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PM: Arab Spring fund flows to UAE exceed $8 billion

Feb. 11, 2013 2:34 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 11, 2013 9:19 P.M.)
DUBAI (Reuters) -- About 30 billion dirhams ($8.2 billion) of funds have flowed into the United Arab Emirates over the past two years from countries hit by the Arab Spring uprisings, the UAE's prime minister said on Monday.

"We received 30 billion dirhams from the Arab Spring...plus/minus," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also Dubai's ruler, said in answer to a question by a member of the public at an open forum of government officials.

Large amounts of capital fled Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and other Arab countries in search of safe havens after political and economic turmoil erupted in those countries in early 2011.

Because of its political stability and Dubai's status as an international business center, the UAE is known to have attracted a large share of the capital. But Sheikh Mohammed's figure was believed to be the first public estimate of the amount by a top official.

Sheikh Mohammed added, "We invested much more than that in such countries."

The oil-rich UAE has pledged billions of dollars in aid to help stabilize cash-strapped Arab countries since the uprisings began, and UAE companies have shown interest in investing in North Africa.
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