A leading Dubai official said yesterday that the emirate was not in negotiation with Abu Dhabi to renegotiate US$20 billion in debt due for repayment next year.
“Dubai companies are doing well and can take care of their own debt,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Dubai’s supreme fiscal committee, was quoted by Reuters as saying yesterday.
The two emirates were not holding discussions to refinance the debt, he was quoted as saying.
The debt relates to US$10 billion from the Central Bank and a further $10 billion from National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Al Hilal Bank. It was lent to Dubai in 2009 amid a debt crisis that prompted Dubai World, the flagship Dubai Government-controlled conglomerate, to request a sixth month payment standstill agreement with its creditors.
Dubai World's debt restructuring was completed in 2011 and the emirate's economy has since revived aided by robust growth in trade, transport, tourism and, more recently the property market.
Still, the IMF said in a report in July that Dubai’s debt remained “substantial” at US$142 billion, about 102 per cent of GDP. Around $60bn of debt linked to Dubai government-related companies would fall due between this year and 2017, it said.