With property markets stabilising and hopes that the worst of the financial crisis is behind us, Europe's banks are now looking to resolve their next biggest problem: 225 billion pounds of loans backed by UK commercial property.
Real estate prices are in freefall. Billions of dollars worth of projects have been cancelled or put on hold and expats are leaving in droves as they lose their jobs. Once a playground for the rich and super-rich, the seaside emirate — home to palm tree shaped islands, mega malls and luxury sky-rise hotels — has lost its lustre. And bargain-basement assets are not yet cheap enough to tempt buyers back.