Monday, October 20, 2008

"The financial crisis had claimed no casualties in the UAE. But as much as Dh200bn ($54bn, £31bn, €40bn) of foreign deposits had fled the system and rumours were circulating that at least one institution in Dubai, the federation’s strutting business hub, was in trouble. Across the Gulf, equity markets were in free fall as foreigners pulled out; interbank lending was drying up, most acutely in the UAE; and investors, both state and private, were seeing the value of international equity holdings plummet. As oil prices, the main driver of the Gulf boom, slid sharply towards $70 a barrel, Dubai’s high levels of debt reinforced concerns over the bubble forming in its property market. Local bankers were becoming anxious."