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COUNTING THE COST
Dubai's crisis
In-depth analysis from the heart of the emirate's financial crisis.
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2010 11:13 GMT



Watch part two

So no prizes for guessing where I am this week, even before you read the byline!

The Dubai World story is one which just will not go away, and for good reason, which is why we have elected to take the show back to Dubai for a bigger, more in-depth look.

COUNTING THE COST

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As the days have gone by since Dubai World's debt bombshell, I have gotten the feeling that this issue is less and less about the actual debt, and more about people's faith in this part of the world as a stable economic hub.

It is not to say that people are not shocked about Dubai World's inability to pay its debt - they surely are - but what they are more shocked about is the way it has been handled. 

For so long they were told 'everything is alright here, do not worry'. But the rulers of Dubai were clearly hiding something, which leads to the obvious question - what more is being hidden?

I think investors are realistic - the debt is manageable. It will be sorted out somehow, be it through restructuring, selling off assets, or just the freeze which Dubai World wanted in the first place. 

But their confidence in Dubai is shot to pieces now, and that is going to be a lot harder to repair.

The expert's take on the crisis

Broadcasting from the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel  - what a view!
On to the show this week.

We will speak to financial experts here in Dubai - people who not only understand the mechanics of this crisis, but who also live here and have seen both the good and bad times. 

Watch out for local insight from Andrew Critchlow from Dow Jones Middle East, and Nadim Khan from law firm Herbert Smith who will explain to us in everyday terms the ins and outs of Islamic bonds, which are key to this crisis.

Also our own Dan Nolan is out and about, here in Dubai and up the road in Abu Dubai, comparing and contrasting the two emirates' fortunes.

And author Christopher Davidson is with us from Newcastle in the UK. He wrote a book in 2008 called Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success which kind of says it all, doesn't it?

So please join us for a special edition of Counting the Cost this week, coming to you from 42 storeys above Dubai. The view, much like the story, is quite something!

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2030; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0130, 1630; Monday: 0830; Tuesday: 0600.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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