THE RULER of Dubai yesterday slammed the reaction of international investors to the emirate’s debt crisis, claiming: “They do not understand anything.”<br /><br />A day after the finance minister said the government would not back debt-laden Dubai World, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum defiantly said: “We are strong and persistent. It is the fruit-bearing tree that becomes the target of (stone) throwers.”<br /><br />His comments came shortly after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, President of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, said the UAE economy was in good condition, after Dubai World rocked world markets by asking for a freeze on its debt repayments last week.<br /><br />Dubai World issued a statement yesterday for the first time with detailed plans for its debt obligations. The company said it was in constructive talks with creditors about restructuring $26bn of its $59bn debt pile.<br /><br />Bondholders and creditors have clubbed together to form a series of ad-hoc representative groups amid concerns that a six month standstill could lead to a much more radical restructuring. They are understood to be trying to ensure they have enough representation to veto any move they disagree with.<br /><br />The restructuring will only relate to certain subsidiaries, including Limitless Worlds and Nakheel, the troubled property company responsible for the emirate’s palm-shaped islands. Some $6bn of the debt relates to Nakheel.<br /><br />DP World, P&O Ferries, Jebel Ali Free Zone and the Istithmar investment fund are excluded from the current process and Dubai World said these businesses remained on a “stable financial footing”.<br /><br />The statement helped markets in London, where the FTSE closed 121.49 points higher at 5312.17. But Dubai closed down 5.61 per cent and Abu Dhabi fell 3.57 per cent.