The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Reality bites Dubai

The emirate is beginning to recover from the financial shocks of the past year. But several challenges remain, not least servicing its large debt pile. Sudip Roy reports.

Updates:Dubai World shocks investors

26 November 2009

Sovereign cuts Dubai World adrift

27 November 2009

Dubai debt crisis: Dubai bailout only the start of a long road

January 2010

SEPARATING MYTH FROM reality is not easy in any developing economy and never more so than in Dubai. This is a city fuelled by rumour, exaggeration and excess.

Mohamed Alabbar, Emaar

"I thought I was a conservative. I think I could have been more conservative"

Mohamed Alabbar, Emaar

But thanks to the global economic shocks some of the hyperbole that accompanied Dubai’s transformation over the past decade from desert to high-octane urban metropolis has dissipated. Even the emirate’s biggest cheerleaders, such as Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, are adopting a more cautious tone. "We’ve learned the art of managing business, which has changed forever in my opinion," Alabbar said in a recent interview with CNN. "I thought I was a conservative. I think I could have been more conservative." He added: "I am much harsher in the operation now." It’s as close to an admission as one will get from a senior Emirati that mistakes were made; that Dubai’s phenomenal growth was unsustainable.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?