Emirates' boss says gov't services could be "more efficient" if privatised

Sir Tim Clark, president of state-owned Dubai airline, says there are many gov't subsidiaries that could be sold
By Courtney Trenwith
Tue 11 Feb 2014 09:50 AM

The president of Dubai-based airline Emirates says government services could be "incredibly more efficient" if they were privatised.

Sir Tim Clark said tax-payer services also were often more efficient when operated by a private company.

"In my view there are many aspects of government service that could be privatised," Clark, who runs the government-owned airline, said at the Government Summit in Dubai on Monday.

"If you look at, for instance, border controls in the UK and Europe; if you look at some of those entities like refuge collection in councils, a lot of the council entities can be privatised and are privatised and they're incredibly more efficient because there is that profit motivation there and they do a better job.

"So there is nothing wrong with doing that."

Clark is the second senior executive at the airline to support privatisation.

Retired Emirates executive vice chairman and co-founder, Sir Maurice Flanagan, said in May 2012 it would "make sense" to sell Emirates, one of Dubai's prized assets.

"I wouldn't like to see it happen," Flanagan said.

"I don't think it is being seriously thought of, but the time might come when it would make sense to do that."

The majority of government services in the UAE and other Gulf states are publicly owned and operated, while Western countries have sold many of their assets, including banks, postal services, airlines and telecommunications companies.

In recent years there have been a small number of privatisations announced in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabian Airlines and Kuwait Airways, which are still in the process of being sold.

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