Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO, Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum
As we prepare to leave another year behind, most of us will sit down and look at what we have achieved in the past year, how things went in the last 12 months, and what we should aim for in the coming year. Individuals, organizations, or countries—this exercise holds true for all of us, especially for the ones who like to keep tabs on their growth and success.
A country’s growth and ability to make the lives of its people happy are often gauged by the progress its economy makes on various parameters. The end of a year is the perfect time to look at the numbers and predictions and see where a country stands.
For us in the UAE, self-evaluation is a reminder of the visionary and innovative initiatives, exemplary leadership, and strong values that our dear country operates on. All this is supported by numbers and predictions that make our belief in our country stronger with concrete and tangible backing.
Take the recent IMF prediction of the UAE’s projected economic growth, for example.
Over the last few months, as tourism, construction, and Expo 2020-related activities picked up, things started to look better and more optimistic for the UAE. The country’s economy is expected to grow more than 6 percent this year, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The figure of 6 percent is especially noteworthy as the expansion was recorded at 3.8 percent in 2021, and a 6 percent mark would reach the record growth of 6.9 percent experienced by the country in 2011, making it the highest ever since.
With higher oil prices and successful COVID-19 mitigation measures, the UAE economy expanded by 8.4 percent in the first quarter of this year. This was above and beyond what was initially predicted and expected, and it set the tone for the rest of the year’s growth.
About this projection, the IMF’s Ali Al-Eyd was quoted as saying, “Economic growth has been robust this year. Fiscal and external surpluses have increased further, benefiting from the higher oil prices as well as the removal of the temporary COVID crisis-related fiscal support to businesses and households as the pandemic has gradually waned. Increased global uncertainty led to larger financial inflows, contributing to rapid real estate price growth in some segments.”
The UAE’s foreign trade for the first six months of 2022 crossed AED 1 trillion, the tourism sector’s revenue topped AED 19 billion, and the increase in the number of hotel guests touched 42 percent, all of which contributed to a strong economic performance.
These numbers are much more than just figures indicative of the current year’s accomplishments; they are a signal that the coming year is going to be even better. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this prediction has set the tone right for an exemplary 2023, which is about to arrive in a matter of just a few more days.
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