Hashim Al Dabal, CEO of Dubai Properties, part of the Dubai government’s sovereign wealth fund, was arrested in a AED 200 million fraud case.

Law enforcement officers are questioning him over alleged irregularities involving suspicious property deals in Dubai.

Government officials avoided publishing details of the arrest until Dubai ruler sacked Al Dabal and appointed an interim acting CEO to take over Dubai Properties’ operations.

30 October 2009

Analysis and Forecast: increasing risk

This is the latest in a serious of fraud cases involving high-ranking officials in government-affiliated developers. Dubai Properties is behind some of Dubai’s major town-planning developments such as Business Bay and some of the free-zone areas, that have been behind much of Dubai’s boom.

A series of fraud cases last year have shaken the confidence in the transparency of Dubai and believed to have contributed to worsening the economic crash. The latest case is one of the biggest cases so far and comes several months after the previous cases were unveiled. It gives the image that corruption has in fact continued after the crackdown and at the highest levels of the supposedly safer government-owned entities. There may be more specific reasons why the action against Al Dabal took place at this time, but the effect the arrest will have on the long-term image is that corruption has not been rooted out and so will contribute to weakening recovery.