UAE Cel­e­brates 46 Years of Great Achieve­ments

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL -

The United Arab Emi­rates com­mem­o­rates its 46th Na­tional Day on De­cem­ber 2nd, a day that em­bod­ies the very Spirit of the Union and in­spires the na­tion to cel­e­brate 46 years of great achieve­ments since the fed­er­a­tion of the seven emi­rates was es­tab­lished in 1971.

The pat­tern of cel­e­brat­ing the coun­try’s Na­tional Day was ini­ti­ated by the found­ing Pres­i­dent of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sul­tan Al Nahyan, and his fel­low found­ing fa­thers of the UAE Fed­er­a­tion. That course is now fol­lowed by Pres­i­dent His High­ness Sheikh Khal­ifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who con­tin­ues to lead the na­tion’s march to progress and pros­per­ity.

The achieve­ments of the UAE over the years since the pass­ing of Sheikh Zayed in 2004 have been made pos­si­ble due to the di­rec­tives and en­cour­age­ment of His High­ness Sheikh Khal­ifa bin Zayed, His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, the Vice Pres­i­dent, Prime Min­is­ter and Ruler of Dubai, and His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the UAE Armed Forces, along with their fel­low Mem­bers of the Supreme Coun­cil and Rulers of the Emi­rates, who have con­sis­tently con­trib­uted to pro­mot­ing and de­vel­op­ing the coun­try through knowl­edge and in­no­va­tion.

The UAE to­day ranks among the world’s lead­ing coun­tries across many key in­di­ca­tors, and is con­tin­u­ing to serve as a true role model for coun­tries around the world.

The coun­try has earned a lead­ing place in the Arab world, and be­yond, due to its sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments in var­i­ous fields and its ac­tiv­i­ties in the po­lit­i­cal, diplo­matic, eco­nomic and hu­man­i­tar­ian are­nas at re­gional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els.

The Econ­omy

Dur­ing the course of the last year, the econ­omy of the United Arab Emi­rates has con­tin­ued to make steady progress, de­spite pre­dic­tions of a slow­down in eco­nomic growth else­where in the re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to the UAE Vi­sion 2021 plan, the cre­ation and main­tain­ing of a sus­tain­able and di­ver­si­fied econ­omy is a key com­po­nent of fu­ture plan­ning, and progress has con­tin­ued to be made to­wards that ob­jec­tive. The in­ten­tion is that, by 2021, the UAE will have an econ­omy that is flex­i­ble in adopt­ing new eco­nomic mod­els and that is able to cap­i­talise on global eco­nomic part­ner­ships to guar­an­tee long- term pros­per­ity for cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of Emi­ratis.

De­vel­op­ing a ‘com­pet­i­tive knowl­edge econ­omy’ is one of the pil­lars of UAE Na­tional Agenda in line with Vi­sion 2021. Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial re­port by the Min­istry of Econ­omy, the gov­ern­ment has con­tin­ued in 2017 to fo­cus on the UAE be­com­ing the eco­nomic, tourist and com­mer­cial cap­i­tal for more than two bil­lion peo­ple. To achieve this, the Gov­ern­ment has set 12 Key Per­for­mance In­di­ca­tors: Non- oil real GDP growth, Gross Na­tional In­come (GNI) per capita, Net In­flow of Fo r e i g n D i r e c t In­vest­ment as a per­cent­age of G D P, Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness In­dex, Share of UAE na­tion­als in the workforce, Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness In­dex, Emi­rati­sa­tion Rate in the pri­vate sec­tor, the con­tri­bu­tion by Small and Medium En­ter­prises, SME’s, to nonoil G D P, Global En­trepreneur­ship and De­vel­op­ment In­dex (GEDI), Global In­no­va­tion In­dex, Share of ‘knowl­edge work­ers’ in the labour force, and Re­search and De­vel­op­ment ex­pen­di­ture as a per­cent­age of GDP.

The UAE econ­omy has been re­silient de­spite the im­pact of fluc­tu­at­ing oil prices as it has ben­e­fited from a di­ver­si­fied econ­omy, ex­cel­lent in­fra­struc­ture, po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and am­ple for­eign as­sets, ac­cord­ing to the In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance, IIF.

“Sen­ti­ment has im­proved with firmer oil prices. Non- oil ac­tiv­ity has picked up mod­estly in 2017 as fis­cal drag eases and con­sump­tion spend­ing rises in the sec­ond half of 2017, ahead of the in­tro­duc­tion of value- added tax, VAT, in 2018,” ac­cord­ing to Gar­bis Ira­dian, Chief Econ­o­mist Africa Mid­dle East, IIF.

Re­cently-pub­lished fig­ures in the Emi­rates NDB Pur­chas­ing Man­agers’ In­dex, PMI, in­creased from 55.1 in Septem­ber 2017 to 55.9 in Oc­to­ber. As a re­sult, the in­dex moved fur­ther above the 50- point thresh­old that sep­a­rates ex­pan­sion from con­trac­tion in the non-oil pro­duc­ing pri­vate sec­tor.

Con­tin­ued on Page 20

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

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