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Sat 2 Feb 2019 06:25 PM

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Global body ICAEW hails Dubai's economic reforms

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales highlights Dubai's 'promising trajectory'

Global body ICAEW hails Dubai's economic reforms
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Recent announcements by Dubai government to further diversify the emirate's economy have been hailed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Accountancy and finance body ICAEW highlighted Dubai's "promising trajectory" towards cementing its influential position as a future-proof global business capital in a new report.

The organisation applauded plans, which include a geo-economic map for the city, the first virtual commercial city in the region, free economic and creative zones in universities, and Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) expansion plan.

All aim to accelerate the development of Dubai’s business landscape.

Commenting on the plans by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Michael Armstrong, ICAEW regional director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) said: “The UAE economy has been adapting well to a prolonged decline in oil prices since 2014.

"The non-oil sector – which represents almost 70 percent of the UAE’s economy – was the key growth driver for the country’s economy in 2018. Continued improvements in strengthening non-oil revenue, advancing to a competitive knowledge-based economy, instilling business confidence, and facilitating doing business will help achieve the UAE’s 2021 goals."

He added: “Most important, Dubai’s approach to change is proactive rather than reactive. This will ensure it is fit and ready to compete in a digital world. Changes, driven by a range of factors, but most significantly technology, will transform all aspects of business and society in the coming years."

Armstrong said Dubai is investing in innovative thinking, such as the planned transformation of public and private universities into free zones that allow students to carry out business and creative activities, and the establishment of the first virtual commercial city in the region.

"This makes it clear Dubai is embracing digital transformation," he said, adding that these measures, alongside the development of DIFC, will "definitely facilitate Dubai’s journey towards unparalleled achievement and success".

In November, the UAE Cabinet also issued a decision to adopt a new system of entry visas for investors and professional talents by providing them with long-term residence permits for up to 10 years.

The system will grant investors and talents up to 10-year residency visas for specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields, as well as for all scientists and innovators, as well as five-year residency visas for students studying in the UAE, and 10-year visas for exceptional students.