Dubai property may get state aid

DUBAI // Dubai-based property and construction companies could get more help from the state, a member of a Dubai committee formed to tackle the fallout of the global financial crisis said on Monday. "Everyone is facing challenging times," Omar bin Sulaiman, who is also deputy chairman of the UAE Central Bank, told Reuters on the sidelines of a legal conference. "You have already seen some help and I am sure you will see some more," he said, when asked if there was any consideration being given to offering financial support for Dubai's property sector.

Mr Sulaiman, governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, declined to be more specific. Dubai's property sector is facing a sharp price correction and some construction projects cancelled as a result of the economic slowdown. The UAE finance ministry and central bank have together launched Dh120 billion ($32.67 billion) of funding facilities to help banks cope with the crisis.

Abu Dhabi's move this month to inject Dh16bn into five of its banks has also raised questions about whether Dubai could take similar steps to help its banks face growing loan defaults and investment writedowns. *Reuters

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