Ambitious like Dubai: Going into 2023 stronger and happier

Ambitious like Dubai: Going into 2023 stronger and happier

Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO, Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum

Wrapping up finances, presenting year-end reports, calculating the company’s expenditures, reviewing performances of various metrics, and allocating new budgets—that’s what the end of a year looks like for most organizations. Big or small, this ritual of looking back and ahead at the same time for all organizations is something that’s unique to year-end.

For us at Seed Group, every year ends with two words: introspection and preparation. Year-end is a time when we look back at what we have achieved and anticipate what our goals will be for the coming 365 days.

One of the annual practices that we follow during this time is to go back and look at our national and emirate-wide initiatives, achievements, plans, and goals and gauge if we and our partners have been able to match our pace with the speed the city is moving. And matching the developmental velocity of Dubai requires organizations to be agile, innovative, and ready for the future.

With a foundation of inspiring and far-sighted leaders who have worked strategically to develop integral sectors like infrastructure, technology, and education, Dubai has aced all the challenges that time has thrown at it. Take the COVID pandemic as an example, the city was one of the first globally to recover from the effects and after-effects of the epidemic.

And it doesn’t plan to stop there. According to the latest budget announced by the UAE government, there are indications that unconventional sectors like renewable energy, tourism, aviation, telecommunications, and advanced technologies are set to lead the country and hence the emirate towards a much stronger future.

The budget earmarks AED 67.5 billion for spending in 2023 alone as it continues to drive growth momentum, expand its economic base, and meet the goals of Dubai Strategic Plan 2030. The aim is to achieve a public revenue of AED 69 billion in the new year.

In the words of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, “This budget reflects Dubai’s commitment to meet the city’s future aspirations locally and globally. Dubai’s government aims to serve citizens, support businesses, and ensure the availability of the best services for everyone.”

From the successful hosting of Expo 2020 in Dubai to the launch of the Metaverse strategy and the acceptance of cryptocurrencies, Dubai has done well in 2022, despite the global economies fearing and battling recession. All the initiatives and plans are aimed at making Dubai’s economy a global benchmark for sustainability and resilience. In my opinion, setting clear and bigger goals has helped Dubai rise above the ordinary over the years, and 2022 was no different. The coming years only promise to be better.

Rather, the saying by famous English poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson seems to have been written with Dubai in mind – “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’.” We are confident it will be that—stronger and happier.

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