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UAE steps into year of tolerance
BY INAYAT-UR-RAHMAN January 01, 2019
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President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has already declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, which is a major step towards setting a positive tone for the year ahead. The UAE’s potential for growth in 2019 is tremendous. The country will definitely capitalise on the surge of new market opportunities and economic diversification drive as the UAE gets a step closer to creating yet another history by hosting one of the best World Expos in 2020. The able and visionary Rulers of the country are to be thanked for such a promising and vision-oriented economy. Industry heavyweights, businesswomen, local traders, investors and business analysts share their candid views about the UAE’s economic growth in the New Year with The Gulf Today

Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare:  Despite a downhearted global economic outlook, fueled by regional geo-political factors and fluctuating oil prices, the Middle East’s economy has continued to grow throughout 2018. Furthermore, the private sector is still considered a key ally in the long-term economic development in the Middle East.

The UAE’s economy is projected to grow steadily in 2019. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) predicts that the UAE economy will grow by 3.7% in 2019. These predications are based on recent government adjustments on revenue and spending. Whilst an increase in oil prices is also expected to drive this growth, the government’s investment into the non-oil economy will be a key attribute to the growth of the economy.

This private sector has a huge role to play in the economic growth of the UAE. This year, despite a regional economic slowdown, the private sector grew by 3%. Whilst this is not a significant figure, it highlights the role of the private sector in driving growth in the non-oil sector.

The new incentives announced by the Federal Government like 10 years visa for investors and professionals as well as 100% ownership in business will go a long way in attracting capital to UAE. Apart from people like us who are already here, large number of investors from various countries will definitely make UAE a destination for investment.

For the health sector specifically, we believe hospitals in 2019 need to look at how they provide value based care. With so many hospitals suffering from cost optimization measures and other economic factors, we believe healthcare reform needs to look at how healthcare providers can provide value based healthcare which looks at prevention and efficiency as key pillars in healthcare reform. One of focus areas of UAE is to become  a regional destination for medical tourism. We are at the forefront of the efforts in association with Government by establishing new specialty hospitals and investing in newer technology.

Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams):  I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Ruling families of all Emirates and the residents of UAE a very happy and a prosperous 2019.

The UAE economy has shown great resilience in the last year and has proved that this country has the capability to defy the odds and continue to grow and improve.

Shams has developed so much over the last year in becoming the first smart Free Zone in the UAE. It’s continued growth has inspired new ideas and brought an example of what the future could look like. As 2018 comes to a close, we want to wish everyone who has contributed or even vested an interest in our city a Happy New Year.

Sarfaraz Alam , Co-Founder & CEO, HashMove:  The UAE manifested as the best place for innovators and disruptive technologies, is emanating as a global logistics hub and next digital powerhouse, with 2019 focusing on bolstering an enduring infrastructure for global multimodal logistics in Dubai South.
The move towards digitalization will cultivate a landscape for initiatives such as; Block chain, AI & Smart Cities equipped with digital innovation ushering in economic opportunities conducive for the region. Through strategic public and private sector collaborations, Smart Dubai will further empower, deliver and promote an impactful city experience.

Over 190 initiatives and 1000 smart services are already processed or well underway. HashMove’s platform will provide the region with a viable competitive advantage through its Multimodal Logistics Marketplace, fostering global trade with seamless end-to-end connectivity across Shipping Lines, Freight Forwarders, Warehouse owners, Insurance Companies and value-added services providers. Augmented with digitized documentation, lower operational costs, and enhanced customer serviceability the marketplace will lead the way into a progressive future. Additionally, the presence of IoT-based cold chain logistics will help the manufacturing industry save billions of dollars and enhance food security at large. The Expo 2020 through collaboration, connectivity, and innovation will transform the experience and ease of doing business in the Gulf and UAE. I would like to greet the visionary Rulers and residents of the UAE a very prosperous New Year 2019.

Ahmad Shaikhani, Senior Vice President Pakistan Business Council and Director, Shaikhani Group: By announcing 2019 to be a year of  ‘Tolerance’, UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan took a major step towards setting a positive tone for the year ahead. Overall UAE economy looks resilient, offering great avenues of investment for local as well as international investors in long-term period.

I would like to wish the leaders of our nation a very Happy & prosperous New Year. May 2019 bring happiness, wealth, joy & success to the emirates.

 Ekaterina Vasileva, a leading artist and TV Presenter:  I really enjoyed my New Year celebrations in the city of wonders. The unique light show at Burj Khalifa added more flavor to our new year festivities and to the beauty of Dubai.

2018 marked another year of solid development in the UAE in various fields and endeavours, consolidating the UAE’s position as a global hub for art, culture and knowledge. It is our earnest desire to see the UAE continue to cross milestones and score successes, and achieve, in the coming year, and the years to come, ever greater prosperity and stability. I wish to extend warm felicitations and season’s greetings to the leadership and people of the UAE on the occasion of the New Year.

CA Mahmood Bangara, Chairman , ICAI Dubai Chapter: The UAE is a hub of innovation that attracts people, business, and technology from all across the world, it is one of the safest countries in the world, it is one of the best nations to study and work in, and it has maintained its cultural heritage and wealth even after having completely transformed itself. We saw UAE withstanding cyclical challenges during the past and will continue to do. The superior echo system for business and families will continue to retain UAE as center of attraction globally.

2019 looks promising, showing signs of boom in trade and commerce. We hope to see significant financial and economic growth of the country as a whole in the new year.  ICAI extends warm wishes and prosperity to the Rulers and people of the UAE.

 Khalid Hussain Chaudhry, President, Pakistan Social Centre Sharjah: My heartfelt new year wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and the citizens of UAE. I also take this opportunity to wish everyone at large and our well-wishers a wishful and a Happy New Year and let this new year bring in lot of positive hope, peace ,success and prosperity to this region.

Masood Ahmed, Vice President, Braiform, for Middle East and Africa:  The UAE is a safe haven for global investors.  The country’s economic growth is on solid growth track and is marching ahead. The past year promises a big boost in the business sector as well as retail and tourism sector.
Dubai is one of the most secure cities in the world. It has everything from infrastructure, heritage sites, tourist spots, culture, cuisine and more over security for living. 

I would like to congratulate  the visionary Rulers of the UAE and the whole nation on the occasion of New Year.

Saleh Tabakh, Chief Executive Officer of Delta International Real Estate: The UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2019, as the “Year of  Tolerance”. Welcome to the responsibilities as it will increase our chances of being prosperous and successful.
To everyone whose lives we have touched, know that we too at Delta International have equally been moved and enthused by your continued business and inspiring journeys. I would like to greet President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates on the occasion of New Year.

Atif Rahman, Director and Partner, Danube Properties: The UAE has come a long way to be recognized globally as a mark of quality. Everything that’s “Made in UAE” is a symbol of quality to reckon with across the globe and the country is set to see more growth and prosperity in 2019.  Welcoming this new year 2019, Danube Properties wishes everyone a bright and solid year ahead.
Majid Al Mualla, Manager of Souq Al Haraj for Cars: The optimistic vision of the Rulers has played a vital role in keeping the nation moving forward. I am confident that 2019 will be an even better year than last year as UAE gets step closer to creating yet another history by hosting one of the best World Expos in 2020.

We’re proud to be part of Sharjah’s growing automotive industry and would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to drive safely and have a blessed New Year’s celebration. May your 2019 be filled with good health and prosperity.

Abdul Hadi Al Sadi, Managing Director of Brokerage House Securities: The UAE has known to be visionaries, symbol of progress and catalyst of development all over the world. The nation is positively responding to the challenges with grace and resilience and we expect a fast growing economy as we approach the much-awaited Expo 2020. Part of embracing progress is moving forward, by hearing ideas different from the ones we’ve traditionally adopted. Through listening, understanding and acknowledging the voices of all, we acknowledge the UAE as a melting pot of different cultures and ideologies that have synchronised, giving us the accepting country, we’ve come to cherish. 2019 Marks the Year of Tolerance; a year where we will reinforce and build bridges between what we share, rather than what pushes us apart.

We honour our leaders headed by the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in making the UAE known as one of the most progressive countries globally. We wish them strength and robust will in directing us towards significant success towards the year 2019 and beyond.

With the spirit of this in mind, we at BHS would like to wish everyone an equally successful 2019, filled with opportunities and exciting experiences for you and your loved ones to reap and cherish.
Iftikhar Hamdani, Cluster General Manager, Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Ajman, Ramada by Wyndham Beach Hotel Ajman, and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche:  2018 has been a busy and exciting year for us as we opened our third hotel in Ajman, and we look forward to more success in 2019. We are very optimistic that our team will achieve great results and that Ajman will continue to rise as a tourist and business destination. Our leaders have put in great efforts to ensure top notch infrastructure and strategic synergies are in place, in order to attract more visitors and improve the commercial value of the emirate. We are all fired up for the year ahead and we wish everyone joyous and prosperous celebrations with their loved-ones as we welcome 2019!

Narendra Menon, Managing Director, Nikon Middle East: Looking forward while solidifying the present growth is what marks the successful journey of innovation and advancement. That is exactly what this year was about, we were recovering and working towards solidifying the present growth and the new year will bring opportunities to propel the country towards prosperity. As one of the renowned hubs of innovation, the UAE, is ready to witness a lot of advancements in 2019. Nikon wishes everyone a truly wonderful year ahead.

JS Anand,  Founder of Leva Hotels, Dubai: The UAE is known for its warmth and hospitality today. It is, in fact, one of the safest countries in the world for tourists and expats. 2019 looks promising for the economic growth of UAE. The year ahead holds opportunities that will make UAE a symbol of warmth, hospitality, safety, and cultural heritage across the world. A happy New Year to all from Leva Hotels.

Lucas Jiang, General Manager, TP-Link MEA FZE: The New Year will bring new hope and opportunities for the UAE. We should look at it as celebration of how much we have grown and advanced in the last forty-seven years. UAE today is a hub of new technology and innovation and has a vision that is continually upgraded with the advancing times. TP-Link wishes the rulers and the lovely people of the UAE a very prosperous New Year 2019.

Shaher Mousli, CEO, Arthur Mackenzy Properties Group: The International Monetary Fund has forecasted that the UAE economy will grow 3.7 per cent in 2019. Challenges do remain but businesses in the non-oil sector, especially companies in the property sector, are set to embrace the government’s fiscal and structural reforms that have been introduced to support growth in these sectors. Having said that, with eyes on the horizon of promise and continued prosperity business owners have to bear in mind that to continue doing business successfully in this time and age one has to think and speak like the common investor/customer. Gone are the days of incomprehensible value adds and towering claims. Keep your business relevant and offerings straightforward to make the best use of a promising 2019.

Sujit Sukumaran, CEO, Optimus Management Consultants:As an entrepreneur running a small business, even a small change in the economic climate can effect us tremendously. I remain eternally optimistic about the year ahead, though acknowledging it’s going to be a tougher market with lower margins. The good side of it is that those who innovate and sustain will survive for a long time. As regards the naysayers, ups and downs are a part of life and business too, even in an ECG a straight line equates to death! I think the UAE and it’s push to be a global business leader means better tidings for us too as when the country grows by association, small businesses grow too.

Sofya Shamuzova, CEO, Casa Shamuzzi:  For the UAE, 2019 is a year that is forecasted to outperform the International Monetary Fund’s anticipated 3.7 per cent growth. The Nation’s government is keen on diversifying and nurturing the non-oil sectors which are a boon for companies operating in these verticals. A small example of this is the more relaxed regulations for investors to operate outside free zones. The country has taken active measures to offer and maintain a friendly investment ecosystem which will be a positive boost for UAE’s GDP. Businesses can experience buoyancy in this climate if they adopt a judicious and long-term approach instead of focusing on instant returns.

Moussa El Hayek, Chief Operating Officer at Al Bustan Centre and Residence:  The beginning of every year is considered to be one of the busiest times in the UAE as it doesn’t only coincides a lot of big events happening here and there but also the good weather and climate boosts the attraction of business visitors and tourists and shopping lovers.    

Year-on-year, we are witnessing a massive growth in UAE’s robust economy in all businesses and industries as the demand increases. Also to note the continuous effort of the Tourism Board in further promoting UAE as a global destination – one of the most visited countries in the world. Economic indicators presents a decent rating as with the activities and performance of the hospitality and tourism industry wherein every year new hotels and new theme parks and attractions are opening and with massive sale events and shopping festivals. 

Zamarud  Khan Buneri, Deputy General Manager, AvT Channels, Dubai Station:  I am very proud of the UAE’s achievements, a country that opens doors to all without fear or favour. I am very excited about year 2019 due to great paving opportunities that awaits for all.  I wish to express my gratitude to the leadership and people of UAE on the occasion of New Year.  “I am confident that UAE economy will poise to grow further and accomplish greater goals of being the world leader in Smart governance and a business-friendly nation.”

Dr Michael Fakih, Medical Director of Fakih IVF:  As we step in to 2019, I wish all the readers, a very happy new year, let us work hard and formulate a list of new-year resolutions for ourselves that will aim at making us a better and a prosperous human being. I would also seize this opportunity to thank Rulers of the UAE for making this country like home for all of us.

Fakih was conceived to help people be the best version of themselves. The confidence we’ve granted is contagious and with so many exciting new projects underway to better care for our clients and patients, we’re excited to improve your experiences with Fakih IVF even further. Wishing another year of limitless success and glory.

Malik Sana Ullah Khan Usakhail,  Owner, Habib General Transport, Dibba, Fujairah: It is astonishing to see how another year has passed by so quickly. Now we are stepping in 2019, with rejuvenated hopes and passion. Leaping into another year with big dreams, defined goals to reach success and prosper our lives in the UAE.

This country has given us a lot. In the past one decade it amazes me to see how quickly the government is advancing in the attempt of providing the easiest luxurious and entertaining life for the residents in the UAE. As we step in to 2019, I wish the visionary Rulers and lovely people of  the UAE a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Nasir Ali Rehmani, a leading Calligrapher and Artist at MBF Group: I would like to wish the visionary Rulers and lovely people of  the UAE, a very prosperous and peaceful New Year 2019. MBF Group is planning to celebrate the New Year with great pomp and show under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Faisal Al Qassimi, Chairman, MBF Group. As UAE steps into 2019, I am optimistic the country’s economic growth would gain pace bucking the global trends.

Mohammed Idress Khan, Cluster Manager, Marhaba Hotel & Resorts and Arbella Boutique Hotel Sharjah: On the onset of New Year, I would  like to extend my good wishes to our wise and visionary leadership and to the lovely people of the UAE, a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

2018 has been a momentous year for the hospitality and tourism sector and I am positive that 2019 will be far better. With 2019 marked as the ‘Year of Tolerance’, UAE will usher in a new era of optimism,  which will not only promote growth and development, but also position UAE as a destination of choice for trade, events and innovation.

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