Doubters of Dubai, Abu Dhabi unity should "shut up" -ruler

DUBAI Mon Nov 9, 2009 4:27am EST

DUBAI Nov 9 (Reuters) - The ties between Abu Dhabi and Dubai should not be questioned, Dubai's ruler said on Monday, saying the two wealthy emirates were one "family."

Abu Dhabi is the biggest and richest in the seven-member United Arab Emirates federation, and the main contributor to the federal budget. Wide speculation that Abu Dhabi would be obliged to support Dubai through the global crisis -- either through the federal stimulus programmes or secret, bilateral deals -- led to talk of increasingly strained relations between the two.

"There is no Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we are one," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said at an investment meeting.

"Who doesn't understand this should do their homework before they start talking," he said.

"We will be there for each other when we need it."

"And I want to tell those people who nag about Dubai and Abu Dhabi to shut up.

(Reporting by John Irish and Rania Oteify; Writing by Amran Abocar, Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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