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Dubai ruler says crisis over, denies illness rumour

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  • Dubai ruler says crisis over, denies illness rumour

    DUBAI, April 19 (Reuters) - The ruler of Dubai said on Sunday rumours that he had been ill were part of a "psychological war" against the Gulf emirate, and that Dubai had got over the worst of the financial crisis.

    Responding to reporters' questions, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said on his website (www.uaepm.ae) that he was in excellent health and had taken part in endurance horse races over the past few months, one of which was over 120 km (75 miles).

    "The rumours about me are part of what resembles a psychological war against Dubai over the past months ... I am well, praise God, and my health is in the best form," said Sheikh Mohammed, thought to have been born in 1949, who is also prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.

    Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the UAE federation, is a regional trade and tourism hub.

    Dubai's decision to allow foreign investment in property in 2002 kicked off a regional property boom, but it has since suffered under the global financial crisis.

    "We did not at any time feel that the financial crisis is a threat. The worst is over and behind us," said Sheikh Mohammed, who rarely speaks to the media.


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