‘Take advantage of Dubai’s growth’

DUBAI — The Singapore Consul General in Dubai, Dileep Nair, exhorted the Singaporean community to exploit the strong connections between his country and the Middle East, especially Dubai. Singapore celebrates its 45th National Day today 
(August 9).

By Lily B. Libo-on

Published: Tue 10 Aug 2010, 12:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:06 AM

The celebrations began on Friday night with 550 members of the Singaporean community coming together at Al Bustan Rotana in Dubai. Nair and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed awarded Kuilan Lan-Prince, dressmaker, and Manoj Sabhnani, businessman, for their contribution.

Nair said that Singapore should encourage people to be part of the improving situation of Dubai. “In the past year, economic activity was at its lowest, the mood glum, and people including Singaporeans left the emirate. Stability has been restored even if the property prices may slip a little further,” he said. “Dubai is a great base for the Middle East and Africa which Singaporean businessmen should exploit and enjoy.”

The relations between Singapore and the Middle East dated back a long time he said. “The ‘Jewel of Muscat’ dhow sailed from Oman to Singapore tracing the maritime Silk Route. It would be good to retrace the overland Silk Road, too,” he said.

Singaporeans in the UAE still stand at about 1,500, of which 1,200 are in Dubai. However, the Consul General hopes more Singaporeans will set up businesses here.

The Consul General lauded the efforts of the Singapore Women’s Group, Singapore Malay-Muslim Group and the Singapore Business Council for raising funds for Senses, a home for special needs children located at Umm Suquiem.

“With 1,200 Singaporeans here, I am hoping the Overseas Singaporean Unit would organise a mini Singapore Day, like the ones in New York and London. It is up to the various groups here to get together to organise the event,” said Nair.

The Consul General told Khaleej Times that the Singapore economy was predicted to shrink by six per cent to nine per cent, and unemployment touched four per cent, high by 2009 standards. “But today, the picture is much brighter,” he said. “The GDP forecast for 2010 is placed at 13 per cent to 15 per cent.”

A reception for diplomats and UAE government officials is being held tonight at the Baniyas Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hotel.


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