Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is Atlantis Underwater?

Last December I made a post regarding the extreme construction going on in Dubai.

It looks like that credit card might have run dry.

Source: The Wall Street Journal
DUBAI -- "This city-state said the federal government of the United Arab Emirates would provide $10 billion in funding, allowing Dubai to service its heavy debt load as it copes with a tanking real-estate market and tepid appetite among international lenders to extend further credit. The effective bailout will be structured as a long-term bond, the governments of Dubai and the UAE said in separate statements late Sunday. Dubai is one of seven, semi-autonomous emirates that make up the UAE. Unlike its neighbor and UAE capital Abu Dhabi, Dubai doesn't have much oil. It financed much of its recent, explosive growth with international borrowing. State owned and controlled companies tapped local and overseas markets to help finance some of the emirate's most ambitious property, tourism and infrastructure projects.

In less than a decade, Dubai transformed itself from a sleepy backwater to a booming regional business, tourism and transportation hub. As it blossomed, civic leaders grew more ambitious. In 2001, a government-owned developer launched a palm-tree-shaped island development of luxury villas and hotels. Two years later, another government-controlled developer started selling floor space in the then-unbuilt Burj Dubai tower. Both projects are now mostly finished, and the Burj Dubai stands as the world's tallest skyscraper. But as the U.S. housing market soured and the first hints of the extent of today's global financial crisis started to emerge in late 2007, analysts and investors began raising concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding all the borrowing.

Dubai officials said at the time they would seek a sovereign debt rating, like next-door neighbor Abu Dhabi. But they never appeared to be actively pursuing one. Still, credit agencies tended to give near-top-notch ratings to corporations owned or controlled by either the Dubai government or Dubai's charismatic ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. If Sheikh Mohammed overextended, many analysts assumed, oil-rich Abu Dhabi would offer a lifeline. This year turned out to be crunch time. Regional bank EFG-Hermes estimated that Dubai's principal and interest payments due in 2009 would equal some $14 billion. Late last year, the city's once red-hot property market soured. After soaring for years since Dubai opened the market to foreigners in 2002, prices have now fallen back down to earth more recently."

The country holds the following records:
-world's tallest building
-world's largest gold ring (135 lbs)
-world's tallest hotel
-world's largest mall
-world's largest indoor ski resort
-world's largest man-made marina
-world's largest man-made island
-world's first underwater hotel
-world's largest amusement park
-world's largest passenger and cargo hub
-world's first rotating skyscraper
-world's longest and tallest arch bridge
-world's longest fully automated rail system
-world's largest horse racing purse

It sounds like they've been dining on a few Plastic Eggrolls!

This will be one to watch. Lets consider Dubai to be the world's leader in credit spending!


Property Blogger said...

People should learn from this down side curve that things go up sharply and come down even more sharply. People made hell of a money investing in Dubai so its give back time.
Dubai Property

sanjay said...

As well as the highest standard of living in the entire world of Dubai has all facilities available in city.fantastic resort,club,beaches,holiday place,amazing building,hotels etc.

Dubai Real Estate

Kirk Barrell said...

It sounds like you have "eyes on the ground" there. What's your perspective on the situation?