Finding the right answer
Several committees are being formed in the UAE to provide the government recommendations on how to deal with the financial crisis.
February 1, 2009 12:12 by Aarti Nagraj
Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair, speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) that advises the UAE rulers, has said that the government must inject more liquidity into the market; spend part of its sovereign wealth fund to help revive the economy;
and delay the construction of property developments.
“We have built up huge reserves of $300-500 billion. We can put it into some projects… otherwise when do we spend it? It’s for a rainy day,” Ghurair told Reuters.
Meanwhile, the UAE Ministry of Economy has proposed the setting up of a common emergency committee to deal with the global financial crisis. Some of the initiatives it is considering are enforcing stricter transparency norms, reducing interest rates, giving the UAE Central Bank a more pivotal role, reducing visa fees and streamlining the role of the media.
Several committees were formed to monitor the performance of markets all over the UAE, which recommended several solutions and suggestions, reports WAM.
“We are committed to addressing the economic challenges and in formulating appropriate solutions. The ministry has set up a special team to study the suggestions by our committees, which will send its report to the Cabinet for approval and implementation,” said Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy.
A special committee, the Advisory Council, was also formed in November last year by the Dubai government to suggest ways to tackle the slowdown, and help the stabilize the economy’s key sectors.
A few days after it was formed, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the chairman of the council and the head of Emaar Properties, a Dubai-based developer, said “Let me assure you that we [the Advisory Council], have our finger on the pulse of the real estate sector [...] The city continues to attract international investors and professionals who want to be part of the Dubai success story and sought-after global lifestyle.”
He continues to be optimistic. Just 10 days ago, he said that Dubai continues to experience sustained net growth in the establishment of new businesses and increased airline passenger arrivals. He also said that property supply is forecast to be in line with demand this year.
“[We] are already making the structural changes necessary to best manage this new economic reality,” he said. “No one has ever accused Dubai of being afraid to think big or new or different. We have to maintain that spirit of bold innovation – especially now, during this time of great challenges. When the world is in the midst of a crisis of confidence, as it is today, confident cities with confident leadership are critical. We have to continue to show the world that some things are possible only in Dubai.”
Will such positive thinking, coupled with the increasing number of recommendations from different committees in the country, help the nation cope with the financial crisis?