UAE to Pull Out of Crisis

DUBAI - Prominent businessmen, corporate heads, opinion-makers and citizens across the UAE on Sunday reacted with enthusiasm and excitement to the unprecedented media e-session His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had with journalists on Saturday.

By Issac John And Abdul Basit

Published: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 12:23 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 10:10 PM

The general consensus was that the candid and clear message from the visionary leader helped to restore confidence in the nation’s economy and its great future, notwithstanding the impact of the global financial turmoil on the country. Following are excerpts taken from comments made by a cross-section of national and expatriate population on the leader and his vision for the nation.

Shaikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Dubai-based businessman and founder of Barjeel Securities: Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid, as Prime Minister of the country, was representing all Emiratis in his candid question and answer session. Contrary to what some media reports have stated the UAE is not in denial with regards to the global economic crisis. Shaikh Mohammed has developed a sound fiscal policy to see Dubai and the UAE out of this crisis such as continuing work on the Dubai Metro Project and the announcement of a UAE wide rail project. In the Arab world Shaikh Mohammed’s accessibility to journalists and citizens was always clear. I recall seeing him in numerous occasions during the Arab Media Summit and the Arab Strategy Forum in which any journalist or participant can freely approach him to chat.

Mohammed bin Brek, Group CEO, Dubai Properties Group: His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has injected a much-needed positive energy into Dubai and the UAE. He has answered a spectrum of questions raised by the foreign media while allaying the fears of the investors. Through the e-interview, he has provided facts that a few hardly noticed or even knew they existed. The positive messages will definitely help the markets register speedier recovery.

Sunny Varkey, Founder & Chairman of GEMS Education: We have always believed in the UAE and its immense potential for the global business community. His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s interaction with the media sought to highlight UAE’s inherent strength and the way forward for Dubai. His candid responses on numerous issues certainly helped to give more clarity about the vision for Dubai and also about the UAE government’s stance on various global and regional issues. Dubai has already made its mark as a global brand, and it will continue to grow under his visionary leadership. As group, we have not slowed our pace of growth and will never intend to do so in future as we are reassured that the long-term future of the UAE is sound and secure.

Yusuffali M.A., Managing Director of EMKE Group and Director of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry: Once again His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid has shown his leadership quality. This was thekind of transparent and clear message the business community of the UAE as well as the world was looking forward toand Shaikh Mohammed has delivered it in astrong manner. These candid statements are sure to silence the so called “opinion makers” and boost the inflow of foreign investmentinto Dubai and the UAE faster than expected. The fact that the government is not planning to resort to measures such as the introduction of income tax is a clear signal that the UAE is fully confident of its resources and has enough capabilities to tide over any temporary crisis situation.

Dr. Ram Buxani, Group President, ITL Group-Cosmos: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum has indeed demonstrated his inherent wisdom by trying to put critics at rest by addressing, in minute detail, to most of the issues which have surfaced recently against this beautiful city state. I have hardly come across a Prime Minister of a country going among people to clarify the country’s stand in such a pragmatic manner. It will surely infuse a strong dose of confidence in this young country. He has shown his inherent strength by saying “Rumours have never targeted unsuccessful, backward or marginal people”.

Kamal Vachani, Director Al Maya Group: The openness with which His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum responded to media questions has helped to reinforce the business community’s confidence in the UAE and raised hopes of a fast recovery. We are, indeed, very much confident that all our investments in the UAE will remain safe and generate good returns. Dubai has always been different and it has enjoyed a reputation for its vibrant economy. The message sent by Shaikh Mohammed to the investment community will help Dubai continue to live up to its image as sought-after investment destination.

Markus Giebel, Chief Executive Officer of Deyaar: Today more than ever, amidst so much unfounded global speculation about the financial stability of Dubai and cohesiveness of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness has demonstrated that the city’s long-term future is secure and that the ties that bind the nation have never been stronger. Welcoming all questions about Dubai and its vision for sustained prosperity, Shaikh Mohammed has separated illusion from reality and fact from fiction. As a result, he has reassured the global community of this city’s unique strengths and the power of its vision for the future.

Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl: His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has demonstrated utmost transparency in honestly communicating with the media the issues that have recently been the subject of scrutiny not just among the respective stakeholders in this region, but also among the media worldwide. During the e-interview, Shaikh Mohammed confirmed that the sound strategy adopted by Dubai both before and after the crisis was proving to be the determining factor in aiding the emirate to move forward on the road to recovery and development.

Abdulla Al Hamli, CEO, Dubai Islamic Bank: By reaching out to the local and global community through this unique communications platform, Shaikh Mohammed has demonstrated again the spirit of openness and transparency that have for so long characterised the leadership of this great city. Through his words, Sheikh Mohammed has made clear that Dubai’s vision for the future remains grounded in real-world accomplishments and informed by a pragmatic plan to ensure our sustained growth and stability, despite the global financial crisis. This initiative has further enhanced the confidence of everyone in the future of our city.

Hussain Al Qemzi, Group CEO, Noor Islamic Bank: These are essential elements not only for modern businesses such as Noor Islamic Bank, but also for the continued development of Dubai as a financial hub. Even in these challenging times, the fundamentals of the Dubai and UAE economy remain strong. I am confident that combined efforts by the public and private sector will ensure that the UAE emerges from this crisis stronger and better positioned to play a significant role in the global economy.

Jeff Singer, CEO of NASDAQ Dubai: The economic and market indicators suggest that traders and investors in the international capital markets also believe the worst could be behind us. The equity spreads and market volatility on international companies have tightened.Here in the UAE, the candid comments made by Shaikh Mohammed are important to provide focus and transparency to the international community to give them confidence that Dubai is taking proactive steps to assure a solid business climate.

Rizwan Sajan, Chairman, Danube :It is an outstanding initiative from Shaikh Mohammad to address, on a global stage, the unfounded allegations surrounding the local economy, which will once and for all set the records straight on the true standing of Dubai amidst the global financial crisis. This categorically dispels the chaotic picture that is being painted of Dubai as far as business and societal development is concerned, and reinforces the potential of the current price correction to further drive the emirate’s viability as the foremost living and business destination in the region. We at Danube have always believed in the vision of the leaders of this country, as evident in our continuous investments into the UAE, which has peaked in the past six months.

Hussain Sajwani Chairman, DAMAC: I wholeheartedly agree with Shaikh Mohammed’s insightful and frank comments. He has shown his wisdom in speaking of the resilience of Dubai’s economy, and in answering some of the negative comments that have circulated in international media.

Sudhir Kumar Shetty, Chief Operating Officer, UAE Exchange and President of the India Social Centre: The prime minister’s statement is a morale booster and it has come at the appropriate time, because there were a lot of exaggerated reports on the adverse impact of the global financial crisis on the UAE and on Dubai in particular. The prime minister has come out with a clear vision, and it will ward off the doubts that some may have developed on the health of the UAE economy.

Ibrahim Al Ansari, CEO of Dubai First: The comments made by Sheikh Mohammed show that we are committed to a fair and transparent economy that works towards the prosperity of all. Like the rest of the world, Dubai and the UAE have been affected by the financial crisis. His Highness’ response to Dubai’s critics reflects his confidence in the business community to face these challenging times with calm and practical solutions.

More news from Business