For Dubai, 2010 will go down as a year of steady recovery from the financial storm unleashed in November of the previous year when Dubai World told creditors it could not repay its debts, at least not on the then-existing terms.
If that was a high-water mark in the emirate's financial problems, the rest of the year saw the tide of indebtedness slowly receding. The two most important events were the announcement of proposals to creditors in March, and their acceptance by the conglomerate's core lenders in May.
After that, there was still plenty of work to be done herding creditors into acceptance and getting all the paperwork done. In fact, the final part of that process is still not complete - there are still some formalities to be observed before a deal is finally signed, sealed and delivered.
But the difficult part was over. Dubai World had survived and the emirate's leaders could go about the next phase of the restructuring of the emirate's corporate debts with the reassurance that creditors were prepared to be accommodating.
The attitude of the Government was crucial throughout. In February, there was a change of heart on the part of the Dubai Department of Finance and it went to the back of the creditors' queue, effectively putting some US$10 billion (Dh36.73bn) into Dubai World in the form of long-term equity.
This week, we saw another example of that thinking when the Dubai Financial Support Fund made more than $800 million available to help repay a sukuk due this month. It was a logical and expected development, but, contrasted to the furore over Nakheel's $4bn sukuk repayment in December 2009, it shows how far the emirate's strategy - government support in co-operation with accommodating creditors - has been accepted. There is even talk of a "Dubai Model" of debt management.
If Dubai World was the template for that model, the other indebted parts of Dubai Inc have also benefited from its implementation. In the latter part of the year, Dubai Holding, the conglomerate owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, pulled off a series of more low-key but significant restructuring deals. There was none of the razzmattaz that accompanied Dubai World's restructuring, just a steady chipping away at Dubai Holding's estimated $12bn or so of debt.
Last month witnessed the successful restructuring of $2.6bn owed by Dubai International Capital, the international private-equity subsidiary; and at the end of this week Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHCOG), the arm of the conglomerate that owns solid assets such as the Jumeirah hotels business and the TECOM business parks and free zones, quietly announced it had rolled over another $555m of debt into a five-year loan.
There is still more to be done this year. The financial and property arms of Dubai Holding are perhaps the most challenging to restructure, given the carnage that has taken place in the emirate's property market and the knock-on effect for the banks.
But it is unlikely any big creditors - it is substantially the same set of banks involved in talks with different parts of Dubai Inc - will want to rock the boat now. Expect a steady flow of restructuring deals in the coming months.
The other major initiative by the Government was the announcement late in November that it was considering a programme of privatisation of the emirate's most valuable assets. Jumeirah, Emirates Airline, even the utilities group DEWA, were mentioned as possible candidates for sale or initial public offering.
Some analysts assumed that the ports and logistics company DP World would be part of that process. The group, largely comprising the assets of the old P&O company taken over by Dubai in 2006, already has a stock market listing (on the NASDAQ Dubai) but indicated its desire to seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange early this year.
There was speculation a London listing might be the opportunity for DP World's owner - the Government, via Dubai World - to sell some more of the 80 per cent of shares it holds in DP World.
An event last month makes those assumptions less certain. Just before Christmas, DP World raised $1.5bn by selling 75 per cent of its Australian business to an infrastructure fund.
It was a surprising development. There had been no sign DP World might sell physical assets, especially in such an economically-resilient part of the world as the Pacific rim. Along with the enforced sale of US assets at the time of acquisition, a big chunk of the old P&O empire has now been dismantled.
The proceeds from the Australian deal, added to increased borrowing powers DP World also sought late in the year, makes the company's financial position much stronger. Perhaps it will not have to raise new cash alongside its London listing after all.