UAE to outline vision for ‘post-oil’ economy in coming weeks

Strategy will focus on boosting human capital and diversifying away from oil
UAE to outline vision for ‘post-oil’ economy in coming weeks
Dubais ruler, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, who is also vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, speaks to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (R), Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the UAEs deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Sarah Townsend
Mon 01 Feb 2016 11:51 AM

The UAE is to publish a strategy for investing in human capital to further diversify from oil, according to state news agency WAM.

The plans were announced on the concluding day of a ministerial retreat held to discuss the challenges of a ‘post-oil’ economy.

The strategy, to be prepared by ministers in the coming weeks, will aim to increase productivity in the workplace and enhance the UAE’s international competitiveness.

Sheikh Mohammed, Ruler of Dubai, said: “Investing in human capital is the global approach in the 21st century, and the only means to achieve sustainable development that drives our country towards greater progress and prosperity.”

Sheikh Mohammed tweeted later: “Today we concluded the UAE post-oil retreat. Our new strategic approaches have become clear and the initiatives will be announced during the coming weeks.

“The presence of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed during the retreat, his supervision over many of the discussions and his clear vision for the future of the national economy was one of the most important gains during this retreat.

“We would like to reaffirm to our citizens that the UAE is in safe hands and that the future of the nation will move forward based on a wise vision. God willing, the best is yet to come.”

WAM noted that efforts to diversify the UAE economy to date have paid off. In 1980, it reported, the UAE’s GDP reached AED555 billion, with oil revenue contributing the majority with 79 percent, and non-oil sectors accounting for 21 percent.

In 2014, however, GDP reached AED1,155 billion, of which non-oil sectors contributed up to 69 percent of revenue, and oil sectors accounted for 31 percent.

The government is working to establish a legal environment that supports economic growth and boosts investment, WAM said. Non-oil sectors that have achieved notable growth in recent years include manufacturing, government services, infrastructure and aviation.

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