This is something that not many people aware of . Dubai always portrait their image to the world that they are filthy rich...
source from telegraph uk
According to one of Dubai's top property bosses, the emirate has $80bn (£54bn) of debt outstanding against a total asset base of $1.3 trillion.
The numbers were revealed as part of a series of speeches by Dubai's leaders who sought to confirm the emirate's claim to power in world finance and dispel rumours that its growth is stalling.
His Excellency Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chief executive of Emaar Properties and a member of Dubai's excutive council, said the figures were being revealed to end "international speculation" that the country is buckling under its leverage.
Speaking at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Week, Mr Alabbar said: "I can state categorically the government can and will meet all of its obligations going forward and I have no doubt about this country's future.
"And if and when a crisis arises in one of our afflilated companies, will the government help? Yes we will."
Attacking the rumours head on, Mr Alabbar said: "There has been confusion and concern about how much Dubai owes and how its debt will be financed. Concern leads to speculation. So I can say that Dubai's current sovereign debt is $10bn or 37bn UAE Dirhams (AED). Our key sovereign assets at their current level of undervaluation stand at $90bn or AED350bn.
"This does not include our aiports, our bridges, our metro system or our healthcare. The total debt obligation of the government's affiliated companies is $70bn or AED256bn. This is compared to the total asset value of the affiliated companies of $260bn or AED950bn."
He added: "When we started the work in 1992, the Council was hit by rumours. We ran from them and we have been running from constant rumours for 18 years. Still there are rumours that we're selling our property assets or selling 50pc of Emirates airline. I can categorically state this is not true."
However he did admit: "Dubai's growth has been at a rate of 13pc to 14pc a year. If this comes down to 6pc or 7pc or 8pc then fine. We've been running a long time and could probably do with a breather. We will use this time to learn lessons and become a stronger city."
The conference, the public sessions of which started today and has attracted hundred of top business bosses from around the world, was opened this morning by the head of the DIFC, His Excellency Omar Bin Sulaiman. The conference's title, "Where money meets opportunity", has been given a more sober sub-heading of "Sustaining our oasis of prosperity in a turbulent world".
The DIFC owns the emirate's financial assets such as its stock exchange, Mr Bin Sulaiman said: "DIFC Week takes place at a critical juncture for the global economy. Many see in the turmoil of global markets a crisis of epochal proportions. Yet the financial shock waves rumbling around the world could be the first birth pangs of a new economic reality... Until recently capital typically moved from the developed world to developing economies. This dynamic is now changing. New financial centres [like the GCC region] complement, if not rival, the role played by established centres like London and New York."
Other speakers at the conference admitted the Middle East had under-estimated the global financial crisis. His Excellency Bassem Awadallah, former director of the office of King Abdullah of Jordan, said: "This part of the world has been slow to recognise what's been going on global in financial markets"
Mr Alabbar said: "Today the world's faith in the future is being tested. While we recognise with humility the many challenges that lie ahead, I can assure you we will spare no effort to secure our future.
"As His Highness [Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum] said recently: Dubai's direction is straight and forward."