Just on the 25th March, Dubai gave out a detailed plan on how to spend the funds from Big Brother Abu Dhabi – the ones that were meant to „save” it, the so-called „bail-out”. The process will be overseen by the Dubai Financial Support Fund – it is going to make sure that the payments to the creditors of Dubai World (and its subsidiary Nakheel) will be conducted in a reasonable and sound way. „The monkey business is now officially over,” one Dubai-based hedge fund manager was quoted saying. I can only agree. And I must say that all this is certainly good news for everyone involved – but in any case the question where the economy of Dubai is now standing, in spring 2010, more than a year and a half after the financial crisis of 2008, must be asked.
Altogether, the mood is good in the Emirate, this much nobody can doubt. What a difference a year makes, I can only exclaim! But apparently, it is more than just atmospheric: Abu Dhabi is expected to undergo economic growth of more than four per cent in 2010. And ever since Abu Dhabi stepped in for the bail-out, the two, Abu and Dubai, have become a lot closer than at any time since the foundation of the United Arab Emirates. The most important part probably is that the leadership of our neighbouring Emirate know perfectly well that they need Dubai. It has been called the Las Vegas of the Middle East, but it is so much more than that: It is in fact, besides oil, the only real growth engine the economy of the UAE has.
One indicator for the future of Dubai is tourism – as within the last five years it has become a major pillar of its GDP. In this department things do look quite rosy: Because international travelling has completely rediscovered the shining city upon a hill.