Dubai is witnessing its hottest real estate market in years, with sales in the sector up 45% year-on-year in April and 51% in May, according to the Dubai Land Department.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Dubai announced on Wednesday a massive $8.7 trillion economic plan for the next decade, aimed at boosting trade and foreign investment and its place on the map as a global hub.
“Dubai will rank as one of the four largest global financial centers with an increase in foreign direct investment to more than 650 billion dirhams ($177 billion) over the next decade,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, wrote on Twitter. More than 300,000 global investors are helping to build Dubai into the world’s fastest growing city.
The publication identified a few of the 100 “future transformative projects” included in its ten-year economic roadmap. These include increasing foreign trade to 25.6 trillion dirhams from 14.2 trillion dirhams in the past decade, doubling annual foreign direct investment to 60 billion dirhams annually, and increasing government spending from 512 billion dirhams in the last decade to 700 billion dirhams in the following decade.
The plan also aims to increase private sector investment from 790 billion dirhams in the past decade to 1 trillion in the next decade and pledged 100 billion dirhams in annual contributions to the economy from digital transformation projects.
The sheikh’s tweet stated that Dubai aims to double the size of its economy in the next decade and become one of the “three largest economic cities around the world”.
The news comes a few days later Dubai has announced an end to the exorbitant 30% tax on alcohol, a move that appears to have been taken to boost tourism and business. Recent years in the emirate – the attractive commercial and tourist capital of the oil-rich UAE – have seen the implementation of a series of reforms aimed at making it more attractive for foreigners and international businesses to live and invest in.
The sheer scale of the city’s economic goals may raise some doubts, but Dubai finance experts believe they are achievable.
“It’s ambitious, but there’s no reason to doubt these goals given Dubai’s economic history and records of reforms,” Tariq Fadlallah, chief executive officer of the Middle East at Nomura Asset Management, told CNBC.
Karim Jatha, chief investment officer at Dubai-based asset management firm Longdean Capital, pointed to the competition angle: Neighboring Saudi Arabia itself is investing trillions of dollars to shed its closed, conservative image and attract tourism and foreign investment.
“The numbers look ambitious, but Dubai did not lack ambition,” Jatha said. “While neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia are opening up and looking to attract more regional business, Dubai is setting its sights on being a global hub.”
Dubai has always been a regional hub for the Middle East, but it has recently made changes to increase integration with other parts of the world. It is home to a diverse population of 90% expatriates, and for many years offered lifestyles similar to those in the Western world – along with beaches, no income tax, and one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
The UAE also recently changed the Islamic weekend from Friday and Saturday to the Western weekend from Saturday to Sunday, in line with most parts of the world, and started offering a remote worker visa program through coronavirus pandemic As more people have adopted a remote working lifestyle.
The launch of early vaccines for all of its residents in early 2021 allowed Dubai to return to “normal life” during the pandemic much sooner than most other places, drawing waves of new residents and visitors. Its real estate sector is currently booming, and Dubai has been in recent times Ranked as one of the ten best cities in the world For expats to live and work.
As the world looks ahead to a bleak and waning 2023, with predictions of a broad recession, rising energy costs and slowing economic growth, the Gulf states in general are poised to boom, Nomura’s Fadlallah says — buoyed by still-high oil prices and driven by the turmoil. By wanting to diversify their economies.
“I think the GCC countries are going through a golden age,” Fadlallah said, referring to the GCC countries. Their economies have never been bigger, stronger, more diversified, and more integrated into the global economy.
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