Sunday, November 30, 2008

Better late than never

I'm a little slow getting up a link to this article on Dubai from The Economist dated November 27. Some choice lines:
A few months ago, rich foreigners who had bought villas in Dubai were complaining about the quality of the sand on their artificial beaches or the difficulty of getting water to circulate around the twiddly fronds of the man-made island shaped like a palm.
While the stunning opacity of government economic data is increasing the air of uncertainty, Muhammad Alabbar, who heads Emaar, a giant state-controlled property developer, took the rare step of telling people how indebted the country is. Together, the government and state-owned enterprises owe $80 billion—148% of GDP. Dubai still has a far larger stock of assets, at least some of which are likely to be sold, to cover the debts, to Abu Dhabi or the federal sovereign-wealth fund of the seven-state United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the two richest.
Since everyone else has been trying to copy Dubai, it is unclear how economic policy should be reshaped if the model has to be rescued.
For the reader looking for a good summary of recent development this article is a good one.

Just one small correction: I wouldn't call the "federal" sovereign wealth funds "federal." They are very much Abu Dhabis in name and in practice.

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Anonymous Dubai Entrepreneur said...

What do you mean they are Abu Dhabi's in practice?

3:59 PM  

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