Way to go, UAE; let's get the Arab world on board

This country has shown it can weather economic storms with elan and its success despite the odds is an invitation to countries in the region to progress together, setting aside differences and rivalries.



Published: Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

The UAE's efforts to diversify its economy is paying dividends, but His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, wants to spread the benefits to the larger Arab world. He said the country would continue its long-term strategy that focuses on a knowledge economy, and away from its reliance on oil.

Smart thinking has gone into this shift to other sectors like tourism, industry, aviation, maritime transport, railways, exports and re-exports. The non-oil sector has achieved impressive growth rates of 8.1 per cent in 2014, and its contribution to the economy is already 68.6 per cent of constant price GDP. The government hopes to increase it to 80 per cent with intensive investment across sectors.

Shaikh Mohammed hopes this diversification would be a bulwark against frequent instability in global markets. The UAE also has major plans to develop the Islamic Economy, which could enhance its position as a leading commercial and financial centre.

National production has jumped from Dh1.3 trillion in 2006 to Dh2.5 trillion in 2014, with manufacturing growing to Dh450 billion from Dh230 billion eight years ago. The financial sector has seen double-digit growth of 15 per cent; its contribution to the GDP now being Dh122 billion.

Growth across sectors proves the UAE continues to be open for business. The country wants the best talent to work in the many industries that have come up; it wants the best corporations to invest here. Entrepreneurship will be rewarded, while research and development on innovative new ideas, technology, products and services is expected to drive the future of the nation.

What’s more significant is that Shaikh Mohammed has framed a larger vision – an Arab vision for growth and development. This country has shown it can weather economic storms with élan and its success despite the odds is an invitation to countries in the region to progress together, setting aside differences and rivalries. This is no time to tarry, they should seize the economic opportunity offered by the UAE.


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