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New trade initiatives and EXPO 2020 preparations take centre stage in latest report on Dubai

March 2019

Oxford Business Group launches 2019 publication on emirate’s economy at Nasdaq Dubai MarketSite

Dubai, March 19, 2019:  The key sectors of Dubai’s economy that are generating new growth and underpinning continued economic diversification  are explored in detail in a new report from the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Dubai 2019 charts the emirate’s bid to build on its competitive advantages and attract new investors by establishing a raft of free trade zones, which are being supported by expanding port and shipping infrastructure.

There is coverage of the key role that Jebel Ali Port, the largest facility of its kind in the region, is playing in helping Dubai to develop its transport sector and cement its position as a regional hub for cargo.

OBG’s report also shines a spotlight on Dubai’s tourism industry, which has long been an important contributor to the broader economy, buoyed by the broad range of visitors in both the business and leisure segments that are seeking out the emirate’s conference facilities, shopping malls and many other attractions. In addition, the publication maps out the latest developments in Dubai’s preparations for hosting Expo 2020 as the launch date for the milestone event edges closer.

The emirate’s plans to carve a niche as a regional financial services centre are another focus. The Report: Dubai 2019 highlights the part that tech solutions and innovations are playing in redefining the industry’s landscape. It also tracks the steps being taken to expand Dubai’s capital markets and boost liquidity, which include introducing new instruments and encouraging new listings.

Dubai’s government has long championed tech advancements and signalled its commitment to ICT development, as demonstrated by key initiatives such as Smart Dubai and the Dubai Future Foundation. OBG considers the latest landmark developments in this field, including the relaxing of rules governing voice over internet protocol services, which is expected to pave the way for further liberalisation of the industry’s framework.

The Report: Dubai 2019 contains a viewpoint by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; President of the Financial Audit Authority; and Chairman at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors.

It features a wide range of interviews with other high-profile personalities, including: Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, Emirates National Oil Company; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman, Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation and Dubai Maritime City Authority; and Aisha bin Bishr, Director-General, Smart Dubai Office.

Ringing the market-opening bell at Nasdaq Dubai MarketSite to mark the launch, OBG’s Editor-in-Chief, Oliver Cornock, said that while Dubai had faced a number of economic challenges in recent years, its broad-based non-oil sector offered plenty of opportunities for growth.

“Dubai’s decision to begin diversifying its economy ahead of some other regional markets has ensured that several sectors, including tourism, logistics, manufacturing and services, are well developed and ripe for new investment,” he said. “Higher growth forecasts by the IMF of 3.7% for 2019 and increased government spending, will help to further boost business sentiment.”

Managing Director for the Middle East, Jana Treeck, added that although growth had slowed in the construction sector, the ongoing infrastructure drive in the run-up to Dubai Expo 2020, together with foreign ownership reforms, was expected to galvanise economic activity in the coming months.

“Dubai’s preparations for the expo are moving forward, as the emirate prepares to welcome what it anticipates will be a record number of visitors throughout the year,” she said. “Our report not only examines the infrastructure development that is being rolled out to accommodate a possible 20m arrivals, but also considers what the government is doing to ensure growth after Expo 2020 is sustainable.”

The Report: Dubai 2019 marks the culmination of more than 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. The publication assesses trends and developments across the emirate, including those in macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and others.

The Report: Dubai 2019 has been produced with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and industry and PwC. It is available online and in print. 

Nasdaq Dubai and OBG agreed last year to collaborate to bring high quality financial intelligence and economic analysis to investors and the business community.

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