With the UAE leading the world in vaccination per capita, the national economy has been on the upward track despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced that the UAE created nearly 248,000 jobs last year when most global economies contracted sharply and millions of people lost their jobs in almost every part of the world.
“The world economy shrank 4 per cent, international trade dropped 20 per cent, and the world lost millions of jobs in 2020. In the same year, the UAE economy created 100,000 jobs in retail sector and e-commerce and 148,000 jobs in the financial, technology and telecommunications sector,” the Vice President wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Seizing on the opportunities
The announcement may have surprised those unacquainted with the way this nation manages the crisis, but not those familiar with the efforts exerted by the federal and local governments to seize on the opportunities created by the crisis.
Like Sheikh Mohammad said: “Crisis management creates opportunities and management crises destroy gains.” Those efforts led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revise the country’s economic growth forecast for 2021 to 3.1 per cent in its April outlook report as compared to 1.3 per cent predicted in October 2020.
The report credited the financial management of the crisis and the successful vaccination drive that allowed the country to reopen and business activities to resumes while keeping the virus threat at bay.
The UAE has administered more than 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine since launching the nationwide drive in December. Nearly 120,000 doses of vaccine are administered daily, one of the highest in the world per capita.
These steps have also been complemented by bold decisions to jump-start the national economy. The latest of these moves was the decision to allow 100 per cent foreign ownership of a vast array of business activities. The historic move comes into effect from June 1.
It is widely expected to boost the economy, especially the demand for commercial and residential real estate. It will also drive more foreign direct investment flow into the country and further create thousands of jobs.