Upbeat business mood in UAE, Saudi - GulfToday

Upbeat business mood in UAE, Saudi


Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

The oil prices are robust if not booming despite the economic gloom in Europe in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, and the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are vigorously pursuing a futuristic economic plan with an eye on the environment and the challenges of climate change. The theme song of economic planners is sustainability. The UAE and Saudi Arabian leaders are conscious of the need to transit from fossil fuels-based energy systems to that of the renewables, but they know that the transition will be gradual even as one prepares to go electric vehicles and alternatives like nuclear power to light offices and homes and to run industries. The plans are being laid out. The optimism displayed by business leaders in the two countries in a survey carried out by Dubai-based business consultancy, Gedeon Mohr & Partners about the expectations in 2023 should not come as a surprise because the governments of UAE and Saudi Arabia have been forging economic policies with the environment, climate change and sustainability high on the agenda.

Though European governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been quite active in setting in place green policies, the European initiative has come too late in the day because for more than a century Europe, along with the United States, had been indulging in wasteful industrial productions, polluting the atmosphere, the rivers and depleting natural resources. In the Arabian peninsula, people for centuries had adapted themselves to the habitat and its resources. So, when the countries in the region modernised, they did not leave behind the mindset of being mindful of the environment. Maria Gedeon, CEO of Gedeon Mohr & Partners lays her finger on the reason behind the optimism apart from the higher oil prices which boosted economic growth in the region. She says, “But overall, the sentiment is better because of the amount of work the two governments are putting into developing the economies, increasing quality of life and attracting foreigners and expatriates to this part of the world.” And this at a time when Europe and America are showing an aversion towards migrants when their own populations are shrinking.

Haphazard economic growth in the last century had brought about the climate change crisis that the world is witnessing today, and it shows the importance of governments and their leaders to lead the way and set a holistic vision for the future development. In UAE and Saudi Arabia future plans are in place with the right emphasis on sustainability, environmental sensitivity and policies which will take care of these two issues. There is a growing realisation among the leaders in the two countries and others in the region as well that policy interventions are necessary to avert climate catastrophe and for the development of human resources.

Another important insight of the survey is that the consumer is more aware than even before, and that he would not buy from companies’ products, even if they are branded ones, if the businesses ignore the environmental imperatives. It is this rising consumer consciousness that will set the rules of the game as it were. Toxic industries and irresponsible business practices, which went unchecked in the past, will not pass muster now or in the future.

The survey also reveals that there is no room for gloom because Europe is struggling with an economic slowdown as well inflation and rising costs of living because of the war in Ukraine. It shows that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are registering healthy rates of growth, and this growth is happening within the context of safeguarding the future. The people at the helm are keeping a watch over the challenges of the future.



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