Dubai expects to defy expectations in 2012 as economic growth accelerates in the emirate. After nearly defaulting in 2009, until Abu Dhabi helped to restructure $20bn in debt, Dubai expects that two of its main companies will be able to refinance $3,25bn in debt without government financing. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the head of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Policy Committee, said that after expanding by 3% last year, Dubai’s economy could grow by 5% this year. Over the last two years, Dubai’s default risk has dropped and its benchmark stock index has grown by 12.5%. Travel and tourism have also grown significantly, and last year Dubai Airports saw an increase in traffic of 8% since 2010, handling a record 51 million passengers. Dubai and its state controlled companies face approximately $10.3bn in debt repayments this year.