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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Epoch Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     January 28 - February 3, 2010

Dubai’s hyper growth economy comes to sudden halt
debt crisis deemed ‘very minor’ for the global economy
By Heide B. MalHotra                                                                                                                                                                                            Island with big fanfare on Jan. 4,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                a park on Burj Dubai Lake with a
                                                                                                                                                                         The professors
Epoch Times Staff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                lot of leisure attractions, includ-
Once the crown jewel of the Gulf,                                                                                                                                                                               ing the Dubai Mall with 1,200 re-
financially troubled Dubai is now
struggling to escape a large public
                                                                                                                                                                          suggest that                          tail outlets and the 1,717 foot Burj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Khalifa, formerly Burj Dubai, the
   It dreamed for years to become
                                                                                                                                                                         the world has                          tallest skyscraper in the world at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                a cost of $800 million. Dubai ex-
the region’s financial and tourism
hub, accumulating piles of debt                                                                                                                                          weathered the                          pects thousands of tourists that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                could help pay off the mega proj-
along the way, rumoured to be
roughly $80 billion.                                                                                                                                                     U.S. financial                         ect over the coming years that cost
                                                                                                                                                                                                                roughly $1.5 billion in total.
   In November 2009, Dubai                                                                                                                                                                                         Dubai's government is bracing
shocked the world when state                                                                                                                                            crisis, and thus                        for a budget deficit of $1.6 billion
owned Dubai World, an investment                                                                                                                                                                                in 2010, equivalent to 2 percent
firm for the Dubai government, an-
nounced an urgent need to delay
                                                                                                                                                                          Dubai is like                         of the city state’s GDP. It is also
                                                                                                                                                                                                                projecting $8 billion in revenues,
the payment of $26 billion of its
debt for six months. To finance its
                                                                                                                                                                          a drop in the                         but with expenses of $9.6 billion,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                according to a recent report by the
growth ambitions, Dubai racked
up a debt of $59 billion, more than                                                                                                                                    bucket and might                         Dubai Chamber of Commerce &
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Industry. Infrastructure projects
half of the country’s debt.
   At issue is the financial finagling                                                                                                                                  just make a few                         will continue, albeit at a slower
that gripped most of the world be-
fore the most recent financial crisis                                                                                                                                     small ripples                            The deficit is blamed on invest-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                ing activities in infrastructure de-
and the belief, besides information      an emirati man follows the stock market activity at the dubai Financial Market in the Gulf emirate, January 20, 2010. Karim                                            velopments, including the Burj
to the contrary, that money was not      sahib/aFP/Getty imaGes                                                                                                                                                 Park project, metro links, high-
an issue and that the Dubai gov-                                                                                                                                                                                ways, and other real estate proj-
ernment would come to the rescue                                                                                                                                                                                ects. Vacancy rates are high, as
during times of trouble, throwing        relieved the chairmen of Dubai            by this firm, according to a recent world is emerging from the last                 the $5 billion was actually part of a    expatriate workers returned to
due diligence and caution to the         Holding LLC and Dubai World               article on the Finance Web blog     crisis fairly well.                             commitment made by Abu Dhabi             their home countries after losing
wind.                                    and the head of Emaar Properties          posting.                              The professors suggest that the               in the past.                             their jobs. Commercial and private
  “Lenders were eager to pour            PJSC of their chairmanship in the            In response, Moody’s and Stan- world has weathered the U.S. fi-                    Abu Dhabi’s injection prevented        real estate prices that fell in 2009,
money into Dubai because of what         company last year.                        dard and Poor’s lowered Dubai’s     nancial crisis, and thus, Dubai is              the December default of a $4.1 bil-      are expected to fall another 10 per-
they saw as Dubai World's implicit                                                 state-owned companies to junk like a drop in the bucket and might                   lion Islamic bond by Nakheel, a          cent in 2010, while remaining flat
financial backing by the Dubai and       The World reacTs                          status, and put Dubai’s financing   just make a few small ripples.                  subsidiary of Dubai World. Alas,         in 2011, according to the Property
Abu Dhabi governments. While             Worldwide stock markets reacted           firms on negative watch because of   "This is a very different circum-              construction has been indefinitely       Wire Web site.
loan documents apparently stated         swiftly, with the Dow Jones Indus-        their lending to Dubai World.       stance," said finance professor                 put on hold for many reasons that          "Dubai’s construction and real
there was no government guaran-          trial dropping by over 1 percent that        Credit analysis firm CMA in- Richard Marston in the KW report.                   are not just of financial origin.        estate market was particularly
tee, many lenders seemed to think        day and oil prices took a plunge.         cluded Dubai among countries "Market participants have been                            The UAE’s central bank released       vulnerable to correction in 2009,”
the situation was like that of Fan-         The stock market, including oil        with the world’s riskiest sovereign through the wringer and have re-                a statement that it would provide fi-    said a report by the Dubai-based
nie Mae and Freddie Mac in the           prices, recovered quickly, edging         debt, with the likes of Argentina, assessed risk.”                                  nancial support to local and foreign     ShuaaCapital Psc, a leading finan-
U.S.,” suggested professors in one       up a little, as investors gained con-     Venezuela, Greece, Iceland, and                                                     banks, also in the same month.           cial firm. “Activity was driven to a
of a series of articles published by     fidence that relief from oil-rich Abu     others, at the end of last year.    coming To The rescue                              Aidan Birkett of Deloitte LLP          large extent by speculative demand
Knowledge @ Wharton (KW), the            Dhabi and others were in sight and           Wharton finance professor Jer- At the end of November 2009, two                  was hired to spearhead the restruc-      for property and financed by debt.
publishing arm of the University         that a deal could be worked out.          emy J. Siegel suggested that this Abu Dhabi lenders, al Hilal Bank                  turing effort of the remaining $22         “As a result, the sector suffered
of Pennsylvania.                            Distancing the Dubai govern-           default issue “will turn out to be  and the National Bank of Abu                    billion debt. On Jan. 19 Bank of To-     a double whammy last year: the
   In an initiative to show the world    ment from the Dubai World’s trou-        ‘a very minor affair’ for the world Dhabi, extended $5 billion in credit             kyo-Mitsubishi became part of the        sharp drop in demand for accom-
that Dubai’s government means            bles, Abdulrahman Al Saleh, di-           economy and financial markets. to help the neighbouring state.                      six-member restructuring team for        modation as the economy slowed,
business and has a good handle on        rector general of Dubai’s financial       It doesn't mark any sort of new       In mid-December, oil-rich Abu                 Dubai World’s debt.                      jobs were lost and expatriates re-
the situation, Sheikh Maktoum bin        arm, stated that Dubai was under          shoe dropping, or the start of Dhabi contributed $5 billion—not                                                              turned home combined with the
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktou,           no obligation to bail out the firm,       some emerging-market crisis, or the $10 billion publicized by the                   holding The head high in                 credit crunch that made mortgages
vice president and prime minis-          as it had not provided a sovereign        the start of some domino situation  media—to bail out Dubai World.                  a conTracTing economy                    and building financing nearly im-
ter of the UAE and ruler of Dubai,       guarantee for deals undertaken            at all," he says, arguing that the Latest media releases suggest that               Dubai inaugurated Burj Park              possible to secure.”

                                                                                                                            Apple announces
                        Subscribe to                                                                                        iPad tablet computer
                                                              The Epoch Times
                                                                                                                             By SuMan SrinivaSan
                                                              today!                                                         Epoch Times Staff

                                                                                                                             Apple Computers finally announced
                                                                                                                             the much-hyped product that has
                                                              Did you know that you can receive                              been keenly awaited – its tablet com-
                                                              The Epoch Times anywhere in British                            puter, known as the iPad.
                                                                                                                                Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, an-
                                                              Columbia delivered to your mailbox?                            nounced the Apple iPad at an elab-
                                                                                                                             orately staged event on Jan 27 at the
                                                                                                                             Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in
                                                              Subscribe today, and don’t miss a                              San Francisco.
                                                              single edition.                                                   Jobs announced that Apple wanted
                                                                                                                             to "kick off 2010 by introducing
                                                                                                                             a truly magical and revolutionary
                                                              The Epoch Times is an independent                              product,” and then proceeded to
                                                              newspaper. Your subscriptions will                             name some company milestones:
                                                              help us to expand our resources and                            it sold its 250 millionth iPod and
                                                                                                                             had become a $50-billion-a-year
                                                              bring you more of the kind of non-                             company.
                                                              sensational, quality news that you                                And then came the crowning mo-
                                                                                                                             ment of the presentation: the unveil-
                                                              have come to expect from us!                                   ing of the iPad.

                                                                                                                             living up To The hype
                                                                                                                             Based on initial reactions, the Apple
                                                                                                                             iPad seems to live up to the unprec-
                                                                                                                             edented hype that accompanied it.
                                                                                                                               From the live demonstration, the
                                                                                                                             iPad appears to be a large iPhone or
                                                                                                                             iPod Touch. In fact, Apple’s senior
                                                                                                                             vice president Scott Forstall said that
                                                                                                                             the iPad can run apps for the iPhone
                                                                                                                            “virtually unmodified” though devel-
                                                                                                                             opers could take advantage of the
                                                                                                                             high-resolution and large screen for
                                                                                                                             their application.
                                                                                                                               On stage, Jobs demonstrated the
                                                                                                                             ability of the iPad to browse websites,
                                                                                                                             watch video and play music. Initial
                                                                                                                             media reports during the launch
                                                                                                                             describe the resolution and user in-
                                                                                                                             terface of the screen as living up to     a guest uses the new apple iPad that is docked in a keyboard. Justin sullivan/
                                                                                                                             hype.                                     Getty imaGes
                                                                                                                               The iPad, at half-an-inch thick,
                                                                                                                             weighs 1.5 pounds and has a 9.7
                                                                                                                             inch IPS display with multi-touch         In addition to providing a full-           With the iBooks application, Apple
                                                                                                                             support. The iPad runs on Apple’s         blown device that can browse the         is directly competing with Ama-
                                                                                                                             own 1 GHz A4 chip.                        web, watch video and play music,         zon Kindle in the mobile e-reader
                                                                                                                               The device is reported to cost          Apple also appears to be poised to       market.
                                                                                                                             $499, $599, or $699 based on the          launch the iPad as the ultimate Am-        At the end of the presentation, Mr.
                                                                                                                             size of storage in the model (16GB,       azon Kindle killer: by pitching it as    Jobs stated that “the bar is pretty
                                                                                                                             32GB and 64GB), and will support          a e-reader.                              high” to establish “a third category
                                                                                                                             wireless networking and Bluetooth.          Steve Jobs, during the launch,         of products”—referring to the tablet
                                                                                                                             Models with 3G support are on their       demonstrated an application called       PC, as opposed to a laptop or desk-
                                                                                                                             way, and will cost $130 extra.            iBooks. He demonstrated the iBooks       top. “It has to be far better at doing
                                                                                                                                                                       store, which allows iPad users to pur-   some key things. We think we have
                                                                                                                             e-reader Killer app?                      chase and read books on the device.      the goods.”

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