What makes our emirate the stand-out economy in the Middle East?
Strong employment figures, rising per capita income and a strategic diversification of markets make Dubai one of the world’s top metropolitan economies, with a projected growth of 3.1 per cent in 2017.
The emirate’s powerful combination of economic liberty with strategic policy – reinforced by swift modernisation – has turned it into a locus of prosperity and stability.
In its Global Competitiveness Report for 2016-17, The World Economic Forum ranked the UAE 16th out of 138 economies, at the top of the index for the Middle East.
At the 2017 World Government Summit held in the UAE, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde praised the Emirates’ financial leaders for their sound fiscal policy and emphasised the strong, positive relationship between UAE and the IMF.
This is all despite the lowering price of oil exports, which – contrary to popular belief – account for only six per cent of Dubai’s revenue.
Now in 2017, central Dubai is a metropolis of property and technological innovation, colossal urban infrastructure projects and a globalised workforce. The emirate is a grand bazaar of diversified wealth, with revenue spread across wholesale and retail trade, transport, communications, manufacturing, real estate, construction, and tourism.
It is these sectors that have pushed the emirate’s annual growth rates to top those of its neighbours in recent years, and setting it on its way to becoming the centre of the global Islamic economy.
The keys to Dubai’s success
Located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, geography has helped transform Dubai into a platform for these markets and destination for both investment and tourism.
Capitalising on this strategic position, Dubai’s success has also been buoyed by its open approach to immigration and foreign investment; its embrace of communications technology; and a respect for the knowledge economy.
The city’s infrastructure is unparalleled and hosts some of the world’s most impressive skyscrapers, hospitals and highways, including the world’s largest manmade port (Port Jebel Ali) and busiest passenger terminal.
The great supply chains of global trade also intersect in Dubai, making the city a major trading entrepôt between East and West.
A future-facing economy
A commitment to economic growth and receptivity to different cultural trends and practices have energised new ways of doing business and attracting investment in Dubai.
Fusing of strategic ideas about economic development – such as the creation of ‘Free Zones’, which group entrepreneurs in same sector together in the same location – with private sector energies, Dubai has been able to move towards the goals outlined in its 2021 Strategic Plan.
Free Zones offer foreign investors full ownership rights, tax incentives and full repatriation rights for capital and profit, with no personal income tax. The attractiveness of this proposition has resulted in a full spectrum of modern industrial activity and innovation, from IT, health care, pharmaceutical research, semiconductors and industry, to media and finance.
The Jebel Ali Free Zone hosts 7100 companies; Dubai International Finance Centre is the largest financial services centre between Singapore and Europe; and Silicon Oasis hosts some of the world’s major IT companies.
The constellation of forces that underpin Dubai’s economic success continues to attract the attention of foreign investors. They see the emirate as a key player in global trade and finance and as a centre of innovation for entrepreneurs.