x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai has its 'own resources' to fund multi-billion dirham mega-projects

Emirate will be able to finance some of its latest developments, which include a Dh10bn theme-park complex, although it has not ruled out loans or bond issues, says the Dubai Economic Council.

New developments in Dubai include a Dh10bn scheme to develop five linked theme parks and the expansion of the Madinat Jumeirah Resort and a new footbridge across Dubai Creek. Jeff Topping / The National
New developments in Dubai include a Dh10bn scheme to develop five linked theme parks and the expansion of the Madinat Jumeirah Resort and a new footbridge across Dubai Creek. Jeff Topping / The National

Dubai will be able to finance some of the recently announced mega projects in the emirate from its own resources, said Hani Al Hamli, the secretary general of the Dubai Economic Council.

“It’s true the global crisis has had a real effect on finances everywhere, but we do have our own resources and it will be achieved. It has the endorsement of Sheikh Mohammed [Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai],” Mr Al Hamli said at a conference on Dubai trade organised by the council and the World Bank.

In the past two weeks, Dubai has announced plans for big developments in the transport, retail and leisure sectors that will transform the city’s infrastructure.

Few details of costs are available, but estimates put the financing requirements in the tens of billions of dirhams. Mr Al Hamli added: “Remember we are part of a bigger unit, the UAE, and you will have seen the positive ratings Abu Dhabi has received lately. We also have excellent relationships with Asia, especially the two main developers, Emaar and Dubai Holding.”

He did not rule out bank borrowing or bond issues to help to fund the next phase of Dubai’s growth. “I am sure there’s a way of finding a good interest rate and good maturity of any loans,” he added.

On the same issue, Farrukh Iqbal, the World Bank’s director of strategic cooperation for the Middle East, said: “Global financial liquidity is in a reasonable position. Some lenders have become more conservative, paying attention to detail to avoid the mistakes of the past.”

The conference was held to mark the publication of two reports, by the Dubai Economic Council and the World Bank, on economic policy in the Middle East.

The council’s report, “Dubai’s Foreign Trade: Diversification, Challenges and Policies”, highlighted the need for diversification of export products and trading partners for the emirate.

It showed that in 2010, Dubai’s biggest export by far was “precious stones and imitation jewellery”, with 63 per cent of the total, while more than half of total exports (53 per cent) went to India. Next highest export partner was Switzerland, with 26 per cent.

India and Iran between them accounted for 75 per cent of Dubai’s re-exports, the report added.

fkane@thenational.ae