The restructurers, whose job is to turn the dross of corporate failure into gilt-edged profitability, have had a good crisis.
While bankers and other financial professionals are still tarred with the blame for causing the 2008-2009 crash, the restructurers can plausibly present themselves as the experts who can help companies to clean up the mess, for a fee of course.
For Ian Schneider, the head of Middle East restructuring for the global accounting firm PwC, restructuring is a career-long vocation that has brought him round the world many times ("it's easier to name the countries I haven't worked in", he says) before landing in Dubai two years ago.
A couple of weeks ago, Mr Schneider and his firm were honoured at a Dubai awards ceremony as Middle East "firm of the year", thanks largely to its work on what was billed as the "corporate finance deal of the year": the restructuring of Dubai's troubled shipbuilding and repair business Drydocks World (DDW).
DDW's restructuring of some US$2.2 billion (Dh8.08bn) of debts set a new standard in the UAE restructuring business: it was the first company to apply for bankruptcy protection under Decree 57, the insolvency provisions designed to help Dubai World restructure its $25bn of debts in 2010. "Nobody had done it before, and you have to recognise that the DDW management showed a degree of courage to overcome the stigma that had previously been attached to bankruptcy. It was a key reason the deal got done," says Mr Schneider.
The fact that Decree 57 was necessary at all illustrates what he regards as an important trend in the restructuring business, and a long-term effect of the financial crisis.
"The latest crisis was a more financially driven one than any we've ever seen before. There were fewer financial institutions able to step forward with the resources to do anything about it. Globally, banks found themselves overstretched but at the same time coming under pressure from regulators to strengthen capital requirements.
"The result was that many banks sold their loan positions to, let's call them funds, whether they be hedge funds, investment funds or vulture funds. These people were speculatively buying debt in the hope of a quick profit. It made for a very different dynamic compared with traditional bank lending," he says.
The difference was clear in the DDW restructuring. While a big majority of traditional lenders early on gave approval to proposals to restructure DDW's debts, some funds held out for better terms, what Mr Schneider calls "ransom value". Use of Decree 57 eventually got them in line, and the restructuring was agreed and completed in October.
"Maybe the UAE business community should look to the case of DDW and agree that that's how deals get done," Mr Schneider underlines.
He believes the need for restructuring expertise can only grow in the region. Many of PwC's rivals in the field have set up restructuring units, mostly based in Dubai, since the Dubai World crisis.
Lawyers, investment banks and specialist consultants have also been beefing up their restructuring businesses.
But, according to Mr Schneider and many other financial professionals, there will be no shortage of demand for the restructurers' services. He believes PwC has an advantage over its rivals because of what he calls its "more collegiate" approach to doing business in the region.
"A lot of the deals done back in 2009-2010 will have to be restructured again. They were done in a very uncertain environment, and at least enabled the corporate position to be solidified and stabilised. But in the different circumstances we face today, many of those deals will have to be revisited."
Dubai alone faces having to repay about $40bn in debt maturities over the next two years in government and government-related corporations. In some cases, asset values have not recovered sufficiently to allow debtors to repay debts through previously agreed asset disposal programmes.
"A lot of the first round of restructuring will have to be restructured again, but at least now people in the region are more experienced at it. Family businesses, for example, have begun to recognise the need for restructuring advice and expertise. Increasingly, they are asking for help, but it is still a challenge to get some of the more traditional businesses to see the need," he says.
He is working on some of the UAE's more complex family business restructurings at the moment. PwC is advising creditors to the indebted Abu Dhabi conglomerate Al Jaber, which has been in restructuring mode for the past two years. "It's moving positively forward," he says.
He is also advising banks involved in the attemptby the Sharjah-based Fal Oil to restructure about $1.1bn of debt in a convoluted story involving allegations of unpaid utility bills, missing oil cargoes and expensive legal actions.
"It's going through a court process, there has been progress but it's slow," he says.