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Special: Covid-19 vaccine a vital economic jab

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on October 24, 2020 | Last updated on October 24, 2020 at 07.31 am
The availability of a vaccine will likely mean the removal of the fear factor amongst the global population. — Photo: Alamy

Around nine experimental vaccines for coronavirus are in the pipeline in different countries.

The approval of a Covid-19 vaccine, which is expected to be available by the end of 2020, will expedite the recovery of the UAE’s key sectors such as retail, travel and tourism, entertainment, trade and real estate, among others.


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, has said that a vaccine against Covid-19 could be ready by year-end, without elaborating. Around nine experimental vaccines for coronavirus are in the pipeline in different countries.


The UAE economy — as with others globally — was initially hit hard due to travel bans and lockdowns, causing the entire economy to halt for the time being as key pillars like tourists and traders were unable to transact freely during the stoppage period.


However, systematic and planned sound polices to tackle Covid-19 were put in place by the UAE, ensuring that not only active cases are under control but it will also help resume normal business activity.


Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Century Financial, said the availability of a vaccine will likely mean the removal of the fear factor amongst the global population. This would mean people travelling outside their home countries and place of work in order to enjoy and get away from fatigue induced of lockdowns and travel bans.


Roberto D’Ambrosio, CEO of Axiory Global, said should a reliable vaccine be found for Covid-19, the world economy will witness a positive impact.


"Travel and tourism will be the most impacted in the very short term, while real estate will follow suit right after as confidence from foreign investors, who again be able and willing to travel to the UAE to evaluate their investment in person, to invest in the UAE will definitely rise," he added.


"From a UAE perspective, another very important impact of a cure or a vaccine being clearly identified and available on a large scale is the acceleration that will definitely impact the expectations on the recovery of the global economy towards pre-pandemic trade and production levels and the avoidance of a strong second wave that would really cause economic and social havoc."


D’Ambrosio added that the direct consequence of such a positive outlook would be the rise in demand for oil that most certainly will follow and would benefits the UAE.


Valecha said UAE and global investors are increasingly betting on hopes of Covid-19 vaccine in the coming months.


"Looking at the absolute impact of vaccine availability on the economy, the UAE is likely to ride economic growth by its virtue of being a trade, transport and tourism hub. This would also mean that the UAE will act as a pillar and driver for economic growth across the Mena region with GCC neighbours likely to benefit the most," he added.


Sector-wise, he said the retail and tourism sectors are likely to outperform other traditional core sectors on back of vaccine availability.


"The UAE as a tourist destination will again be on every tourist’s radar. Similarly, on the trade and retail sector side, there could be further inflow and outflow of goods and services as more and more economies open up their borders for cross-border trade flows," added Valecha.


— waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com





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