Saudi reform boost for UAE Diversification will have positive effect
Saudi Arabia’s transformation plan will have a long-term positive impact on the UAE.
That was the verdict from Menacorp CEO Fathi Ben Grira who said that “Saudi Arabia is finally doing what the UAE did years ago” in diversifying its economy away from oil.
“This diversification will have a positive effect,” he said.
“We have a service-orientated economy here in the UAE and we can bring our expertise there.
“The benefits are substantial, Saudi Arabia will need expertise to transform their economy and when you have a proven success story next door it is logical to seek inspiration from there.”
One of the main focuses of the transformation plan is to reduce the amount of public spending, which strongly implies that government jobs will be at risk, which, in turn, will have an adverse effect on money being spent by visitors to the UAE.
“In the short term there will be a negative impact, of course people will then spend less when they come to the UAE but you have to look at the bigger picture, it is short-term suffering with mid to long-term prosperity at the end of it,” Grira said.
But a leading energy expert has questioned how Saudi Arabia will meet its target of producing 17.8 billion cubic feet per day by 2020.
Robin Mills, CEO of UAE-based Qama Energy, said he struggled to see how Saudi would reach that figure.
Mills said: “They haven’t said where it’s coming from and it’s a big,
He added that Saudi’s plans for nuclear energy will have a huge impact on the region.
“It looks like Saudi is going to get serious about nuclear power,” he said.
“Everyone has been looking at Saudi and watching for something to happen. Now you might see a lot of other countries following.”