Dubai: Tourism and trade have been given high priority in Umm Al Quwain's Government Strategy 2011-2013, which was unveiled yesterday.
Also given top billing in the economic blueprint is the small- and mid-sized business space as well as the fisheries sector. These will help make the emirate attractive to foreign investment.
The strategy was unveiled by Shaikh Rashid Bin Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain, in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain. Other senior federal and local government officials were present.
The 2011-2013 timeline for the emirate's plan is to sync it with the wider Federal Strategy for the same period as well as the UAE Vision 2021. The rollout of the programme begins immediately.
A competitiveness office will be set up to ease the way for business to be set up in the emirate. It will help with getting permits, registering the property and even credit facilities.
A more long-term plan will also be taken up simultaneously to attract investments in all of the targeted sectors.
The Umm Al Quwain Government Strategy 2011-13 comes just under a year after Shaikh Mohammad's visit to the emirate to hold a ministerial meeting to develop a joint federal-local model of co-operation. It directly led to the creation of a working group to see through the strategy.
"The Umm Al Quwain Government Strategy reflects our ambition to become a new successful story that adds to the UAE's record of success by achieving a quantum leap in all key sectors in the emirate during the coming period," said Shaikh Rashid during the announcement.
All layers of Umm Al Quwain's government will be involved in the initiative. Simultaneously, the internal infrastructure will be upgraded through new road networks and the creation of public transport facilities.
The plan also proposes the creation of a holistic urban plan for the emirate in a bid to strengthen the housing infrastructure.
For both the tourism and trade initiatives, the government will work on tapping the many locational advantages brought about by its proximity to the sea. The emphasis will be on developing land and sea transport as well as providing the infrastructure required for the logistics sector.
On tourism, the initiative encourages eco-tourism. To develop a wider base for the fisheries industry, the plans are to participate in seafood processing and distribution. Small and mid-sized businesses will also have improved access to capital and will benefit from having a conducive environment from which to operate.
Operations - Greater efficiency
An eight-member team, including four officials from the emirate, was set up last year to formulate the Umm Al Quwain Government Strategy 2011-2013. The brief was to identify sectors where the emirate's prospects could be maximised and to outline the main challenges these sectors face.
To tap foreign investments, a statistical database will be set up by the emirate, which will help investors. Apart from the various economic sectors, the strategy will develop organisational structures that will enhance the efficiency of government operations.
Key government-driven processes will be optimised through an Executive Council which will set policies at the emirate level. "The Council will ensure the availability of clear work plans at the entity levels, which are linked to the budgeting process and the government's performance system…" according to the plan.