Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai or Goodbye
Reading the New York Times yesterday I was reminded of the sheer mention of the boom year anthem 'Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai or Goodbye', how the petro dollar deluge had driven what became the icon of the new world order from a rising star to a falling meteor. It never ceases to amaze me how many financial types never even realized that Dubai didn't have any oil and was built on the foundations of commerce, property and mega growth.
In the eye of the storm remains Dubai World with its Nakeel, Isthimar and Dubai Port's business units, though for many what is now clouding the issue remains internal political struggles, bail outs by its wealthy neighbors and talk of liquidating assets in order to meet its debt servicing obligations. Property and real estate figure large into the equation where in many cases of existing investments have seen valuations shredded and new developments are yet completed in order to produce cash flow and yields. It's a classic Catch 22 and something has to give.
What's unclear for the moment is will a bail out resolve the issue or else could there be a great Dubai World asset sale that could creating a feeding frenzy with the substantial global portfolio of property? With close to US$60 billion in debt, and no real clarity on proper valuation of assets due to fluctuations in value, this looks to be a captivating story that is no going to go away any time soon.