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Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed: It's not a recession, it's a challenge

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Ruler of Dubai deals with debt
  • Sneak preview of CNN's exclusive interview with the Ruler of Dubai
  • Sheikh Mohammed on restructuring Dubai World
  • He said: "The companies are restructuring because it's a new world"

Watch CNN's exclusive interview with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates at the following times: Friday 25 June: 0915, 1945, Saturday 26 June: 0715, Sunday 27 June:0115, 0815, 1745 (all times GMT)

(CNN) -- The worst is over and Dubai is looking for new opportunities for growth, according to Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that he views the global recession as a challenge and that companies there are restructuring in response.

"I don't call it a recession, I call it challenge," said Sheikh Mohammed, who is also prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. "The companies are restructuring because it's a new world. You have to stop and restructure."

Dubai is home to the region's largest airport, largest airline and largest trade port. In the past two decades, the tiny Emirate has created a name for itself in finance, tourism and logistics.

I don't call it a recession, I call it challenge
--Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

But, the past six months have included a whole different set of challenges.

During this period, Dubai has been carrying out an across the board restructuring of Dubai World and many brands under Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle in which Sheikh Mohammed holds majority stakes.

It has restructured $23.5 billion worth of Dubai World's debt and is now dealing with the debt of other companies.

At the same time, Dubai's carrier, Emirates Airlines recently placed a colossal $11.5 billion plane order after passenger growth of 21 percent and profits of nearly a billion dollars last year.