The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), representative body of the private sector, is clueless about the quantum of Qatari investments in Dubai’s volatile market.
If at all, the investment from here in Dubai could be small, said QCCI’s Vice-Chairman, Abdul Aziz Al Emadi.
He refused to hazard a guess about the volume of investments and instead said that everyone today was talking of Doha emerging as the most attractive destination for foreign investment in the region.
“We have been hearing for the past two to three years that Kuwait was earlier the regional business hub, Dubai was until recently and now it is Doha’s turn,” Al Emadi told this newspaper.
But prominent businessman, Ahmed Al Khalaf, said there will indeed be direct or indirect impact of Dubai’s crisis on Qatar as a lot of financial institutions and individuals had routed investment there.
Dubai’s economy peaked during 2007-08 attracting a lot of investment from here as well other regions of the world.
He said he had no idea about the volume of Qatari investments in Dubai and said the announcement of the Emirate facing a severe financial crunch came at a time the world had just begun to recover from the economic meltdown.
“The world has responded with shock to Dubai’s crisis … They (Dubai) should have made the announcement about their financial woes later,” said Al Khalaf.
When told that Dubai has problems at a time the view in cash-rich GCC is that it is advisable to park the surplus local wealth in the region, Al Khalaf said since the region has huge reserves it is difficult to invest all of it in the region.
First of all, the region is not so big as to accommodate all the surplus wealth. Secondly, it is important to diversify the investments both geographically as well sector-wise, to ensure they are safe and promise good returns, he added.
According to him, Qatar can emerge as a viable alternative to Dubai as an attractive investment destination since its economy is based on real assets and infrastructure development is taking place fast.
However, another businessman told this newspaper on grounds of anonymity that since Dubai had most of the foreign investment concentrated in the real estate sector, it was not possible for Qatar to ape it in that respect because the property market here was almost saturating.