What is Dubai Crisis 2009?
- The Dubai Debt Crisis 2009 has been called by economists a consequence of real estate bubble burst when on November 26, 2009 vaDubai proposed to delay repayment of its debt which includes delay in the payment of $ 59 Billion debt on Dubai World, the investment vehicle for the emirates for 6 months.
- Dubai has one of the most unique and unusual economies in the world. Dubai has numerous free zones including Jebel Ali free zone, Dubai Maritime City, Dubai Internet City, and Dubai Media City.
- Contrary to the general assumption that Dubai’s economy is totally driven by oil and gas,It is a fact that oil sector only comprises less than 6% of the economy of Dubai.
- In fact, Dubai’s portion of natural gas revenues in the United Arab Emirates is only about 2%. Dubai’s oil production is estimated to be about 240,000 barrels per day.
- It is true that Dubai’s economy was built on the back of Oil Money but Dubai’s oil reserves have diminished significantly and are expected to be exhausted in 20 years.
- The other largest contributing sectors of Dubai economy are Real estate and construction (22.6%), trade (16%), (15%) and financial services (11%) (all are 2007 figures).
Diversifying to Real Estate:
- In 2000, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was established. It was established as a secondary market for trading securities and bonds, both local and foreign. During that time the Government decided to diversify Dubai’s economy from a trade-based, but oil-reliant, economy to one that is service and tourism-oriented has made real estate more valuable.
- The orientation towards tourism and service led the economy towards Real Estate Boom and the result was appreciation in the property prices from 2004–2006.
- Dubai became a center of large scale real estate development projects and this led to the construction of some of the tallest skyscrapers and largest projects in the world such as the Emirates Towers, the Burj Dubai, the Palm Islands and the world’s second tallest, and most expensive hotel, the Burj Al Arab.
- Thus Dubai landscape started changing. Earth movers crawled alongside massive cranes and trailer trucks loaded with steel and concrete. The Dubai story began to unfold, rapidly.
- For many years, Dubai has been a safe haven for investors offering fantastic returns of 40% plus per Annam and in recent years has attracted clients who have been trying to get on the investment ladder.
However the ugly face of the so called “Dubai Model” which was based upon debt and speculation, was hiding somewhere in the breakneck boom.
What is Dubai World?
- Dubai World is an investment company that manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai government across a wide range of industry segments and projects that promote Dubai as a hub for commerce and trading.
- The chairman of this company is Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
- Dubai World was established under a decree ratified on 2 March 2006 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. He also holds the majority stake in Dubai World.
- Dubai World’s assets range from stakes in Las Vegas casino company MGM Mirage to London-traded bank Standard Chartered Plc and luxury retailer Barneys New York through asset-management firm Istithmar PJSC.
Seeds of Trouble:
- Due to the ongoing global financial crisis of 2008-09, Dubai’s real estate market experienced a major downturn. This lead to the slowing economic climate.
- It was declared in an international press council by Mohammed al-Abbar who is senior aide to Dubai’s Ruler and UAE’s Vice President/Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and who serves as the Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, and Chairman of Emaar, one of the world’s largest real estate companies in December 2008 that, Emaar had credits of US$ 70 billions and the state of Dubai additional US$ 10 billions while holding estimated 350 billion in real estate assets.
- By early 2009, the situation had worsened with the global economic crisis taking a heavy toll on property values, construction and employment.
- As of February 2009 Dubai’s foreign debt was estimated at approx. USD 100 billion, leaving each of the emirate’s 250,000 UAE nationals responsible for 400,000 USD in foreign debt.
- A longer-term assessment of Dubai’s property market showed depreciation; some properties lost as much as 64% of their value from 2001 to November 2008.
- It contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars, substantial financial commitments incurred by governments, and a significant decline in economic activity.
The Burst of the Bubble:
- Dubai, ruled by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had borrowed $80 billion in a four-year construction boom to transform the economy into a regional tourism and financial hub.
- This emirate in the due course of time suffered the world’s steepest property slump in the global recession, with home prices dropping 50 percent from their 2008 peak.
- Dubai world with $59 billion of liabilities, sought a “standstill” agreement from creditors. Its debt includes $3.52 billion of bonds due Dec. 14 from property unit Nakheel PJSC.
- Some analysts say that : The core reason for the Dubai Financial mess up is that Sheikh Mohammed’s decision to invest all his wealth as well as Dubai govt fortunes in Real estate markets in United states through a foreign investment arm of Emaar,which claimed to be the second largest property developer in US ,which ultimately went bankrupt due to recession and filed for chapter 11. Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. (Chapter 7 governs the process of a liquidation bankruptcy, while Chapter 13 provides a reorganization process for the majority of private individuals. )
- Subsequently, Dubai shifted into crisis mode with its dangerous building boom stalled, its lending bonanza vanished and government pondered wider steps to rescue banks.
Announcement of Official Moratorium:
- On November 25, 2009, the Dubai government announced that the company “intends to ask all providers of financing to Dubai World and its subsidiary Nakheel to ‘standstill’ and extend maturities until at least 30 May 2010”. The company will also undergo a restructuring process with the help of Deloitte consultants. Several months earlier, Dubai World accounted for a $59-billion debt, nearly three-quarters of the emirate’s US$80-billion debt. This includes a US$3.5-billion loan which the company is unable to repay by its December deadline.
Impact of Moratorium:
- The government’s announcement led both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s Investors Services heavily downgraded the debt of various Dubai government-related entities with interests in property, utilities, commercial operations and commodities trading. In Moody’s case, the downgrade meant that the affected agencies lost their investment grade status.
- This led the main Europen markets plunged on 26, November followed by drops in Asian stocks on the 27 November. This led to a drop in the share indices of the major markets of the world.
Possible Role of Abu Dhabi as a Saver:
- Dubai asked Abudhabi to bail out from this crises.
- However , it up to Abu Dhabi, the wealthy capital of the United Arab Emirates how it would like to assist Dubai.
- Analysts are expecting Abu Dhabi (the senior and controlling Emirate in the UAE) to help soften the blow of this crisis.
- A recent report by HSBC confirms that Abu Dhabi has the cash liquidity to support its own banks and property companies.
- Therefore, Abu Dhabi is likely to use some of this liquidity and stability to help prevent a complete collapse of markets in Dubai.
- The UAE Central Bank has already confirmed that it´s board has discussed plans to launch facilities for supporting real estate lending in Dubai, as well as in the rest of the UAE.
image : Ben via flickr