Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Turnaround Target: Dubai

The National Abu Dhabi

We were buying during this crisis because we felt that from a longer-range point of view there were good opportunities. We think Dubai will continue to lead the move toward greater disclosure, more transparency and a boom in tourism and knowledge industries.

Of course there are hiccups and problems along the way, but .. the environment is very good for investors .. with prices coming down, and of course the negative views and the problems will not go away.

A turnaround in Dubai could come “very quickly,” thanks to bullishness among foreign investors and growth in the world money supply as central banks keep interest rates low.

The newly printed money sloshing around the global economy from government stimulus programs needs a destination, and the Gulf will surely be one of the places it goes.

If you have this pressure of money supply building up, banks have to eventually start lending again and they must find places to lend.

Openness from the Government about its policies and plans was crucial to Dubai’s recovery. It should also adopt more liberal immigration policies akin to those in Hong Kong and Singapore to attract skilled workers to the country, and take steps wherever possible to facilitate smoother flows of labor and capital.

The only weakness may be in censorship of the media; it’s got to become more open. The degree to which they become more liberal in that respect will help them in attracting people and attracting ideas and opening up the financial system.

Turnaround may be a quick one

December 17. 2009

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