The year that is coming to an end has been particularly significant for the UAE’s economy for the multiple events, announcements and projects that have marked the past twelve months.
“Projects of the 50”
From the celebration of the country’s fiftieth anniversary to Expo 2020 Dubai, the launch of the “Projects of the 50” plan, technological developments, a revolutionary legislative reform and many more. New major investments and strategic initiatives have been announced throughout the year to achieve sustainable development in different sectors.
The UAE’s economic plans and ambitions include boosting and diversifying opportunities in several areas such as artificial intelligence, digital economy, circular economy, innovation, space, health, agriculture, advanced industries, healthcare and food industries. The country is also planning to invest huge funds in renewable energy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In addition to that, in 2021 conferences and exhibitions resumed after the pandemic. Expo 2020 Dubai alone is contributing significantly to the economy despite strict health and safety measures.
The Urban Plan 2040
The Urban Plan 2040 was announced in March and will be the seventh development plan since 1960. Other than creating new greener areas, it will expand existing ones prioritizing the enhancement of education and healthcare facilities. The objective is to attract more and more people to support Dubai’s growth.
In September the first set of strategic plans and initiatives of the ‘Projects of the 50’ was launched and included the ‘10×10 Programme’. The programme aims at achieving an annual increase in the country’s exports by 10 percent in ten key markets: China, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Poland, Luxembourg, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.
In November 2021, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved the largest legislative reform in the country’s history, which includes over 40 laws to enhance the country’s economic development and preserve the rights of individuals: increased legal rights to women in the workplace (e.g. longer maternity leave), decriminalisation of alcohol consumption and cohabitation of unmarried couples, among others. Furthermore, new visa types and long-term residency have been introduced to allow more people to live and work in the UAE.
Despite the pandemic, the UAE’s economy has grown during the past twelve months thanks to the country’s proactive approach and strategic vision of its future. 2021 has been a year in preparation not only for 2022 but for the next fifty years.