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Mon 16 Mar 2020 10:58 AM

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Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince vows to continue capital expenditure plan

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohamed 'confident in the resilience of our national economy and its ability to navigate market fluctuations'

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince vows to continue capital expenditure plan

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, where the current Covid-19 crisis was discussed.

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has vowed to plough ahead with capital expenditure and development projects in the emirate, despite the economic concerns caused by the coronavirus crisis.

On Saturday the United Arab Emirates announced a $27.2bn programme to assist its lenders. The UAE’s Targeted Economic Support Scheme includes a $13.6bn aid package for banks in the country through collateralised, zero-interest loans. Banks will also be allowed to free up capital buffers, which will make another $13.6bn in liquidity available to lenders.

In a social media posting, Sheikh Mohamed said: “I’ve given directives to continue with all approved capital expenditure and development projects in the emirate, and to take further measures to preserve Abu Dhabi’s economic gains, prioritising start-ups and SMEs.”

He also revealed that authorities will continue developing and easing investment laws and regulations, making them more flexible to maintain economic development.

“We are confident in the resilience of our national economy and its ability to navigate market fluctuations,” he added.

Furthermore, a new committee is to be set up, headed by the Department of Finance, with members from the Department of Economic Development and local banks to review lending options to support local companies.

Sheikh Mohamed said: “I’ve discussed with officials in Abu Dhabi the current economic and business climate...The existing stimulus programmes in Abu Dhabi and those launched recently by the Central Bank and local governments are the solid pillars that will support and protect the UAE's economic stability.”

It comes following a meeting between Sheikh Mohamed and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, where the current Covid-19 crisis was discussed – there are 98 confirmed cases of the virus in the UAE, although 26 people, previously diagnosed, have recovered.

Sheikh Mohammed said the health of UAE citizens is “our paramount priority” and that the state’s resources are “all devoted to ensuring their safety”.

In a tweet posted through the Dubai Media Office, he said: “We are all responsible for the wellbeing of each other and the #UAE is presenting a united front to overcome challenges and crises, while preserving our achievements.”

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