Experts study UAE crisis impact
Dubai, October 26, 2009
A seminar, hosted by The Dubai School of Government (DSG) studied the impact of the crisis and the actions initiated by the local and federal authorities to mitigate its effects.
DSG, a research and teaching institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world, organised the talk on “Repercussions of the Global Financial Crisis for the UAE,” which was attended by business leaders, distinguished academics and government officials.
Dr Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a leading political commentator, pointed out that the UAE felt the impact of the crisis just like any other country in the world, and the effects varied from industry to industry.
"Had the price of crude oil fallen below the $30 mark, the impact of the global economic crisis on the UAE would have been even harder," he observed.
The crisis, he said, highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the economic model of the UAE, and proved the real estate sector to be a vulnerable link in the chain.
"In addition, during the boom period, impractical expectations hovered over the real estate industry. Not surprisingly, while the tourism and aviation sectors were impacted heavily during the crisis, they are beginning to fare better now."
"The price of crude oil, which fell during the initial days of the crisis, began looking up because of sustained global demand from growing economies like India and China. This has helped the oil producing/exporting countries."
"In the UAE, the crisis only resulted in disturbing the economic model and not the entire economy. Though its consequences were tangible, they were not fatal. Moving forward, the individual emirates need to work toward complementing each other even more," he noted.
Dr Abdulla explained that the country cannot afford to have the double digit growth of recent years, as that may lead to severe social imbalances. He said the UAE had already accomplished numerous milestones, and stressed that there was no urgent need to seek any more international recognition.
"Quickly stepping in with decisive political actions, the UAE government proactively launched stimulus packages to minimize the impact of the crisis. Looking ahead, the private and public sectors must lead the overhaul by implementing growth strategies and practices for ensuring sustainable future progress," he observed.
“The financial crisis hit the world like a storm, and left a far more devastating impact than any other market-moving events. Transparency and institutionalization are the need of the hour to bring global economies back on track,” Dr Abdulla added.
Dr Tarik Yousef, dean of the Dubai School of Government, said the current economic situation has left many individuals considering the next steps to recovery and prosperity.
"Dr Abdulla’s political and economic insights outlined a clear picture of the effects of the crisis on the UAE, and provided astute recommendations for policy makers to consider as they chart the future direction of the country,” Yousef added.
A UAE national, Dr Abdulla is professor of Political Science at United Emirates University, and the lead author of the Arab Knowledge Report 2008.-TradeArabia News Service