“UAE’s Economy has doubled in the last 10 years,”– Sheikh Mohammed
The UAE’s economy has doubled in the past 10 years, from a GDP of Dhs663-B to Dhs1.360-B,the country’s Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum confirmed at the weekend.
In a note written to mark 10 years since he assumed his position, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the achievements of the country during that frame.
“Despite the global financial crisis and the resulting economic slowdown, despite the upheaval and disorder our region has endured, the United Arab Emirates has shown marked progress in all sectors,” he wrote in the note, published by Dubai Media Office.
The improvement in the economy has “provided jobs and underpinned considerable economic and commercial opportunities for the citizens and residents of our country”, he added.
Sheikh Mohammed also said that with the focus on diversification, the contribution of the non-oil sector to the UAE’s economy has grown by over 10 per cent in the last 10 years.
“We have continuously stressed in the past 10 years, through legislation and policies, the importance of diversifying our economy away from dependence on Crude Oil.
“As a result, our non-petroleum exports have increased from Dhs113bn when I assumed office to Dhs603-B (including free zone trade) in the past year. The economic contribution of the non-petroleum sector has increased from 66 to some 77% today,” he said.
“This has provided our economy with considerable protection throughout the recent decline in oil prices and meant we have been one of few countries worldwide cushioned against the resultant economic slowdown.”
Meanwhile the public sector’s contribution to the GDP had increased by over 273%– from Dhs23-B to Dhs86-B in the last 10 years.
FDI (foreign direct investment) has also more than doubled to Dhs410-B from 179-B while UAE banks’ total assets have increased sharply from Dhs859.6-B to Dhs2.478.2-B during the frame.
“We have seen a major growth in our competitiveness, from being the world’s 32nd most competitive economy to the 16th. This has placed the young nation of the UAE on a par with countries who have hundreds of years of development behind them,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The UAE’s expenditure on the health sector has increased from Dhs1.18bn 10 years ago to over 3.82-B currently, with the number of doctors growing from 10,000 to over 17,000.
“When it comes to health and education, which we consider to be among the most important sectors for our people, the indicators of the health sector point to a significant progress,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
In education, public sector expenditure has risen by 57% to reach Dhs9.75-B annually.
The number of accredited program in UAE universities has gone up from 206 to 862.
Kindergarten enrollment has grown to 93% among the highest globally, with the rate of high school graduation also reaching 93%.
The UAE currently leads globally in a number of indicators, such as the quality of public infrastructure, roads, maritime and aviation facilities, public safety and security, the rate of female enrollment in universities, government efficiency and trust in the government, Sheikh Mohammed said.
But he added: “My message today is not only about celebrating our achievements, but also evaluating the challenges ahead.
“A few years ago, we announced the Indicators for our National Agenda.
“There are 52 national Key performance indicators in education, health, housing, society, infrastructure, economy, environment, security, justice, and safety, among others, which we aim at achieving by 2021, to be among the best countries globally by that date, which marks the 50th anniversary of our union. These indicators form historic goals for us in the next five years. They constitute the greatest challenges ahead of us; challenges we must overcome in the years to come,” he wrote.
The current progress in achieving these indicators stands at 62%, he confirmed.
“We have only five years remaining, a very short period in the life of a nation. It is not our custom to appease or ingratiate anyone, because courtesy at the expense of the country is not a sign of nationalism. Today, we issued a directive to form government teams called ‘The National Agenda Execution Teams’.”
The teams comprise 550 government members across all sectors and departments, responsible for fulfilling the indicators.
“The teams will be under my direct supervision to intensify our efforts, mobilise our assets, and redouble our work in the coming period, in order to reach 100% of the goals of our National Agenda by the year 2021,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
He added: “There is no room for procrastination, no time for delay. History is a witness to all of us. We have promised our people to accomplish what is best and we shall fulfil our promise.
“I will lead this effort and the teams behind it personally. We ask God to guide us to what is best for our country and nation.”