Dubai’s and the UAE’s handling of the pandemic with a massive and speedy vaccination campaign has been a game changer for companies that were hit hard last year. Yes, Dubai is back in business just in time for the Expo that was off to a spectacular start last week. Confidence among companies is at a 10-year high even as the health and economic crisis tapers off. A commendable achievement for a city that’s never short of enterprise and dynamism. Tourists are returning to the country, hiring has picked up, and Dubai is connecting the world like before again. There’s a spring in its step. Business sentiment is positive, and confidence is rising as people put behind a dismal 2021 to return to a life they once knew here in the city.
But then, the emirate is not all about business. It’s about people and their livelihoods and how to make fresh starts after taking it on the chin. It is open, free and welcoming of people from all over the world. The city does not give up nor does it rest on its laurels. It built and continues to build modern marvels for the global traveller and settler in search of adventure and fortune. It seeks and finds opportunities despite the challenges. This future city is sturdy, gutsy and uncompromising in its goals. Only the best will suffice for this metropolis even in the worst of times. And it put its best foot forward last year when the world was grappling with the destruction caused by the coronavirus. In fact, it never took its leg off the development pedal even during the pandemic. Stimulus packages were rolled out for businesses that were struggling to stay afloat. Now, the same firsts are staying and paying back the city that never deserted them in their year of need.
The World Bank, in its latest report, forecast that the UAE would grow 4.6 per cent next year thanks to tourists returning to the country for the Expo. Trade tourism, hospitality and logistics — Dubai’s traditional strengths — are expected to see the most activity during the next six months. The emirate, in fact, has played to its sectoral strengths and the effort is paying off. Last but not the least, credit for the UAE’s and Dubai’s stunning business comeback should go to its leadership. There is no need to panic, they said as they calmed fears of the public and businesses last year. They called for patience as they dug deep into their reservoir of wisdom and experience with the right strategy to contain the pandemic. They implemented health plans quickly and effectively. They waited for scientists to come up with vaccines and made history with a campaign that has seen no parallel in the world. For companies, the Expo offers a fresh, robust start to become more global from Dubai. This is their time.
Many residents have taken a third booster dose. Some have even taken a fourth. All this has been for free as the government opened its coffers for the sake of public health
Today, it’s not uncommon to spot images of UAE royals on social media reaching out to common men and women and hailing them for their extraordinary acts of courage and resilience