Business | Economy

Dubai's Strategic Plan under review

All economic aspects of Dubai's Strategic Plan 2015 are currently under review to help stabilise the economy and safeguard jobs.

  • By Suzanne Fenton, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:01 March 16, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News archive
  • "Everything has been put on the table, the stimulus package and policies, with one aim - to safeguard jobs. There are no policies that are not being reviewed," said Raed Safadi, chief economist at Dubai's Department of Economic Development,

Dubai: All economic aspects of Dubai's Strategic Plan 2015 are currently under review to help stabilise the economy and safeguard jobs, a senior government economist said on Monday.

"Everything has been put on the table, the stimulus package and policies, with one aim - to safeguard jobs. There are no policies that are not being reviewed," said Raed Safadi, chief economist at Dubai's Department of Economic Development, during a Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) mega project conference.

Safadi added that he expects a real growth of 2.5 per cent in Dubai this year, down from the 11 per cent forecast under the Strategic Plan 2015. The government is working with haste to assess all projects and capital and other economic aspects. Full details of the review will be announced soon, he said.

Economists view the move as a positive one.

"I don't think the direction of Dubai's economy is in doubt. Some elements of the plan would inevitably be reviewed in light of changes in the international environment," said Simon Williams, chief economist at HSBC Middle East.

The Dubai government launched a $20 billion (Dh73.4 billion) long-term bond programme at the end of February of which the UAE Central Bank subscribed $10 billion.

Economists and finance experts welcomed the move, saying it showed increased federal support.

The bonds are intended to "provide (the) Dubai government with the necessary liquidity to substitute the liquidity that has dried up globally in the last 12 months and accordingly meet all upcoming financial obligations," the government statement said.

Further news on how and where the funds from the $10 billion bond would be used will become clear in the next two weeks.

Safadi was speaking as part of a panel discussing the economic sustainability of Dubai's market.

The general consensus was a positive one, with Dubai's recovery largely pinned on its location and reputation as a business and trade hub.

Dubai is at the heart of 42 countries, including the Gulf, the wider Middle East, and Asia, according to Mark Beer, chairman of the British Business Group in Dubai.

"This (area) has a $4 trillion GDP, a 2.2 billion population and two thirds of the world's oil. It's pretty formidable," Beer said.

Dubai is a well recognised trade and business hub, a title that is cemented by such massive projects, such as Jebel Ali Port, Dubai Metro and the current Dubai International Airport.

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