UAE’s Economic Vision

Vision is the picture of the future that produces passion…………….Bill Hybels

Prior to the discovery of oil and its export in 1960, the economy of UAE sustained on fishing and pearl industry. Over the last few decades, the country has undergone immense transformation in technology, global trade and tourism which has led to its emergence as a global power. UAE is now not only the second largest Arab economy, but also the most competitive economy in the Middle East and North Africa (ranked 25th in the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report).

UAE is known for its great business policies supporting some of the major industries like tourism, banking, commerce and real estate. In recent years, the Government of UAE has taken great initiatives which include granting of 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in 13 sectors, relaxing visa restrictions and providing incentives to SMEs. All such measures are focused on improving ease of doing business, attracting foreign investors, creating jobs and expanding the economy away from oil.

In May 2019, the Director-General for Foreigners Affairs and Ports announced grant of 10-year visas for expatriate investors and professionals in select fields. This move is a step towards achieving a knowledge-based economy by attracting necessary human talent.

“The UAE is among the 10 most competitive countries in the world and our goal is to remain a top destination for ease of doing business, through an agile economy based on flexibility and openness. A strong economy drives us as a nation to be among the first and best.”- His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Earlier this year, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced a Dh50-billion economic stimulus package that will enable firms in free zones to work onshore, allow immediate issuance of commercial licences and create 10,000 jobs for Emiratis in public and private sectors.

To further improve the business ecosystem, UAE has formulated an agenda for achieving The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030.

Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 aims to build a sustainable economy coupled with social and regional development. The purpose is to stimulate non-oil sectors and reduce dependency on oil for economic growth. In order to achieve this, Abu Dhabi will focus on capital-intensive, export-oriented sectors. Further, it aspires to enlarge enterprise base, encourage innovation in value-added sectors and enhance competitiveness by optimizing workforce in low-productivity areas.

The aim of Industrial Strategy 2030 is to shape Dubai as the preferred manufacturing platform for global businesses by facilitating increased output and enhancing value-addition through energy-efficient manufacturing practices. This move will benefit certain sectors like aerospace, maritime, aluminium and fabricated metals, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, food and beverages and machinery and equipment- projected to generate an additional AED 160 billion by 2030.

In the near future, Dubai will be hosting Expo 2020, in which 134 nations will come together to showcase innovation and encourage collaboration in line with the 3 sub-themes: opportunity, mobility and sustainability.  The six months long World Expo will not only boost travel and tourism in the country but will also make UAE the sought after destination for business and leisure. According to consultancy EY, Expo 2020 Dubai will have contributed Dh122.6 billion in value to the UAE’s economy by 2031. The theme for this year- ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ rightly supports the long-term vision of UAE, encouraging innovation and global business partnerships and stimulating a knowledge-based economy.

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