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UAE economy to stay resilient

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UAE is by far the most diversified economy in the region has been a big plus in terms of being less impacted by the drop in oil prices.

UAE businesses are still pursuing their expansion plans and continue to remain resilient to global cues. A random check with leading business personalities in various economic sectors gave a picture of hope and growth for 2016 weathering a bit cyclical trends of slowdown and a cautious optimistic outlook for 2016.

UAE is by far the most diversified economy in the region has been a big plus in terms of being less impacted by the drop in oil prices.

The latest survey forecasts growth in the UAE of 3.8 per cent this year, up from the previous survey’s 3.4 percent.

The country is fast diversifying from the oil and gas sector, as the non-oil economy by investing in innovative projects. Also the continued stimulus from big time-sensitive capital projects such as Expo 2020 will only help the business in coming years.

The leading retail player Time Machine Group has scheduled a massive expansion in current year. Prakash Bhojwani, president and chief executive officer, Time Machine Group, said: “Globally we cannot deny there is a slow down and its impact will be felt, however UAE is very resilient and though it may weather a bit of growth in next six-nine months it is only getting ready for the big leap. With a creation of various non-oil sectors the country is all set to reap its fruits in 2016. The perception today is far more negative than the reality. We strongly believe starting from last quarter of 2016, UAE is scheduled for a golden period ahead for next seven to eight years and Expo 2020 is only encouraging businesses to press on towards growth.”

The IT player Savant Data Systems has signed projects both locally and globally for the current year. Vic Bageria founder and CEO of Savant Data Systems, said: “The slowdown in UAE is a slowdown, nothing more! Having said that yes, there are definitely some negative sentiments in the market with collapsing oil prices, worsening of the Chinese yuan and economic situation around GCC (specially in KSA).

“How much of this slowdown has effected businesses are not yet clear and we will have to wait for Q1 reports to understand the same. Personally, business is as usual for us – it is still a steady pace of growth. We believe that it is always better to grow steadily than to go through cycles of boom and bust. We are looking at this period as a clean-up process and are utilising this time on working towards different innovations that would cater to 2017/18.”

Danube the leading real estate player is going to open minimum five Danube Home retail Showrooms in GCC and Danube Properties will be launching more projects after the success of Ritz and Glitz with a hint of hiring more staff in the current year. Anis Sajan, managing director of Danube, said: “Yes, there is a little bit of slowdown due to drop in the oil prices and because of the change in the international market situation. Oil covers 30 per cent of the UAE economic GDP. However UAE has diversified in to non oil sectors like tourism, health, sports which covers 70 per cent of the GDP growth of UAE. The focus is more on travel, tourism with expansion of Emirates and Ethihad Airways.”

SOURCE: Khaleej Times

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