methods to overcome this issue and it should consider all the possible ways to overcome the issue.

16 June, 2010 10:39  

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