Dubai Economy Set for Rebound


By Issac John

DUBAI — Dubai is set for an economic revival as a projected rise in crude oil prices will give a much-needed fillip to government spending, generating further opportunities for businesses and investors alike, a top official of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Wednesday.

Dubai metro
Dubai metro

The support from sovereign wealth funds in tandem with high oil prices, lower inflation rates, fiscal stimulus packages, introduction of new and transparent laws and a well-balanced 2010 Dubai Budget will surely help turn the tide in the business community’s favour, said Eng Hamad Buamim, Director General of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI).

Speaking at the first Economic Seminar of the year at the DCCI premises, Buamim argued that the economic climate of Dubai was changing with trade, exports, logistics and financial sectors emerging as promising growth drivers for the economy.

He said the global financial crisis has brought in changes in the economic demographics of the emirate.

“All the positive indicators for the year 2010 show that Dubai is still a sound investment destination in the region as is proved by the surge in the number of passengers travelling through Dubai International Airport, the timely launch of the Dubai Metro and other infrastructure projects.  Apart from these, an 11 per cent growth in the value of exports of Dubai Chamber members in 2008 compared to 2007 underscored the strength of the export sector as a strong driver of the economy,” he said.

The seminar titled “Competitiveness Agenda for Dubai: Implications and Issues and New Business Environment beyond Crisis,” also reviewed  “Dubai Traders’ Outlook for 2010.”

The panel of speakers included Dr Belaid Rettab, Executive Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector of Dubai Chamber.

The post-crisis era’s new business environment will be shaped by the confluence of forces including a significant decline in financial leverage or reduction in total debt, decrease in appetite for risk-taking by all economic agents and decline in consumption and spending, according to a presentation at the seminar.

“The regulatory environment will be characterised by an expanding role of  the government, especially in the financial sector. Another restructuring that has an implication for the business environment takes place as the bigger role assumed by the state paves the way for increased collaboration between the public and private sectors,” said the presentation.

According to the Competitiveness Agenda, the UAE is ranked 23rd in the global competitiveness index 2009-2010.  The government has been strengthening public/private partnership and planning cluster developments to enhance competitiveness and productivity levels, a good example of which is the setting up of the Emirates Competitive Council that works towards developing future competitive strategies to boost UAE’s position on the world economic map, speakers at the seminar pointed out.