By Neil Halligan
UAE Deputy PM Sheikh Saif says future wealth will come from UAE’s investment in education
The UAE’s dependency on oil will be just five percent of GDP by 2021, according to the UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Sheikh Saif, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, told the Government Summit this week that the country’s reliance on oil has been continually in decline since it peaked in the 1970s. He said oil revenues currently contribute 30 percent to the UAE’s GDP, a drop from 90 percent in the 1970s.
Sheikh Saif said the dependency on oil will continue to decrease over the coming years, with a plan to reduce dependency to just five percent in the next six years.
“The UAE has raised the bar for the challenge of 2021, when oil dependency will only be 5 percent, and this can only be achieved through progressive patriotism,” he said.
Like the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheik Mohammed, Sheik Saif downplayed the impact of the price of oil on the country’s current GDP.
“If 30 years ago oil prices reached these low levels, we would have been severely impacted but today, it’s a challenge and not a crisis,” he said.
Also echoing Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Saif said the UAE’s future wealth will come from its investment in education.
“We look at the future with optimism. When the last shipment of oil will leave our country, we can say we have invested in the minds of our youth,” he added.