PETALING JAYA: Malaysian architects have not been adversely affected by the current debt crisis affecting Dubai, the past president of Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) Dr Tan Loke Mun said.

He said most Malaysian architects and architectural firms had already pulled out of the city last year when the global economic crisis hit. Although there are still some Malaysian architects there, the recent debt crisis in Dubai has not been a major setback to them.

“Many architects have left Dubai a year ago, but some Malaysian architectural firms are still doing good there,” he added.

Dubai World, the emirate’s investment company roiled markets when it sought a “standstill” agreement on Nov 26 to delay repayment of debts of more than US$59 billion (RM198.24 billlion) – the biggest sovereign default since Argentina in 2001. Its debts include US$3.52 billion of bonds due Dec 14 from property unit Nakheel PJSC.

Following the news, Dubai and Abu Dhabi shares slumped on Nov 30. Most stocks were trading near their lowest limits for the day.

Dubai has suffered the world’s steepest property slump in the global recession, with home prices dropping 50% from their 2008 peak, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

Jumeirah beach in front of office tower blocks in Dubai (photo by Reuters)