Stock market
An Investor stands in front of private stock trading boards at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Image Credit: AP

Where is the world economy going?

By Irfan Yusuf Khatri

For the last few years the theory and practice of protectionism in business, safeguards, antidumping, trade and currency wars, have taken globalisation for a toss. It is really confusing whether shielding individual country’s domestic industries from foreign competition will be an opportunity, a risk, or a threat.

Economists and trade gurus hold a difference of opinion on economic policies creating obnoxious doubt whether the policies applied for last few decades were effective or just have become redundant and need to be improvised based on the new world dynamic. It’s a real irony in today’s world where artificial intelligence has taken over everything and information is available in abundance. Still, we are unable to figure out where we are heading. This raises a very serious question. Is the available information and data fabricated or manipulative? Is the data serving the interest of some countries and corporates?

As of now none of the available resources are really focusing on the core problems which are getting worse day by day, raising serious disruptive questions. Are the economic problems, civil problems and war zones created purposely to take stock shots and mint money by few controlling corporates?

Governments are coming into power on unproductive agendas and a political approach where basic concerns of ordinary people are ignored and camouflaged by wave of nationalistic and religious sentiments. It’s a chaotic environment where the whole world is influenced by declining growth, bad debts and asset bubble, banking irregularities, social unrest, economic mafias and populism, nationalism, trade and currency wars.

Not prudent and unproductive business models are pushing us further towards unemployment and further there is a surge in screen time on handhelds as masses are wasting their precious time on social media. We as a society are shifting away from the realities and basic values.

There is an oversupply of everything whether it is manpower, information, data, technology, consumerism, or energy. There is a huge imbalance between demand and supply dynamics and countries are competing by devaluing their currencies to boost exports hence further widening this gap of inequality and social unrest.

As of now all the signs are moving towards economic disruptions. What does the future hold for us? We will have to wait and watch.

- The reader is a chartered accountant based in Dubai.

The UAE is a melting pot of cultures

By Ayswarya Sudheer Nair

UAE is popularly known as the melting pot of cultures and diversities. The expats constitute more than half of its working population. These residents are creating an environment of tolerance in work culture along with other aspects of lifestyles. Their integration into the society offered an indifferent freedom to indulge in several of their traditions. UAE even celebrates the existence of these expats and their contribution as we have seen during the year of tolerance, 2019. One of the key attractions, the Global Village evidently displays several cultures which are brought on by these expats through pavilions. People visiting get to see the culture of countries from Asia and Africa, to Europe and America. There is traditional food, entertainment and several traditional performances people can enjoy at the carnival.

Contemplating a happy and positive environment dominates UAE’s government policies by appointing the first happiness minister in the world. Accepting the various religious identities of these expats by granting them the freedom to practice these traditions empowers them to blend into this land and share its prosperities. Accessibility to health care, job opportunities, various occupations and quality education increases the standard of living of the people living here, making it one of the most attractive places to work. There are no restrictions for expatriates to become a high paying official. The thriving business industry in the UAE has many expats holding key positions. Likewise, UAE has several schools with specific curriculum for different communities. These schools engage in spreading multitudes of cultures to the next generations, along with the Emirati culture.

Most of these expats become settlers of this country and hold this place as their hometown across multiple generations. A unique diversity ensures that this city enlists a remarkable living experience. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai once said: “We must strive for an intellectual and cultural renaissance recognising that development and stability is possible only through tolerance.” This has been triumphantly honoured and acknowledged through the Year of Tolerance.

- The reader is a student of a Dubai-based university.

RDS_190628 SYM - Social media debate (2)-1561649444683
KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 30, 2014: Person holding a brand new Apple iPhone 5S with Instagram profile on the screen. Instagram is an online mobile social networking service, launched in October 2010. (KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 30, 2014: Person holding a brand ne Image Credit: Getty Images

Social media has pros and cons

By Anwaar Ahmed Aybani

Social media is a rapidly evolving platform for younger people and has become a medium through which one can communicate, express and share content of all kinds. It has given rise to a new cultural paradigm that drives technology and businesses while changing the way people interact.

As a tool, social media is a double-edged sword while it has many benefits it can also influence youngsters in unhealthy ways. While social media is mostly talked about in a negative light, when it comes to its impact on children, there are certain very strong arguments in favour of social media.

Spending time online on social networking sites are important for the younger generations to pick up on the necessary technical skills, they will need to navigate their way through the future. It allows them to be competent citizens in a digital age where they can fully participate in the broader society and learn the social skills of that generations. They will adapt to an elaborate online network of friends and acquaintance.

Social media is being used by the youth in positive ways that weren’t thought of before. It is not just a medium for socialising but kids and adolescents have found a new way to express creatively interact and learn with a broader audience. Students are using it to form study groups where they can easily and instantaneously share ideas and learning material.

But there are some negatives. To be fair and honest we need to mention that social media has its positive outcomes and has its draw backs as well. In the end, it is your choice to either use social media in a positive way and benefit from it, or fall victim to its negative side.

- The reader is a UAE-based pupil.