CEO Blog

Firmly making its mark on the global map: The UAE

Hisham Farouk Hisham Farouk

 

The United Arab Emirates continues to be resilient in a temperamental global climate. Opportunities to do business within the region have seen an upward increase with other sectors now emerging as impervious as the once prominent oil & gas industry. With increased governmental initiatives, drive and change, the UAE has continued to grow and attract inbound investment from around the world, further stamping it on the global map.

Dubai’s economy from 1975 through 2008 grew by a factor of 11, making it the fastest-growing economy in the world over the period, says a study by the Dubai Economic Council. When comparing this, it is consistently higher than other markets and equivalent to key international markets such as Hong Kong and the United States further highlighting Dubai’s prevalence globally.

It is predicated that Dubai’s economic growth could hit as high as 5.6 per cent this year (2014) further boosting the economy as a result of the regional developments and continued international investment due to the landscape of opportunity present here.

The dirham which is pegged to the US dollar is freely convertible which further support’s businesses looking to expand into this market. There are no restrictions on profit transfer or capital repartition, import duties are comparably low, there is no corporate or personal tax and numerous taxation agreements are in place, making the UAE a fluid economy. 

The government has continued to increase investment in the emirate, besides steps to attract foreign direct investments. With privatization as the key word in the economic development, the government and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been making strenuous efforts to attract private capital. This in return, has increased the tempo of the industrial activity and production in the emirate along with increasing the tempo in the services sector.

Investment in the UAE reflects the continued growth of the region post the economic downturn experienced around the world. Economic restructuring has been underpinned by efforts to strengthen the business climate and foster the emergence of a more vibrant private sector. 

So what will the landscape look like in 2020? And will Dubai be known internationally as the land of opportunity? 

With the Expo 2020 win estimated to add $24 billion to the UAE economy and create innumerable opportunities which would be present due to the increased demand in various sectors namely leisure and tourism (with an estimated 25 million visitors expected to arrive), construction and logistics, I believe there’s no question that the landscape of Dubai will dramatically change by 2020. 

There has been an influx of construction projects which continue to promote innovation and change within the region. It was announced that Dubai is already seen as key and the driving force for construction within the region.  The GCC Construction Projects Market 2015 also announced that 15% of all construction projects were awarded to Dubai, which continues to add to the economy. 

This in turn, has placed increased emphasis on developing future entrepreneurs and the leaders of tomorrow, to further promote business activity and foster the future of the region. Dubai is already making great strides to further stamp its mark on the world map however, the next couple of years need to be approached with caution to ensure the market doesn’t become saturated and that the legacy that Dubai has been built on continues for years to come. 

 

References:
Dubai economic growth may hit 5.6%, Khaleej Times, accessed 22 Sept 2014 via http://www.khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/uaebusiness/2014/August/uaebusiness_August269.xml&section=uaebusiness 
 
Dubai Economic Council study, The National, accessed 22 Sept via http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/dubai-33-year-growth-rate-was-worlds-fastest#ixzz3E1nPePbV 
 
Dubai is a key barometer of region’s construction market, The National, accessed 22 Sept via http://www.thenational.ae/uae/dubai-is-a-key-barometer-of-regions-construction-market#ixzz3E2jqhO3s