Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy New Year 1431 Hijra

The Dubai World's chronicle on the indebtedness of its subsidiary developer Nakheel was finally settled with Abu Dhabi's injection of USD10 billion to Dubai. This was expected by many. I personally have anticipated that there is no way Abu Dhabi will just let Dubai be torn apart by the creditors. Dubai is not a separate country. It is an emirate in the UAE. Between the 7 emirates in the union, Abu Dhabi is the richest and considered the big brother. Abu Dhabi gives budget annually to the other emirates. It has written and unwrtitten obligation to take care of its sibling emirates. That is the ties that bind them all together in the union. To let Dubai down would be an embarassment to Abu Dhabi and the union. But what interesting was the way Abu Dhabi and Dubai managed the announcement and all. Critics say that the waiting period had given enough time to tarnish Dubai's image in the market, and highlight the superiority of Abu Dhabi. Other people say the down time gave Dubai opportunity to buy back its shares in a stock market at a very cheap price. My friend in the Dubai Ruler's Court told me that Sheikh Mohamed prefered to downsize Dubai World rather than accepting a rescue fund from Abu Dhabi. But has Dubai got enough to survive without any rescue in a first place?

Again I dont think the rescue fund comes for free. There will be some consideration to be negotiated between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, business wise. We will see.

At the same time I am glad that Dubai managed to move on with the Nakheel's problem before the New Hijra Year. I hope Dubai will recover very fast and remain as one of the top cities in the world. The last thing I want to see is Dubai becomes a deserted city like the one depicted in the latest released for the Grand Theft Auto game.

I had a blast fun time with my parents and family for the past 2 weeks. It felt great to have spent 2 weeks with my parents at my age. The last time I stayed home with my parents for more than a week was about 15 years ago. Both my son and I really enjoyed our moment in the morning whenever we wake up, check out the living room and see my parents were already sitting on a couch and greet us together.

Let us pray "peace be upon Prophet Muhammad" and may the new Hijra Year 1431 brings more happiness, peace and prosperity to the world, as same as it did when the Prophet made the first Hijra.

To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Go Picnic or Panic?

For the past 5 days Dubai has once again made to headline news but for the wrong reasons. This time the world talked about the debt laden Dubai with total liabilities of up to $80 billion. The news was triggered when a government linked company announced its wishes to ask for at least 6 months delay for its bond's payment due to be paid in another 2 weeks. That request was believed to be the first for a series of defaults in other borrowings by that conglomerate. Being in the capital market industry I will not say that I am not excited at all about this news. In fact most of my times in the office lately were spent on reading and monitoring this story. Some peoples criticised on how it happened or laughed at the misfortune. To achieve fast tracked development like in Dubai involved a lot of money and risks. It has been a great 9 years for banks and investors in speculating and earning money out of Dubai's potentials. So now it is time to share some risks and bear losses. But the question with these capitalist banks and investors, are they willing to share the risks or incur losses at all?

Although the situation is serious for the future of Dubai in particular and UAE in general, Dubai need to experience this as a process towards a matured nation. My interest is to see how Dubai managed and solved this problem, what lessons have they learned and how can we improve the situations through laws and regulations.

Off course the hope of being saved by Abu Dhabi is always there, but Dubai is reminded that nothing comes as a free lunch. So we will see what will be the solutions soon.

Moving on to another interesting stories, Muslims in UAE are celebrating Eid al Adha since last 27 November and tomorrow will be the 38th UAE National Day. That means a long holiday to us yuppies. To celebrate these joyous occasions my wife, son, 2 brothers and parents came over to Dubai for 2 weeks holiday. My house is full with travelling bags, clothes and what more important, good laughters and foods. Despite the gloomy business news, peoples in Dubai continue to do what they are best at - work smart and party hard ! And that is business during these holidays. I have lined up some activities with cooperation from a few friends, like sight seeing, desert trip, beach and parks picnic and road trip to Oman. We will still discuss the grave going-ons in Dubai but over BBQ, shisha and home made cookings, out in the colder temperature of Dubai.

Adha Mubarak and enjoy your year end holiday, wherever you are.


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