The coronavirus pandemic may have infected the economies of several countries, but not the UAE which has put up a remarkable defence against it.
By way of example, the United Arab Emirates said it would allow foreign investors to have full 100 per cent ownership of business ventures from June 1.
The UAE is among the first countries to start the recovery phase, ranking first in the Arab region in the COVID Economic Recovery Index Ranking issued by the Horizon Research Group.
There are several reasons for this financial eupepsia. In the UAE, despite the tough challenges posed by the coronavirus, there were early signs of a rise in international trade, such as the gradual lifting of movement restrictions, the issuance of bonds and sukuk, and the return of spending levels to normalcy.
In the oil and gas industry, Adnoc, the government-owned firm in Abu Dhabi, discovered a new natural gas field in the area between Seih Al Sedirah in Abu Dhabi and Jebel Ali in Dubai, containing massive stocks totalling some 80 trillion cubic metres.
This speeded up the country’s drive towards self-reliance in natural gas supplies.
That was not all. The Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) also announced the discovery of 22 billion stock tank barrels (STB) of non-conventional and recoverable crude oil in Abu Dhabi, which will strengthen the UAE’s position as one of the largest energy providers in the world.
Adnoc has also done its generous bit to steer economic growth. It attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth Dhs62 billion to the UAE in 2020.
The total value of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade during the first nine months of 2020 amounted to Dhs1.03 trillion, according to the National Competitiveness and Statistics Centre’s figures.
Even the real estate is on song. The value of registered transactions in the real estate market amounted to nearly Dhs275 billion, including land, residential, commercial and industrial unit sales, apart from mortgages and grants.
International flights were grounded in many countries of the world, which spelt perdition for a lot of airlines. The UAE however bucked the trend. The gradual resumption of local civil aviation flights is a key indicator of the success of the efforts to contain the pandemic and the start of the recovery phase, most notably in light of the correlation between the total recovery of many economic sectors and the progress achieved by the aviation sector.
Dubai International Airport made significant positive steps towards recovery after a challenging year, handling over 25 million passengers in 2020.
The number of international destinations currently served by Dubai International Airport is 147. Tourism showed an interesting surge. The number of hotel guests in the country increased to about 3.385 million from July to August 2020.
The number of hotel rooms increased from 135,031 rooms to 164,935 rooms during the same comparison period.
At a time when the economy in other countries is taking a hit because of the coronavirus, the UAE is going against the grain of decline. To illustrate. In an implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE announced earlier this year that it would invest $10 billion with Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund – Indonesia Investment Authority.
The UAE also announced a $3 billion investment in Iraq in a fresh bid to strengthen the economic and investment relations between the two nations. With the Expo 2020 drawing near, the UAE has shown that it is in an enviable position where its economy is concerned. Other countries could emulate its model. A supportive leadership can help make major gains for the economy.