Combating coronavirus: Businesses in Dubai to gradually recover by mid-2021, says Emaar chairman

He hailed the government's efforts towards containing the pandemic.


Businesses in Dubai are expected to see a gradual recovery by the middle of the next year following the disruption of key sectors by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties.

“We have to really go gradually, moving upwards, towards the end of the year, and if there is no major outbreak again then by the middle of next year we are back to normal,” said Alabbar.

He hailed the government’s efforts towards containing the pandemic, and agreed that it was time for a phased opening of the economy in a careful manner with strict checks, setting a good example for the world.

The UAE has been easing restrictions on the movement of people. It also allowed shopping malls, commercial centres and small private businesses to open after the sterilisation programme. Emaar Properties also opened its landmark Dubai Mall last week under strict guidelines.

Alabbar doesn’t see a V-shaped recovery, but assured that the emirate will be in a better shape after Covid-19, thanks to its size and status as a commercial hub of the region.

“Dubai is a commercial hub and it depends on businesses from Asia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Africa. It has a mix of businesses. The global cities are going through this new change and adjustments. Some cities will adjust better than other. With the kind of size of this city and the policies of the government, it will be in a better shape,” Alabbar said during an interview with the CNN.

While commenting on the delay in Expo 2020 to October next year, he said the Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be available by March-April next year. Hence, the pandemic should be under control and “we should use Expo a time of celebration to unite the world after dreadful times.” More

Waheed Abbas