United Arab Emirates. According to countryaah, the Dubai debt crisis became acute at the end of November when the Emirate government announced that it wanted to renegotiate the loans the state-owned company Dubai World had taken to primarily finance luxury projects in the real estate industry. This involved most of Dubai’s total debt burden of USD 80 billion. The crisis caused stock markets around the world to collapse as lenders saw their investments threatened, but the most vulnerable were hundreds of thousands of guest workers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who in many cases lost their jobs and were forced to travel home heavily indebted.
The United Arab Emirates central bank had decided in February to lend US $ 10 billion to Dubai to help the emirate cope with the escalating debt crisis, but that had not helped. In December, the emirate Abu Dhabi lent as much. The United States was reported to have agreed on May 22 to supply fuel and equipment worth US $ 41 billion to the United Arab Emirates nuclear energy industry. The country was reported in May to have withdrawn from plans to join the currency union that the Gulf States Cooperation Council (GCC) planned. The background was assumed to be dissatisfaction with the organization’s plans to place the Union central bank in Saudi Arabia.
Following an agreement between the country’s government and the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, the government began to pay damages to about 900 former camel jockeys during the summer. Many of the boys had been kept isolated on camel farms, where they were put on starvation diets to become as light as possible and forced to ride despite risking breaking arms or legs. Since 2002, it has been prohibited to use children under the age of 15 as camel jockeys.
The Arabian Peninsula’s first metro line opened in September in the city of Dubai. The trains, which were driverless, went under ground in the city center and above ground outside the city.