Poised for Progress

Raju MenonFounder, Chairman and Managing Partner, Kreston Menon
Raju MenonFounder, Chairman and Managing Partner, Kreston Menon

Raju Menon, Founder, Chairman and Managing Partner of Kreston Menon on 50 glorious years of the UAE

As we celebrate the UAE’s 50 years, it is with extreme gratitude we recollect the contributions of the visionary leader, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who laid the foundations for this nation. Today, under the able leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, the country’s development is a model for other nations to follow.

Strategically located between Europe, South and Far East Asia and Africa, the UAE’s position as a global intersection has enabled it to become one of the most sought-after economic hub. Currently, the UAE is placed very high on World Bank’s annual ease of doing business ranking and is always streamlining the processes to better the position. The UAE is the only Arab country to be listed in the top 10 competitive countries for four consecutive years. Dubai has been ranked the fifth best city in the world and was hailed for its innovation, infrastructure, iconic landmarks and world class entertainment. The economic and political environments which are highly conducive for businesses to thrive, make the nation a favourable destination for enterprises across the spectrum – from large multinational conglomerates, small and medium businesses to fleet-footed, innovative startups. The decisive economic measures and new amendments to the residency and investment legislations initiated by the leadership of the UAE has stimulated the flow of foreign investments into the country.

The next 50 years and beyond

The UAE’s approach to future and progress are reflected in the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create.”

The UAE has set its target high to be the ‘numero uno’ in all the competitive indexes by the centennial anniversary of the Union in 2071. The aspiring national strategy ‘Towards the next 50’ aims to represent the UAE’s next 50 years, building on the foundation of the progress made in the past 50 years.

‘Projects of the 50’, the momentous series of economic and social initiatives that have charted the nation’s priorities for the next 50 years, fosters the established approach of the UAE to build an attractive environment for foreign investment, with new regulations and incentives to attract investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and professional talents from around the world, which in turn will enhance career competencies and talents of the citizens and residents of the UAE and ensure a brighter tomorrow for the next generation.

The roadmap chartered by the UAE for the future includes visionary initiatives like the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, Food Security Strategy 2051, Dubai Clean Energy Strategy, Fujairah 2040 plan, National Advanced Sciences Agenda 2031, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Environment Vision 2030, Dubai Industrial Strategy 2031, Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, United Global Emirates and Make it in the Emir¬ates and these programmes will be guided by the recently announced ‘Principles of the 50’.

The UAE recently launched the Entrepreneurial Nation Project by which it aims to become home to 20 start-ups, each worth more than $ 1 billion by 2031, thus making the country the hub for promising Unicorns.

According to the latest UAE Ministry of Economy report, SME’s represent over 94 per cent of all companies operating in the UAE, with 73 per cent operating in the wholesale and retail sector, 16 per cent in the services sector and 11 per cent in the industry sector. By initiatives such as HUB 71 backed by Mubadala, Soft¬bank Vision Fund and Microsoft the government aims to promote the role of SMEs in the economy.

The credit of the UAE being ranked third among 27 emerging global economies goes to the leadership’s long-term strategies on being a launchpad for imagining, designing and executing future innovations.

The word ‘futuristic’ has become synonymous with the UAE, as a country that not only embraces the future, but courageously creates it! UAE is geared up for 2071 and beyond!

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