UAE fights Covid-19: Dubai in the fast lane to recovery

Dubai - Customs declarations, business registrations record exceptional surge.



By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 29 Nov 2020, 6:35 AM

Last updated: Sun 29 Nov 2020, 8:01 AM

All roads lead to Dubai as the emirate’s strategic sectors such as travel and tourism, trade and Mice are well on track to register a rapid recovery from the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dubai Customs saw transactions rising by 24.5 per cent to 11.2 million during the first nine months of 2020 compared to nine million in the corresponding period last year, thanks to a sharp rise in transactions reflected the strength and resilience of the economy and the emirate’s proven capability to weather external economic shocks.

Customs declarations climbed 33 per cent in the first nine months of the current year to reach 9.7 million declarations, an average of more than one million declarations a month, compared to 7.3 million in the same period last year. The impressive figures point to Dubai’s strong economic foundations and its ability to quickly rebound from the impact of global headwinds.

The number of business registration transactions saw a surge of 84.5 per cent to reach 201,000, compared to 109,000 in the corresponding period last year. Also completed were 648,000 refund claims, 357,600 certificate and report requests, and 257,000 inspection-booking requests as of the end of September.

“Dubai has shown great potential to bounce back strongly from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is reflected in the continued confidence of global investors in the strength and resilience of the economies of Dubai and the UAE,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

“We are heading into the next 50 years with world-leading multimodal infrastructure and logistics capabilities, as well as substantial stimulus strategies and initiatives that are helping shape our country’s economy into one of the world’s best.

“The trade sector plays a pivotal role in Dubai’s economic diversification. Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation has been working diligently to put in place advanced, integrated systems and technologies that accelerate the completion of transactions and support the smooth flow of external trade. All this has helped position Dubai as one of the best trade and logistics hubs in the world, and provide a highly-attractive environment for leading international investors and businesses,” Bin Sulayem added.

“We have succeeded in standing up to the challenges posed by the pandemic by taking comprehensive precautionary measures against the virus without disrupting business operations. The strong investment in advanced technologies and efficient governance programmes over the years have allowed us today to complete 99.3 per cent of transactions through smart and electronic channels [61.3 per cent smart, 39.28 per cent electronic], with on-the-counter physical transactions accounting for as little as 0.7 per cent,” said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director-general of Dubai Customs.

Sundar Nurani, vice-chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) – Dubai chapter, said the travel and leisure sectors should improve once quarantine requirements are removed.

“The UAE, being the most sought-after destination, should contribute to this recovery. This will support the recovery of the aviation sector and its related supply chain. Appetite for basic goods should boost the consumer sector too,” said Nurani.

Anish Mehta, chairman of ICAI Dubai chapter, said other promising sectors that have growth prospects post-Covid-19 period will be high-end technologies, advanced healthcare facilities and internet-related services.

Meanwhile, Dubai Tourism also hosted a physical meeting of over 600 key executives from leading establishments in the hospitality, travel, leisure and retail sectors, highlighting the safe restart of the events sector and the city’s gradual move towards normalcy.

Industry executives share their industry outlook amid a resurgence in the sector since Dubai’s reopening to international tourists on July 7.

“Dubai’s proactive approach and exceptional cross functional management of the situation, has put us in a first mover position to reopen to global markets as and when they reciprocally open, allowing the city to be ahead of the curve,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general, Dubai Tourism.

“We are greatly encouraged by the pace of the industry’s recovery since the city opened its doors to international tourists almost five months ago. The steady influx of travellers indicates that we are on the right track. We hope to perform even better before the year draws to a close, accelerating momentum as we move towards the full reopening of the sector. This critical period has highlighted the resilience of our ecosystem, especially the hotel industry, which took the lead in reviving domestic tourism and creating a positive perception of the industry,’ said Almarri.

— waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

AFP file photo
AFP file photo

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