Dubai to Meet Obligations; Companies to Decide on Spending

DUBAI - Dubai’s government will continue to meet all its contractual obligations, including to contractors, but said it would not decide how companies that had received state aid would use those funds.

By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 29 Apr 2009, 1:03 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:41 AM

Dubai launched a $20 billion bond programme in February, issuing the first half to the United Arab Emirates central bank to enable the Dubai government to support firms struggling to meet debt and other financial commitments.

The emirate — home to the world’s tallest tower and manmade islands shaped as palm trees — has suffered from a sharp downturn in real estate prices, and scores of expansion projects have been shelved, leading to thousands of job cuts.

Several Dubai-based contractors have said they are owed hundreds of millions of dirhams by state-linked developers and some may face bankruptcy as credit dries up.

Nasser Al Shaikh, the head of Dubai’s department of finance, said last week the Dubai government would not reveal the names of the firms receiving support from the first bond proceeds, although the key beneficiaries were real estate companies in which the Dubai government holds some ownership stake.

“The government of Dubai will continue to meet all its contractual obligations, including to construction contractors, as per the terms agreed with all third parties,” it said.

“(It) wishes to clarify that those companies that have received funding via the recently set-up Financial Support Fund received such funds on strictly commercial terms, and that the utilisation of such funds remains at the sole discretion of individual companies.”

London-based MEED reported in its latest issue Dubai would only settle debts with contractors it wishes to work with in the future, thus reducing the number of contractors operating in the Gulf trade and tourism hub.

The Dubai government denied the MEED story.

“Dubai has no intention to limit at any time the number of contractors licensed to operate in the emirate,” it said. —

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