The man with his own UAE community blog category has added his voice to the speculation about what the Dubai default ways about relations between Abu Dhabi and Dubai:
The answer to this conundrum lies in both the past and the present, as an age-old rivalry has resurfaced that sees Dubai unwilling to part with its autonomy and come to the table. Dubai, after it broke away from the sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi in 1833, survived repeated attempts at reintegration only because of its peace treaties with Britain. Even in the 1940s, with Britain fully engaged in the second world war and less able to give attention to the region, there was an armed conflict between the two sheikhdoms. In 1979, just eight years after the UAE was formed, a constitutional crisis threatened to break the UAE apart, with Dubai resentful of increasing Abu Dhabi-led centralisation. It is remarkable that Dubai agreed to merge its armed forces - the Dubai Defence Force - into the federal military only in 1996.Read it all.
In the light of this history of some tension, Abu Dhabi has taken an unexpectedly shrewd stance on the financial disaster. Its thinking appears to be that Dubai’s bad debts really are bad, and could well end up becoming black holes. Moreover, if Abu Dhabi gets involved now, then the lawsuits that will almost certainly be coming Dubai’s way may land on the desks of the federal government or even those of Abu Dhabi.
There is a deeper point. Sheikh Mohammed, his crown prince, and his top lieutenants are now all exposed as having long circumvented the truth; as a result, the ruling family has suffered a massive loss of legitimacy, both internationally and in the eyes of Dubai’s business elite and citizenry. Yet at the time of writing there have been no signs of humility; on the contrary, the ruler stated on 1 December that investors “do not understand anything”.
Christopher Davidson has not always been popular with either ruling family, but he's a favorite of the reporter looking for a quote.