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Business upbeat on Dubai’s brightening growth outlook

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 26, 2021
Dubai has undoubtedly overcome the pandemic’s global shockwave as a result of national teamwork.

The IMF has upgraded the UAE’s growth forecast to 3.1 per cent for 2021 in its latest World Economic Outlook, as compared to 1.3 per cent predicted in October 2020.

Dubai’s amazing journey of recovery from a Covid-19-induced economic slowdown is poised to get into top gear as the emirate decks up for the spectacular World Expo 2020, which is opening in a few days.

It is “all systems go” for the emirate’s resilient economy as business optimism has reached an all-time high while global investors and tourists prepare to explore the myriad opportunities and exciting experiences and prospects Dubai is showcasing during the next six months of breathtaking exposition.

The bullish outlook and future-readiness of Dubai are echoed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, as he tweeted on Tuesday that “the emirate has overcome the pandemic’s global shockwaves thanks to the directives and foresight of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”

The Crown Prince also sounded very upbeat about Dubai’s economic outlook, projecting that the economy is on track to grow by 3.1 per cent this year and by 3.4 per cent in 2022.

Sheikh Hamdan’s realistic growth projections are in line with the revised forecast made by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF has upgraded the UAE’s growth forecast to 3.1 per cent for 2021 in its latest World Economic Outlook, as compared to 1.3 per cent predicted in October 2020.

Business leaders and analysts shared their thoughts and aspirations about the brightening prospects of Dubai’s investor-friendly ecosystem and the dividends they expect to reap from the game-changing World Expo.

“This is commendable as the world is coming out of the economic distress and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies are expected to grow at only 2.2 per cent in 2021, according to the World Bank’s Gulf Economic Update published recently. Appreciate the focus on planning and execution by Dubai to move forward on a higher trajectory,” said Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare.

Dubai has undoubtedly overcome the pandemic’s global shockwave as a result of national teamwork and of directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said Shabbir Merchant, managing director, Champion Neon.

“The forecast economic growth is great news for all SMEs, corporates and government entities. This allows all businesses to gain back their confidence level as they can operate at full capacity and also add resources and capabilities to cater to the anticipated growth in local demand during Expo2020. There is already a huge influx of talent from across the world as companies are able to create employment opportunities.”

Merchant added: “I am confident that Dubai’s growth curve will continue to rise during and post Expo2020. We are proud to be operating our businesses out of Dubai, which is the host of the world’s greatest show — Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Paras Shahdadpuri, chairman, Nikai Group, said the Crown Prince’s tweet is very encouraging. “I have no doubt that Dubai’s economy will grow much higher than the estimated 3.4 per cent in 2022. After the devastating economic effects of Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy is growing with vengeance. The UAE’s position as a major trading and tourism hub, and its very energetic and dynamic national talent have helped the nation grow ahead of its peers in economic and cultural fields. I see a very bright future of c growth for the UAE in 2022 and beyond, particularly after Expo 2020.”

Faizal Kottikollon, chairman of KEF Holdings, said the UAE has, indeed, emerged as a beacon of hope for the world in the way it has handled the pandemic. “It has become a global hub for vaccine distribution and made several visionary policies facilitating collaboration on healthcare across the region. At KEF Healthcare, we are committed to partner with the UAE Government to make premium healthcare services available in an equitable and patient-centric manner, by leveraging world-class technology and clinicians.”

Bharat Bhatia, chairman and CEO of Conares, said the economic growth projection pushes the Dubai economy to the next level at this special time. “We are prepared to meet the expectation of Sheikh Hamdan. This prediction transmits the energy of growth and development of Dubai with the new world order and shouts out a message that what is Dubai is offering to the world in the next 10 years.”

Adeep Ahamed, managing director, Lulu Financial Holdings, said the leadership of the UAE has shown a strong commitment to stand by its people, and believe in the future of the country and its various emirates. Through various initiatives, and now the upcoming Expo, the country has emerged as a key hallmark of innovation and is rightfully charging ahead by prioritizing health and economic development in all spheres of life. “The mood is visibly upbeat, and several indices point towards a positive recovery, thanks in no small measure to the collaboration between the country’s leadership and its people.”

Taher Shams, managing director of Zulekha Healthcare Group, said: “‘50 years of Excellence’ is my definition of the transformation the UAE has seen as a nation and we are proud to be a part of this celebration this year. It is absolutely inspiring to see the way each challenge is taken in stride and dealt with strategically. The pandemic was only another challenge that hit the nation with the rest of the globe. The rigorous timely actions of the Government of UAE have ensured a promising recovery.”

Anita Guliakina, partner and co-founder of Anitas, said the successful handling of Covid-19 has helped Dubai and the UAE to bounce back. “Economic activities are returning to normalcy. With Expo 2020 getting ready to receive the world, we expect the economic growth to accelerate and we look forward to healthy growth in the coming business. Exciting times are ahead. We have already witnessed growth in our orders which is great.”

Imran Farooq, CEO, Samana Group, said the positive outlook of Dubai’s economy by Sheikh Hamdan has given a big boost to investor confidence, which will have a ripple effect across sectors and the Expo 2020.

“We, as a Dubai-based business group, witness the positive effects that are reflected in higher sales revenues pouring into our real estate business. It was all possible due to Dubai’s resilient approach during the global pandemic, its leaders’ determination and commitment to fight with a well-organised and successful vaccination drive across the country.”

PB Abdul Jebbar, group managing director, Hotpack Global, said Dubai has always been resilient against all kinds of economic barriers in the past and this forecast proves the same.

“We are extremely grateful to the Dubai Government for the support to businesses in different sectors. This forecast is expected to create colossal tangible and intangible economic benefits for Dubai. We can also look forward to new and expanded infrastructure that would serve business communities and societies in the long term.”

(with inputs from Sandhya D’Mello), — issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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