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Khaleej Times

DUBAI, Feb 4: His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday unveiled the Dubai Strategic Plan (DSP)-2015.

The plan, launched under the theme ’Dubai — where the future begins’, is set to maintain double-digit economic growth, achieve a GDP of $108 billion and increase real GDP per capita to $44,000 by 2015.

Shaikh Mohammed said the aim of the plan is to increase productivity by 4 per cent per annum and to create new sectors of growth with sustainable competitive advantage.

The plan sets out a strategic approach that focuses on developing the emirate’s most dynamic economic sectors that have been the key contributors to Dubai’s annual real GDP growth rate of 13 per cent since 2000, he said. This is faster than the growth rates of China and India over the past six years.

Shaikh Mohammed also said the plan would not be affected by oil price fluctuations. “Dubai has succeeded in diversifying its sources of income, and reducing its dependence on oil, so that, today, oil’s contribution to GNP is a mere 3 per cent,” he said. He continued: “When I announced my Vision for Dubai, in the year 2000, I spoke of economic aims for the year 2010. The reality is that not only have these aims been realised but they have been realised in half the time. “In the year 2000 the plan was to increase GNP to $30 billion by 2010. In 2005 that figure was exceeded, with GNP reaching $37 billion.”

Shaikh Mohammed also spoke about the major economic restructuring that Dubai has undergone over the last few years and said that economic growth now depends on an infrastructure not directly affected by the oil sector.

“In 2005, the non-oil sector played a major role, contributing 95 per cent to GDP, as compared to 90 per cent in 2000, and approximately 46 per cent in 1975. The services sector was the driving force behind Dubai’s economic growth, contributing 74 per cent of GNP, mirroring the economies of the developed world”. The Economic Development Plan (EDP) will focus on those sectors that have made the most significant contribution to GDP, historically, and the continued exploitation of Dubai’s ‘first-mover’ advantage, as well as the influx of significant levels of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), he said.

The EDP will optimise the trade sector, which saw the highest increase in GDP share of all components of the service sector, (comprising trade, construction, transport, storage and communication, real estate and business services, and tourism).

And an underlying pillar of the EDP is that, within Dubai’s current GDP mix, the strongest sectors are those forecast to experience the strongest growth globally. The future strategic growth of Dubai is based on six key ‘building blocks’ which include, tourism, trade, transportation and finance, Shaikh Mohammed said. Their development will be strategically supported by seven horizontal growth enablers, which will be addressed  in parallel. These are human capital,  productivity, innovation, cost of living and doing business, quality of life, economic policy and institutional framework, and laws and regulations.

The EDP will be integrated with federal government plans for the development of the UAE as a whole.

Shaikh Mohammed said the DSP crucially acknowledges the key role of social development and noted that only those countries with an infrastructure supporting effective social development are able to sustain high levels of continuous economic growth.

He also said: “At the end of the day, social development is aimed at nationals, and we want nationals to be the major instruments of its implementation.”

The DSP, he said, commits to improving performance in key areas including, education, health, culture, social assistance and the workplace. And under the DSP, initiatives will be launched to ensure nationals are the preferred employees in strategic sectors. These initiatives will be aimed at improving education and skills development.

In the area of health, the DSP will ensure that health insurance is improved and international accreditation for hospitals is introduced. In addition, a more rigorous medical licensing process will be implemented, with specific clinical guidelines developed.

Labour regulations will be updated and enforcement mechanisms will be improved. The awareness of employers and employees of their legal rights and responsibilities will be enhanced.

Overall, the plan will improve the governance of the services sector and transform service delivery from welfare based to a social development model.


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