Consumers at a shopping mall in Dubai. According to a Ministry of Finance report, the number of GCC employees in the private sector has increased 4 per cent from 2,907 in 2010 to 3,031 in 2011. Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: In line with its continuous efforts to strengthen and deepen financial and economic cooperation between the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently issued its annual statistical report on the Gulf Common Market (GCM) - 2011. The report featured numbers and rates, highlighting efforts taken towards enhancing financial and economic cooperation of GCC states.

The report revealed an increase in the registered property contracts of GCC nationals in the UAE by 32 per cent amounting to 44,902 contracts in 2011 compared to 34,029 contracts in 2010. It also presented an increase in the number of traded and registered properties for GCC nationals in the UAE, where the number of registered contracts increased from 4,604 contracts in 2010 to 10,873 in 2011, confirming the UAE as an attractive investment centre in the real estate market.

Commenting on report, Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al Tayer emphasised the UAE’s determination to continue applying and activating plans of GCM, aiming to strengthen the trade capacity of the GCC nationals by providing all the possible trade facilities that support them in their economic activities within the UAE.

“The United Arab Emirates placed tremendous efforts towards the application of various resolutions related to the GCM, which is reflected through the promotion of the Gulf nationalship principle and the full equality achieved in professions and trades and economic and investment activities within the UAE in order to attain the maximum benefit possible for the GCC nationals.”

“The UAE has managed to provide many economic and investment opportunities to GCC nationals in 2011, which has helped to attract more to invests in various economic, educational and social sectors. This has enhanced the UAE’s competitiveness across the gulf region,” he added.

MoF’s report pointed out that the number of licenses granted to GCC nationals to practice economic activities within the UAE has recorded a cumulative increase of 28,909 license in 2011 compared to 26,233 license in 2010 form, which equals to an increase of 10.2 per cent.

Furthermore, the report presented an increase in the total number of GCC nationals who are covered in the social insurance within the UAE that amounted to 5,242 employees in 2011 comparing to 4,190 employees in 2010.

The UAE played a prominent role towards the implementation of all resolutions relevant to the GCM, which was highlighted in the report through the remarkable increase in the number of GCC employees in the public sector in the UAE with a rate of 22 per cent, where the number of workers increased from 789 employees in 2010 to reach to 963 employees in 2011. In addition, the number of GCC employees in the private sector increased by 4 per cent, amounting to 3,031 employees in 2011, compared with 2,907 employees in 2010.

With regards to the educational sector, MoF’s report has included a survey of the numbers of students from the GCC in various educational stages. The number of students enrolled in public schools in the UAE increased to 5,044 in 2011 compared to 4,891 students in 2010. While the number of secondary level students decreased by 257 students, where the total number of students amounted to 4,057 students in 2011, comparing to 4,314 students in 2010. Additionally, the report showed the increase in the number of high school students in public schools of the UAE from 2,886 students to 2,969 students between 2010 and 2011.

According to the report, public higher education institutions witnessed an increase in the number of GCC nationals amounting to 765 students in 2011 compared with 723 students in 2010. Whereas the private higher education institutions witnessed a continuous growth in the number of enrolled students from the GCC reaching 6,984 students compared to 6,843 students in 2010.

Moreover, the report highlighted a rise during 2011 in the number of investors from the GCC that invested in public shareholding companies which are registered in the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) with shares accessible to GCC nationals; where their number reached 212,020 investor in 2011 comparing to 208,316 investor in 2010.

MoF coordinated with a large federal agencies and local communities in the UAE in the process of preparing this report, such as the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Abu Dhabi Education Council, as well as cooperating with the Central Bank of the UAE, the Federal Authority For Government Human Resources, National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority, Securities and Commodities Authority, the General Pensions and Social Security Authority, chambers of Commerce and Industry, economic development departments, in addition to municipalities departments and departments of land and property.