DUBAI’S COVID CRISIS IS TEMPORARY. LONG-TERM PLANS TO CONVERT WEAKNESS INTO STRENGTH BEGUN.
Efforts are underway to expedite the city’s transformation into a global trading capital with a special focus on Real Estate, Tourism, Higher Education, Technology, Healthcare, Retail & Global Events. Several plans of action enabling increased, transparent foreign direct investment in the Infrastructure development sector are expected to be announced in the coming months. Strategies to advance Dubai as Asia’s “Happiness Hub” envisaged by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum are also in the pipeline.
“Surely, there would be some challenges as usual. But as the country’s economy remains robust as it had proved during the global recession last decade, there is no room for any apprehension whatsoever. Dubai will overcome the COVID-19 phase. Dubai is not an Emirate that is shaken by some random crisis. It has a complete infrastructure built already. All of this is only possible because It is led by a visionary leader like Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who has learned extensively from past experiences and has built a young and dynamic support team including his own son, which makes proactive decisions that are well thought out and plausible. The confidence in its economy and support of other emirates would help it come out sooner than later.”
Even when the world reciprocates to IMF’s presumption of “Global economies are about to endure severe challenges than that of the 1930 Global Depression”, Dubai is optimistic. Because, the growth in Transportation, Storage & Infrastructure segment, as well as the world-class standard of living provided by Dubai, are far superior to even comprehend for any other country in Asia. The fact that Dubai’s appeal as a global brand desired by every human transcends its Emirati status, is a definitive strength of its own.
Meanwhile, economists associated with the Dubai Government have pointed out that contrary to the consensus among the western media, Dubai will not go through another recession similar to 2009 as assumed by all. The economic slowdown, which started in 2007 only to peak in 2009 was an unforeseen crisis. As a result, Dubai required a longer time to develop and execute plans to overcome the unexpected crisis. But the circumstances are different now. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has nurtured a robust administrative system capable of making arrangements to overcome any challenge and execute them swiftly in the field.
Economic Stimulus Package of March 2020 is a great example. Proposals worth AED 1 Billion were announced by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The packages reflected instantly in the economy and within the community. 10% deduction on Water & Electricity charges for Residential and Commercial buildings, 50% reduction on mandatory deposits for new connections, 2.5% discount towards Market fees, 20% deduction in Customs fees, etc reflected instantly among the population.
“When your DNA is a healthy amalgam of tolerance, acceptance, innovation, entrepreneurship and taking moonshots to be the best at whatever the visionary, pioneering leadership set their visionary sights on, any crisis can only make so much of an impact. Being a global village and a melting pot for people from almost 200 countries, Dubai’s tenacity, resilience and the indomitable ‘ can do ‘ attitude will prevail over all adversities be it in the short, medium or long term. There always is a ‘ state of preparedness and readiness ‘ to meet any eventuality and to act in the best interests of citizens, residents and businesses and the Covid 19 pandemic has demonstrated that with panache. Needless to say the pandemic will leave its scars as it has on the most advanced countries of the world, but the speed and alacrity with which Dubai will bounce back is a foregone conclusion “.
Compulsory AED 50,000 bank guarantee for institutions rendering customs clearance services was also withdrawn. The fee for acquiring customs documents was also reduced by 90%. Sales fee from Hotels & other facilities in the Tourism sector towards each governate was reduced to 3.5% from 7%. Cancellation / Postponement fee for big and small events has also been waived this year. Amount paid for ticket sales and event permission fees were also ignored by the administration. All of these have resulted in increased self-confidence by Dubai citizens towards the government.
Moreover, studies have revealed that special economic stimulus packages declared sporadically by Dubai Free Zones Council, Dubai Land Department, Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC), DP World (including JAFZA, National Industries Park, and Dubai Auto Zone), Dubai International Financial Centre., Nakheel, Dubai Holding, and Meraas, JAFZA, National Industries Park, Dubai Auto Zone, etc have also contributed towards increasing overall confidence of Businessmen, Investors & General Public.
“I won’t leave my home when my family is in trouble. I will stay with them until the issues are sorted out. Dubai is everything to me which has given me a lot. We all are aware of the crisis in European countries. It is certain that Dubai will definitely be affected by some extend if not much. But Dubai will overcome it swiftly. Because its leadership system is powerful and focused on its long-term goals. There will always be pessimists around. All we should do is to avoid them.”
Numerous measures to vigorously counter the economic virus in COVID time are still in the pipeline. As Dubai authorities focus predominantly on executing strong measures to tackle and steer the economy on the right path rather than bring revenue to the administrative department, Dubai will overcome COVID time rapidly.