Dubai’s economy witnesses double-digit growth in 10 years


As Vice President, Prime Minister and the Ruler of the city of Dubai for over a decade, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum recently confirmed in a rare open letter on Linkedin that the Dubai’s economy has doubled in the past ten years from GDP Dh663 billion to Dh1.360 billion.

However, some progress remains to be accomplished in health, education, housing and range of other indicators, according to Sheikh Mohammed,

The letter further elaborated that around 62% of the UAE’s 52 national performance indicators have already been achieved and new teams are being appointed to ensure the remaining indicators are met by 2021.

Sheikh Mohammed notes, “It is important to pause occasionally and review our past work, measure our accomplishments and chart our road ahead,” Sheikh Mohammed explained, saying he is now focusing on what Dubai and the UAE will look like in 2021.

Despite the global financial crisis and the resulting economic slowdown, despite the upheaval and disorder our region has endured, the United Arab Emirates has shown marked progress in all sectors,” he wrote in the note, published by Dubai Media Office.

Non-petroleum exports

The UAE has witnessed significant growth in the non-petroleum sector by diversifying its economic away from oil dependence.

He said, “As a result, our non-petroleum exports have increased from Dh113 billion when I assumed office to Dh603 billion (including free zone trade) in the past year. The economic contribution of the non-petroleum sector has increased from 66% to some 77% today,” he said.

Health sector

Sheikh Mohammed considers health and education “to be among the most important industries for our people”, and that the number of doctors in the UAE has increased from 10,000 to more than 17,000. And investment in health by the UAE has almost doubled from Dh1.18 billion to Dh3.82 billion.

Education sector

The UAE now has 93% of the world’s highest global kindergarten enrollment rate, and the rate of high school graduation has grown at the same percent (93%) too. Furthermore, education investments have risen by 57% (annual investment Dh9.75 billion) during the past ten years.

Leader in the Middle East

The UAE now leads the Middle East in over a hundred key development indicators. But it leads globally in some areas too; these include the quality of our public infrastructure, roads, maritime and aviation facilities, public safety and security, the rate of female enrollment in universities and government efficiency.

Foreign direct investment

During his reign, Sheikh Mohammed has seen Foreign Direct Investment increased from Dh179 billion to Dh410 billion, which is all due to the “open economic policies”, Sheikh Mohammed explains, In addition to this,  the UAE’s banks’ total assets have increased from Dh859.6 billion dirhams to Dh2,478.2 billion dirhams in the last decade.

Are there any challenges ahead?

Sheikh Mohammed further emphasises that there are still some hurdles on the way that are to be crossed completely by 2021.

He added: “My message today is not only about celebrating our achievements, but also evaluating the challenges ahead.

We have only five years remaining, a very short period in the life of a nation. It is not our custom to appease or ingratiate anyone, because courtesy at the expense of the country is not a sign of nationalism. Today, we issued a directive to form government teams called ‘The National Agenda Execution Teams’.”

The National Agenda Execution Teams comprise 550 government members across all sectors and departments, responsible for fulfilling the indicators. To intensify the effects, mobilise assets and re-doubled work, the team are under the direct supervision of His Highness, accounting to reach a 100% of the National Agenda goals by 2021.

“There is no room for procrastination, no time for delay. History is a witness to all of us. We have promised our people to accomplish what is best, and we shall fulfil our promise, and through all of this, we remember that our goal is the advancement and glory of our nation and the betterment and happiness of our citizens.

“I will lead this effort and the teams behind it personally. We ask God to guide us to what is best for our country and nation,” He concluded.

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