Dubai will survive, says expert

DUBAI - Dubai will survive the global credit crunch and the UAE Central Bank may subscribe further bonds other than the $10 billion bonds in February to meet the commitments and spending programmes, according to a top professor here.

Dean of Dubai School of Government Dr Tarik Yousef, in an interview with Khaleej Times, said Dubai is not just a city or an emirate. It has gained regional and global importance. Many people, sectors institutions, companies, entities, leaders want to achieve what Dubai has achieved because it is in everyone’s interest. Therefore, Dubai will remain socially, economically and politically a major hub for the world

“Dubai cannot be allowed to fail, and there is a strong commitment to ensure that Dubai is protected and remains attractive. Steps have been taken in Dubai to contain the crisis and set an amazing balance between the impact of the crisis and protecting whatever has been achieved,” Dr. Tarik said.

“Dubai is restructuring its public finance and has so far taken essential steps to reverse the current negative situation. The UAE government as well has shown a sense of seriousness and commitment to the growth and revival. The government has tried to balance everything and done what is right and pragmatic. There has been very little panic and more sense of coordination and thoughtful action.”

He added, “I am sure Dubai and the UAE together are dealing with the plunge effectively. We must remember that their futures are tied and one cannot exist without the other. All the emirates need to come together to face the challenges that we are facing,” he said.

Observing that 2009 is going to be a difficult year for Dubai as for the rest of the world, Dr. Tarik said 2010 may also be a difficult year too.

However, “We are thankfully in a part of the world which doesn’t have to go the IMF for a bailout or for cash,” he said.

Dr Tarik then indicated that Dubai is open and vulnerable as many other global economies which are integrated in the global system. Yet, one of the positives of this crisis is that it will have stronger corporate governance structures and more accountability in the system.

“Dubai is a new place and we need to give it time and have faith in the institutions which are doing their best in the current circumstances. Dubai will come out stronger with systems much more robust than they are today,” he said.

Elaborating the role of his institution amidst the turndown, Dr Tarik said the Dubai School of Government, in three years time, has created the most promising think-tank and research institution in the region which has the potential to have sustainable long-term impact. “I can proudly say that the work the DSG is doing is pioneering, focused and dedicated. We aim to build the capacity of the public sector to participate in shaping public opinion and also play a critical role in shaping dialogue,” he said. “Due to the global nature of the current crisis, a greater focus is now rising on the government sector management. This aligns with the government’s way of thinking and enhances the role of the public sector in the public sphere.”

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