In an interview with Al Arabiya TV during Cityscape, the largest real estate exhibition in the region, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, stressed that the Emirate is back and moving forward after going through a aperiod of economic downturn.
In response to a question from Al Arabiya’s reporter, Mahira Abdel Aziz, Sheikh Mohammad also added that the general economy of the United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of the president, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, is doing well and progressing.
Sheikh Mohammad considered the current economic crisis as a challenge that every country has to face stating that "a thousand hard steps forward taken by the Emirates are better than a single step backward".
The UAE in general and Dubai in particular had suffered the effects of global recession especially after the breakout of "Dubai World" conglomerate’s debt crisis. "Dubai World" is one of 3 Dubai-government related entities or GREs. It had recently reached a deal with its creditors to restructure a $ 23.1 billion debt.
The UAE economy is forecast to grow 2.1% this year at a slower rate than the ‘boom’ years. This growth rate, according to Reuters’ calculations, is the lowest amongst GCC economies.
It is worthy to mention that, in past years, Sheikh Mohammad had personally inaugurated several editions of the "Cityscape Dubai" expo which has been rebranded as "Cityscape Global 2010" after it witnessed an increase in the international presence compared to a shrinking local representation this year resulting from the hardships faced by Dubai’s real estate sector.
House prices in Dubai have fallen some 60 percent since their peaks in 2008, billions of dollars worth of projects were put on hold or cancelled, and lending dried up