By virtue of visionary leadership and successive political leaders, now United Arab Emirates has become icon of progress, prosperity and persuasion. It is sign of success, excel and pride too. Successful introduction of knowledge based economy and institutionalization of financial reforms has become hub of trade and commerce, knowledge and research, finances and services, tourism and recreation and the last not the least, international brands and multinational companies. Moreover, it has been ideal destination for foreign direct investment.
According to the latest Global report released by the World Economic Forum with local partners, the International Research Foundation and Arabian Research Bureau LLC. (May, 2010) UAE ranked highest in region for outlook that encourages trade. The UAE, with a score of 5.12 and a global rank of 16th, has topped the Gulf region. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade said, “under the directives of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE adopts a balanced foreign trade policy built on the economic liberalization having a balanced approach in international trade and economy system with the aim of promoting investment relations between the UAE and other regional and countries around the globe, to build effective strategic trade partnerships that are mutually beneficial, and to achieve common goals with other international trading partners.”
Sheikha Lubna further said, the outcome of the Global Enabling Trade Report (May, 2010) has indicated that the emirates is rapidly growing in the promotion of external trade based on the best global practices, which are reflected in the performance indicators and pillars included in the report. In the commercial sector, the government sought out to build a strong infrastructure and worked towards promoting the use of information technology and telecommunications within the sector, in addition to the extra efforts to review and reform the economic legislations and laws on an ongoing basis to achieve better future economic prospects.”
Amongst GCC countries Oman ranked third in the region with a score of 4.71 and a global ranking of 29th, up from 34th in 2009, the largest improvement in ranking of all the GCC countries. According to the report best performing GCC country was the UAE with a score of 5.12 and a global rank of 16th, followed by Bahrain with 4.95, global rank of 24th. Qatar had a score of 4.68 and a global rank of 34th. It ultimately verifies the urge of its visionary leadership to work hard to achieve its socio-economic goals and secure leading position in the region and world.
UAE: tops in technology adoption
According to the latest Global Information Technology Report (GITR) (May, 2010), the UAE has been ranked 23rd among 133 countries and first in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena). It verifies the UAE government’s clear-cut focus on quality education based on information and communications technology which has now been paid off in improving the country’s global ranking in technology adoption. The report ranked the UAE first among 14 MENA countries for the second year, followed by Bahrain and Qatar.
It shows that UAE has been heavily investing in IT sector which is now paying its dividends. It seems that the UAE continues to set the benchmark for technology excellence in the region. The ranking also confirms the positive impacts of the investments that the UAE has made in supporting technology excellence over the last years. Now the UAE has to build on this, and further prepare its economy for the knowledge economy. There are many contributory actors to be top in IT in the region. The UAE is ranked second and fifth in the world in government and individual readiness respectively to use technology.
Abu Dhabi: top 10 cities of the world list
Great news for the UAE and its people, Abu Dhabi was ranked among the top ten best cities in the world. The emergence of the UAE as one of the 10 most desirable destinations around the world is also a tribute to the vision of its leadership under President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The socio-economic pursuits, people-friendly policies of HRM, health, housing, media, press, and the last not the least higher education has already made UAE the number-1 choice for the people around the globe. The Abu Dhabi government has embarked on an integrated strategic plan to develop the emirate’s vital facilities and infrastructure to upgrade living conditions of citizens and residents and to provide them with the best services. The UAE also implemented several big-budget recreational and tourism projects. Mega infrastructure projects like highways, bridges and tunnels on and around Abu Dhabi Island and other transportation projects, for which over Dh50 billion were allocated in 2006 are now paying the dividends.
Abu Dhabi has also enhanced its presence on the global tourism map in the past few years and managed to turn itself into an international hub for businesses, entertainment and luxury tourism.
There are also many ambitious future plans announced by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority with about Dh100 billion made available for a chain of hotels and recreational facilities in Abu Dhabi and surrounding islands such as Yas, Saadiyat and Al Reem Island. Several other projects on the man-made islands opposite Abu Dhabi Corniche also hold immense promise.
Dubai: still a strong financial power
Despite ongoing global economic recession and financial crunch, UAE in particular and Dubai specially demonstrated at the recently held MENASA Forum that it still has the self-confidence and ambition to be the leading financial centre in the region. There is no liquidity shortage in the country. There is banking crisis in the Dubai. The recently agreed and approved deal of Dubai World’s with bankers gives the UAE and the Dubai International Financial Centre, an opportunity to optimal projection of the positive sentiments in the country, region and world alike. It is suggested that areas of corporate governance, credit monitoring system, banking and financial regulations, bankruptcy provisions, property reforms and market consolidation must be strengthened. Emirate is still a paramount financial marketplace in the MENASA region: an equities market that can shake off the emerging challenges. It is hoped that the issuance of the IPOs, and careful selling assets, when values make it worthwhile, would give a further boost to the emirate’s claims to be the financial mainstay of the MENASA region.
Dubai: heaven of international brands
According to the recently conducted global retailing survey, Dubai is the second-most popular retail hotspot for international brands after London. It has become heaven for international brands and firms alike. It indicated that Dubai attracted more than 162 international brands in 2009. It was hot on the heels of London, which had 56 per cent, while Paris and New York had 46 and 44 percent of the retailers, respectively. Dubai also welcomed the most new international brands in the past year, with a growth of 8.2 percent the highest rate among the top 20 cities. It seems that after Dubai Mall and the recently opened Mirdif City Centre, there are few major retail developments on the horizon. Central Market and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi are also remained attractive destination for international brands.
Hotels: gray to green
The political leaders, corporate gurus and business tycoons are taking all possible measures to introduce many meaningful measures to cope with the high ratios of climate change. In this regard, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has already instructed all hotels in Abu Dhabi to make certain mechanism to save energy and water. The ADTA said it wants to cut hotels’ energy use by 10 per cent, their water use by 20 per cent and reduce the amount of hotel waste going to landfills by 20 per cent as a first step in its environmental programme. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, the chairman of the ADTA said that “UAE wants to create an ecotourism product building on the theme of sustainability”. The new rules will apply to existing hotels as well as properties in the planning or design phase. It clearly indicates ADTA mission and desire to prepare Abu Dhabi’s hospitality industry at par with the world’s greenest hotels in order to secure a sustainable tourism sector.
According to Dubai Municipality, twenty seven million flowering plants were planted throughout Dubai in 2009 which means that UAE is getting greener every year. Dubai Municipality also confirmed its plans for 2010 and 2011 to increase green areas in Dubai by 4 per cent per year, open new parks and provide more landscaping. Its aim is to add to the current 6 major parks and 76 residential ones spread throughout different areas of the Emirate and provide every person living in Dubai an equivalent of 25 square metres of green space each by 2020 where currently this space is 13.18 square metres.
Visionary leadership has transformed UAE a soil of dynamics and diversity. Effective planning of its successive rulers and political leaders has made UAE an ideal place of tradition and modernity, recreation and research, and the last not the least, knowledge and kindness. From fashion to ecosystem, gray to green, and IT to satellite UAE is making its inroads in the region and international markets.