Category Archives: Abu Dhabi

Dear Uncle Abu Dhabi, can I borrow a *bit* more cash? Pls thx, Dubai.

Abu Dhabi has already injected 10 billion US dollars several months ago, and bought significant entities such as Emirates Airlines amongst others.

My guess is Dubai has been trying to get more assistance from Abu Dhabi unsuccessfully, and has made this move in a final attempt to get AD to cough up.

But will it cough up enough to manage the debt of between 80 and 150 billion US dollars (depending on who you ask that is Dubai’s total debt)?

Here are a few articles from CNN today on the breaking news.  Will be *interesting* to see what happens to the Dubai Stock Market when it reopens on Sunday.

Has debt freeze exposed Dubai mirage?

November 26, 2009 — Updated 1537 GMT (2337 HKT)

Dubai: Local moves, global implications

November 26, 2009 — Posted: 1352 GMT

Dubai shocks investors amid debt fears

By Simeon Kerr and Jennifer Hughes,
November 26, 2009 — Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)

Investor confidence in Dubai, exemplified by its stunning architecture, has been shaken.



  • The size of Dubai World’s $22bn debt problem has been apparent for a year
  • Bond markets reacted sharply to the news, investors demanded higher premiums
  • BNP analyst: “Investors view this as shockingly bad news”
  • Moody’s cut ratings on some government-related entities to junk status

(Financial Times) — Dubai has shocked investors by asking for a debt standstill at Dubai World, the government’s flagship holding company that has developed some of the world’s most extravagant real estate projects.

The move raised the spectre of default in the Middle East’s trading hub just as early signs of economic recovery have emerged. During the boom, Dubai rode the wave of easy credit generating phenomenal economic growth but was badly hit by the global credit crisis.

Dubai’s surprise move angered some investors who had been reassured by local officials for months that the city would meet all obligations on its $80bn (£48bn) of gross debt in spite of recession and a real estate crash.

“Investors view this as shockingly bad news,” said Rob Whichello of BNP Paribas. Two hours after announcing it had raised $5bn from two Abu Dhabi banks, the department of finance asked for a standstill until May 30 on all financing to the heavily indebted Dubai World and its troubled property unit Nakheel, which is due to pay back $4bn on an Islamic bond on December 14.

This will destroy confidence in Dubai,
the whole process has been so opaque and unfair to investors.

–Eckart Woertz

Dubai also launched a restructuring of the government holding company, which oversees ports operator DP World, the UK-based P&O Ferries and troubled investment company Istithmar. Nakheel, the developer behind the city’s Palm Islands that boast celebrity owners such as David Beckham, has had to shed thousands of staff and left contractors out of pocket as local property prices halved and credit dried up.

A symbol of Dubai’s pre-crunch excess, the government company has had to cancel plans for the world’s tallest tower and a constellation of reclaimed islands, as collapsing cash flow left the developer on the brink.

The government’s announcement came after the local stock market had shut and on the eve of the Eid holidays, during which most offices will be shut until December 6.

“This will destroy confidence in Dubai, the whole process has been so opaque and unfair to investors,” said Eckart Woertz, economist with Dubai’s Gulf Research Centre.

A spokeswoman for the department of finance said the government intended to ask all bondholders to extend until May. But the government said no decision had yet been made on how to deal with investors insisting on repayment in December.

The gaping size of Dubai World’s $22bn debt problem has been apparent for a year. But the government’s level of support has been clouded by politics and a lack of clarity on how much it could raise from international markets and the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi.

Bond markets reacted sharply to the news with investors demanding higher premiums to hold debt from the region. In London trade it cost about $460,000 annually over five years to insure $10m worth of Dubai government debt against default, compared with $360,000 on Tuesday. Prices rose for its neighbours with Abu Dhabi protection $100,000 more than on Tuesday.

Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service immediately downgraded the ratings of all six government-related issuers in Dubai following news of the repayment delay and left them on review for possible further downgrade.

Moody’s cut ratings on some government-related entities to junk status, while S&P cut ratings on some entities to one level above junk.

S&P said the restructuring “may be considered a default under our default criteria, and represents the failure of the Dubai government (not rated) to provide timely financial support to a core government-related entity.”


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

It’s Grand Prix weekend in Abu Dhabi and even Dubai is packed with people.  We have a friend from South Africa staying with us, who is here to see the race.

Saw a line of about 30 Ferrari’s outside the Dubai Ferrari dealer…

Zebra Crossing Failures in Dubai

There was an article in the Gulf News recently talking about the RTA wanting more pedestrian crossings.

What the comments (see below) on the article highlight is that these crossings are failing to provide the safe passage that was intended.

Note the occasional comment from irate drivers who believe that pedestrians should not have right of way. Ugh!

RTA – Please provide some driver education on this matter urgently!

Police calls for more pedestrian crossings

By Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporter
Published: May 06, 2007

Your comments

This is what happens in most emirates in the UAE, hardly any motorists stop for people who want to cross at the zebra crossing and then they are forced to go into heavy car traffic.

The planned 17 pedestrian bridges is good news, but I reckon more is needed. The focus should be to remove pedestrians from the streets, not by preventing them but rather giving them separate access. Cost may be an issue, but can be minimized if we get back to basics.
M. S.

Whilst more pedestrian crossings may help, educating people is also needed. On a daily basis people will cross the road in front of me regardless of oncoming traffic, even when there is a pedestrian crossing only three metres away. Teaching pedestrians that they don’t rule the road is a must.
Abu Dhabi,UAE

It is a move in the right direction, but how about installing traffic lights at pedestrian crossings, because lets face it, half the people on the roads do not even care to stop at these crossings. Education plus stricter enforcement is also required.

I think the authorities should enforce strict laws for the pedestrians also, not just for motorists because many accidents are also caused due to fault of the pedestrian rather than the motorist. Even pedestrians have a very important role to play here.

Pedestrians are very callous because of the law that states they have the right of way. Pedestrians should be held equally responsible for causing the accident. Being a driver myself, I find it shocking to see people running across 10-12 lane highways. A driver cannot anticipate someone would be so foolhardy. Even on the streets of Dubai pedestrians cross or stand defiant in front of oncoming cars.

I think all the emirates should do the survey of the roads and find the places where the crossing of pedestrian is the most. According to the survey they should make controlled pedestrian crossing with the signals. I have also experienced that many drivers in UAE think that Zebra crossing does not give any priority for the pedestrians which is wrong. For this a traffic drive should be started by the transport authority to make the drivers aware that it?s their duty to give way to the pedestrians on the zebra crossing. Also heavy fines should be imposed on drivers not abiding by this rule, and it should be considered as a serious driving offense.
Ras Al Khaimah,UAE

I agree that most deaths are caused by people being run over at pedestrian crossings. Last week I was in Dubai near the abra pedestrian crossing there is only a white line on the road but there is no pedestrian crossing signal to show whether pedestrian can cross the road or not. It is a very busy road with people crossing the road to take the boat to go to Bur Dubai. There is a subway crossing there. The authority should close the zebra crossing or provide pedestrian crossing facilities with signals so that illiterate people can see the sign and cross safely.

I had crossed busy roads several times and sometimes I have escaped narrowly from accident. Sometime I had spent more than 1 hour to cross the road all this because of lack of pedestrian crossing at the right places. Especially, we need more underpasses on Sheikh Zayed Road.

It is good thinking on the part of RTA to build pedestrian crossings. But, according to me, building subways for pedestrains is far better than overbridges because it will be easily accessible and more user-friendly. Some of the current overbridges are not easily accessible and thus, some pedestrains are wary of using them.

We have pedestrian crossings in Abu Dhabi but no cars, especially taxis, will slow down when people are ready to cross the road.
Abu Dhabi,UAE

I agree that we need more pedestrian crossings. One place is at Bur Dubai main junction of roads from Sindagha tunnel, Bank street, Bur Dubai bus stand.
R. K.
Colombo,Sri Lanka

The biggest challenge is in educating drivers to stop at pedestrian crossings. I once stopped at a pedestrian crossing when I saw a person waiting to cross the road – it nearly caused a huge accident behind me and created extreme aggression from motorists who hooted and gesticulated angrily. Drivers here give no right of way to pedestrians, unlike Europe, South Africa and USA where the pedestrian comes first.
T. R.

I would suggest that some young policemen be deputed along the major pedestrian crossings for eg. schools, shopping malls, residential areas, to control this issue.
Al Ain,UAE

What is the point of introducing pedestrian crossings when they don’t exist to most drivers in this country, especially taxis. I have never seen a car stop at a pedestrian crossing unless there was a signal and if I stop the others always honk continuously.
Abu Dhabi,UAE

The immediate step to be taken to curb pedestrian death is to build speed breakers where there is a zebra crossing. (Ed: Good idea!) All vehicles, especially taxis are running at high speed in these areas putting pedestrians lives at risk. Secondly, instead of erecting fence along the divider, it should be a concrete wall with a minimum height of 4 feet on top of which there should be sharp metallic grills so that the pedestrians can be prevented from removing the fence manually. This will eventually be a permanent structure too so long as people do not attempt to break the wall which is not an easy task. The pedestrian under passes will be fully utilised if such arrangements are made. Now few people use the pedestrian underpasses which were constructed paying huge amount and is found to be literally empty.
K. R.
Abu Dhabi,UAE

I agree that more pedestrian crossings and speedbreakers are needed to control errant drivers. I have been saved many times on Naif Road pedestrian crossing as drivers ignore the sign and do not allow one to cross, especially during the hot summer days!

This is a nice move. The main problem is that no one has the sense to stop the car when people are crossing the zebra crossing. They have to wait until there is no approaching car to use this privilege. I suggest that there should be a speed breaker before all pedestian crsossings so that cars are forced to slow down reasonably and let the people cross the road. (Ed: Good suggestion!) Tthere is a pedestrian crossing wthout stop light at Hyatt Regency roundabout, which is the most dangerous to cross as cars come so fast after the traffic light is green. They cannot stop and I have never seen anyone stopping at the pedestian crossing. This must be checked.

More crossings is not enough to solve this problem. Many drivers still don’t respect the right of the pedestrians and do not have the courtesy to stop at the crossings. What are they going to do about this?
S. Al K.
Al Ain,UAE

This is how I will die in Dubai…

Killed by some mother*&@$er at a Zebra crossing!

Crossing the road at zebra crossings is probably the thing I hate most about Dubai.  At least half the driving population just drive straight through them! Once some guy actually honked his horn at me to get off the road when I was walking across one!  Damn!!!

Two nights ago I saw a small accident where a car rear-ended a 4wd which was stopped at the zebra crossing in the Greens. The driver of the car got out and waved his arms around at the 4wd driver (who had also alighted from his vehicle) saying something along the lines of, ‘Why did you just stop like that?’

The 4wd guy pointed to the 3 kids crossing the zebra crossing!

What you need to understand about this scenario is that it was a roundabout with zebra crossings across all four entrances to the roundabout.  The traffic was turning right, and the rear-end collision happened when the 4wd stopped at the second zebra crossing it needed to traverse to get through the intersection. The idiot who rear-ended the 4wd had already been through one zebra crossing before he turned to the right.  There is no possibility that another zebra crossing was not there. Anyway, Dubai is like a small town and everyone knows where they are going.  Surprise was not an element at work here.

It was a warm night and the streets were crawling with pedestrians going out to eat al fresco, or kids riding around on their bikes in this residential area.

It really makes me mad when I read an article like this about some poor guy crossing at the Zebra crossing and getting killed while the driver flees the scene.

Yeah, you better flee mother#$)%er!  When the Dubai authorities catch up with you (which they surprisingly often do) you’re ass is TOAST!

I hope he is sweating bullets!

French expatriate killed in road accident

From Gulf News

By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter
Published: March 12, 2009, 10:51

Abu Dhabi: A French man was run over by a car on Wednesday morning while he was getting across the road using a zebra crossing, officials told Gulf News.

The accident happened around 11.30 am close to the Emirates Palace along Corniche Road.

The man has been identified as 45 year old S.J, an official said, on conditions of anonymity.

“As per initial reports, the man was trying to cross the road using the zebra crossing adjacent to the Emirates Palace hotel on the way towards Marina mall”, he said.

The driver who caused the accident reportedly fled the scene.

As many as twenty-two pedestrians were killed and 18 others were severely injured between January 2009 and February 26, according to the latest figures released by Abu Dhabi police.


My husband drive to work at the client site in Abu Dhabi every day.  Poor thing is exhausted because its 1:45 mins commute each way.

Generally I’m the most understanding girl on the planet when it comes to these things but its 9pm and he still isn’t home.  I’m starving and I’m pissed off.

This is getting OLD.

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today is my birthday… and I can honestly say that having Mozzle survive this near-death experience is the best birthday present I have EVER had!

BESTest Birthday Present Evah!!!

BESTest Birthday Present Evah!!!

I want to send a hello to all the wonderful people that sent me a ‘happy birthday’ today…

Miriam – perfecting her bedside manner in Townsville (the rara skirt’s a nice touch!)
– dancing with underwear models in LA (didn’t you do that last year?)
– sipping cocktails on the way to Omaha – champagne and a sleeping pill (affectionately referred to as a  ‘Chemical Upgrade’)
– being nominated for innovaton prizes in Amsterdam
– taking a vow of silence in London
– Vogue-ing in NYC
My Dad
– in Melbourne planning how to invest my lotto winnings.
playing with fireworks in Sydney
– cat-herding in Sydney
– sharing my birthday and keeping accenture Taipei in business
– kerst dranken in Brussels
Fatima – looking impossibly lovely (as usual) in Brussels
Fiona – preparing for adventure in Perth
Claire – double-billing with the Meat Sluts in SFO
and finally…… Richard – my lovely husband who spent an exhausting and successful day with me in Dubai hunting for a birthay present!

You guys are the BEST!

Etihad – my new favourite airline

I picked up my passport on the way to the airport and caught the 15:20 Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dahbi. After all my previous hassles I finally struck some good fortune when they upgraded me to Business Class. So I enjoyed my pre take-off drink which was a delicious Canard Duchene blanc de blancs. Yummmmm. I do believe I even had two!

Excellent service and the flat bed was a god send for the 14.5 hour flight. I really wonder if I could do one that long in economy without going a little psycho. I think if I have to do it in economy I’m going to book a flight via Singapore or something. And stop over for one day. It’s really, really long. That extra 2 hours seems like an four hours for some reason.