Dubai Calms Down

After nearly collapsing under the pressure of a free-wheeling building boom, Dubai is on the rebound. A new internal accounting effort is trying to explore what went wrong and how to avoid those mistakes in the future.
September 30, 2010, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"The auditors' task is to investigate exactly where the money went, who lined whose pockets, and what other financial landmines might lie in store. Forensic audits at state-linked firms, such as Dubai Holding, are part of a wider corruption probe that has targeted senior figures from Dubai's boom years.

But even as the accountants work to get to the bottom of the financial mess, Dubai is changing. Its rescue last year by Abu Dhabi -- details of which Reuters reports here for the first time -- has encouraged the city-state to become more conservative, both politically and socially. Dubai's crisis prompted a shift of power to the rulers in Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the seven states that make up the United Arab Emirates.

Now a chastened Dubai is recovering some of its confidence as it seeks to convince international investors it can deliver now where last year it failed."

With a new, more pragmatic approach to building and development, Dubai is expecting to step back in line with its goals of becoming a major player in the Middle East.

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Published on Thursday, September 30, 2010 in Reuters
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