Dubai's ruler said the emirate would go forward with all development projects within a year in an interview with CNN broadcast on Friday, after billions of dollars worth of projects were canceled in the wake of the global financial downturn.
Everything we started, we are going to finish. Maybe some projects that we are thinking of, or in the books, might be delayed for 6 months, 8 months, 1 year, but the rest is going forward, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said.
The economy of the United Arab Emirates, the world's third largest oil exporter and to which Dubai belongs, is expected to see the slowest growth in the Gulf region this year, with banks heavily exposed to a $23.5 billion restructuring of debt-laden state conglomerate Dubai World .
Asked whether Dubai needed additional external support to proceed with current restructuring, Sheikh Mohammed said: I'm not worried about the company, the company have got the wealth.
Sheikh Mohammed, also vice president and prime minister of the UAE federation, did not say which company or projects he was referring to in the transcript provided to Reuters.
Dubai World reached a deal in May with key banks after a multi-billion dollar bailout from the UAE's capital and wealthier emirate, Abu Dhabi, but the remaining creditors still await the final terms.
A unit of another conglomerate, Dubai Holding which is owned by Sheikh Mohammed and that belongs to the matrix of firms commonly known as Dubai Inc., has said it might sell assets to deal with its debt after a $6.2 billion loss in 2009.
The loss increased challenges faced by Dubai Holding to meet its obligations, estimated at $14.8 billion out of a total $109 billion owed by the government of Dubai and its entities.
Sheikh Mohammed also indicated he was not concerned about economic challenges in the OPEC member country.
No, Dubai and UAE, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the emirates are fine, you know, we know it is recession, we know it is (a) challenge and we dealing with it, he said.
The UAE, the second-largest Arab economy, is seen expanding by 2.1 percent this year after an estimated 1.4 percent contraction in 2009, lagging behind its regional peers.
Sheikh Mohammed also said rejoining a planned Gulf monetary union was not on the cards. The euro is in trouble and we thought of the Gulf currency and we said, well the UAE said 'not yet' and I think they are right, until we are sure, he said.
The UAE quit the plan to launch a single currency in the world's largest crude exporting region last year, after losing its bid to host a joint central bank to Saudi Arabia.
(Reporting by Martin Dokoupil and Erika Solomon; editing by Miral Fahmy)