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02 December 2023

Dubai Government reveals how it overcame the global financial crisis

By Waheed Abbas

The Government of Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF) on Thursday released a report which highlighted how it overcame the 2009 global financial crisis by taking a number of measures, saying that the Government of Dubai was “not adversely affected” by the credit crunch which had spread across the globe.

“The Government of Dubai was not drastically affected by the economic crisis unlike many other countries who engaged in budget reduction that contributed to deepening the recession and lengthened their recovery period,” DOF said in its report titled “The Global Financial Crisis – Lessons Learned”.

Under the sub-headline “How Dubai overcame crisis”, it stated that apart from a range of measures the government took, it says fees were not increased but rather some were decreased and also it allowed the private sector and individuals to pay government fees in installments. All these measures helped the government overcome the crisis and improve the financial situation.

The Department of Finance said Dubai took following steps to overcome the crisis:

- Approved the largest budget in the history of Dubai, amounting to Dh41.36 billion in the fiscal year 2009.

- Completed all ongoing projects, the most important being the Dubai Metro which was inaugurated on 9/9/2009 without any delay.

- Activated the policy of public spending efficiency in operating expenses and increased capital expenditures to maintain the quality of government services.

- Complied with public financial policies.

- Fees were not increased but rather some were decreased.

- Put in place a policy whereby government fees are paid by installments for the private sector and individuals.

- Restructured financial and banking institutions and increased the government’s involvement, thus improving their financial situations to overcome the crisis, and merged some of the local banks to build strong entities able to face crises.

- Established a supreme fiscal committee

- Established executive financial team for Dubai Government

- Established Dubai Financial Support Fund.

- Supported and restructured struggling companies to operate again, mainly Nakheel and Dubai Holding.

- Established debt management.

- Established The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).