The ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announces his bold vision for the emirate.Following 10 years of unprecedented success, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced the second phase of the Dubai Strategic Plan, setting out the future economic growth of the emirate through to 2015.
The plan outlines the Sheikh’s vision for Dubai from economic and social development to infrastructure, land and the environment. Its foundation is in economic growth and diversification away from oil revenue, intending to capitalise on Dubai’s well deserved global reputation as an economic hub and an excellent location for investment in order to achieve leadership status in the worlds of business and finance.
In 2000, Dubai set ambitious economic targets for 2010 which, in reality, due to the phenomenal performance of the economy were surpassed by 2005. Diversification has been an important part of Dubai’s success, due to the non-renewable nature of oil stocks, and the last 30 years have seen dramatic change. In 1975 the oil sector constituted 46 per cent of income which by 2005 had been reduced to 5 per cent, and this trend is expected to continue with strong growth in tourism, transportation, physical infrastructure and financial services.
In terms of the economy Vision 2015 is expected to engineer an 11 per cent annual growth in GDP to £54.5 billion by 2015 from the current £18.87 billion. This would translate to a 41 per cent growth per capita GDP to £22,000 by 2015 from £15,000 now, through the creation of 882,000 new jobs and bringing total employment to 1.73 million by 2015.
The plan also sets out bold social policy which includes increasing UAE nationals’ participation in employment and society, in addition to developing the quality of education, healthcare services and social services. Dubai’s cultural environment is also referenced by a need to nurture all cultural activities.
Dubai’s success as a regional business hub and popular tourist destination has been greatly assisted by state-of-the-art infrastructure. Over the next few years increased visitors and residents will require significant investment to support the development of roads and transport, which thus far has included sizeable contributions to both Dubai Metro projects and current road networks equaling £2.95 billion.
The aims for the infrastructure, land and environment sector are equally bold, with commitments to optimising land use through integrated urban planning and adequate provisioning of community facilities. To fulfil increased visitor and resident figures power generation and desalination capacity will be significantly increased. There is also a concerted drive to move away from private car usage and developing public transportation facilities. Furthermore in line with heightened global awareness of the importance of preserving the environment, Dubai is examining a sustainable development approach and raising environmental awareness in the region. The highly innovative developments taking place in Dubai have helped to put the emirate on the world map with greatly enhanced public awareness.
Dubai is counted among the world’s safest cities with low crime levels, and in order for this to continue a commitment has been made to improve criminal investigation and number of patrols. Contingency plans to manage crises and disasters will also be drawn up with a mention of the need to increase awareness of rights and responsibilities. The government also makes the promise to improve the quality of judicial investigations, update safety legislation, and improve specifications and standards of Dubai’s residents, workers and visitors.
The Government of Dubai has made tremendous strides in enhancing public sector performance through intense modernisation, and this is expected to continue with a commitment to strengthen the strategic and forward-looking focus, efficiency, responsiveness and customer service along with empowering and motivating public service employees.
Bärbel Kirchner, director of the UK and Ireland representative office of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), comments: “The Dubai Strategic Plan for 2015 highlights the emirate’s bold and progressive attitude to its future growth and development. Dubai is fast establishing itself as an outstanding destination for both tourism and business, with a range of inspirational attractions and advantageous commercial incentives. Not content to merely participate as a driving force behind regional growth, Dubai is leading the way…”
Dubai’s success has been based on its ability to diversify, innovate and inspire. The 2015 Strategic Plan demonstrates Dubai’s forward-thinking and ambitious approach towards giving both visitors and residents a diverse and enlightening experience.