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Sat 30 May 2009 03:14 PM

Transport, healthcare key to Dubai's future

Emirate will see shift to more sustainable sectors, away from real estate - DIFC governor.

Transport, healthcare key to Dubai's future
FUTURE JOBS: Transport will be an important part of Dubais future economy. (Getty Images)

Transportation, healthcare, education, tourism and financial services are to be the key planks of Dubai’s economy going forward post-crisis, according to the governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

In a statement published on Saturday Omar Bin Sulaiman said the emirate would see a structural shift in the economy during the next few years towards more sustainable sectors.

Jobs within the transport industry were already set to grow with 2,000 new employees needed for the Dubai Metro when it opens in September, plus 1,500 staff for Dubai Duty Free in Terminal 3 at Dubai Airport, he said.

Meanwhile, Dubai Health Care City and other healthcare projects in the emirate would require thousands of healthcare workers once they opened, Sulaiman added in a speech to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

The shift was not unexpected but was happening more quickly than anticipated, as a result of the global crisis, he explained.

"This shift in the relative importance of various sectors of the economy is, in fact, a central component of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, but it's happening more quickly than envisioned by the plan, largely due to the impact of the global crisis," Sulaiman said.

Some firms and employees in the real estate sector had, and would, suffer as a result of the change in focus, he acknowledged.

But, opportunities within the new sectors would soon open up.

"While there has been a loss of jobs in real estate and related sectors for example, positions are opening up in healthcare, education, hospitality, financial services and trade."

The move would also make Dubai an improved place to live as these sectors impacted directly on residents' quality of life, Sulaiman told the meeting.

"We are blessed to be living in an open and flexible market economy that allows us to adjust quickly in the face of rapidly changing global conditions," he said.

"As a result, we soon will begin to see signs of a mature economy taking shape in Dubai and the UAE."

Sulaiman’s comments were mirrored at the same event by Hamad Buamim, director general of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who stated that the emirate’s economy was starting to see the first signs of recovery.

Latest findings and figures showed that profit rates in the banking sector had only dropped by four percent, while assets had increased by two percent, and Dubai’s population had grown eight percent, Buamim told delegates.

"Despite the crises Dubai's current exports are still growing in comparison with the exports of 2007, since 2008 was an exceptional year of growth and 2007 is the norm and we still expect to see more growth" he concluded.

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