Dubai forum meets to devise strategy for development

The Dubai Government has set up a strategic forum to integrate public and private-sector policy and guide the development of key areas of the emirate¿s economy.

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The Dubai Government has set up a strategic forum to integrate public and private-sector policy and guide the development of key areas of the emirate's economy. The first session on the Dubai public-private partnership agenda took place yesterday under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. Business and government leaders at the opening meeting discussed tourism, one of the key economic sectors and a crucial component of the Dubai Strategy Plan 2015. They discussed the regulatory environment and current state of the sector with a view to boosting demand and identifying the challenges restraining development. Also contributing to the opening session were Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Emirates Airlines and also chairman of the economic development committee; Abdulla al Shaibani, the Secretary General of the Executive Council; and Gerry Lawless, the executive chairman of the Jumeirah hotels and leisure group. The meeting aims to produce a report and to enact its key recommendations in policy decisions by the executive office. A source close to the council said: "This is not just a talking shop, it will produce specific recommendations that will be acted upon quickly." Sectors to be discussed in forthcoming sessions have not been disclosed, but other key areas of Dubai economic policy include transport, logistics, property and financial services. Mr al Shaibani said the Dubai Partnership Agenda (DPA) was another strategic initiative by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. "It is an open dialogue and interaction platform between the public and private sectors," Mr al Shaibani said. "We designed it to be an ongoing program that would bring key stakeholders together to produce innovative, industry-specific recommendations, for the review of our leadership." Dubai's recovery from the global financial crisis has been complicated by confusion in some parts of the international markets as to indebtedness by sovereign entities and government-related entities. Asked whether there was sufficient collaboration between the public and private sectors, Mr al Shaibani said: "The private sector is our key stakeholder and we work closely together with shared ambitions and towards shared goals. "Needless to say, there is a well established constructive collaboration between government entities and private sector on operational matters. What we are seeking through DPA is collaboration at macro level, in terms of participants and in terms of topics. "We want DPA to support formulation and implementation of public policy to ensure the economic and social progress of our emirate, to make it even more competitive in industries in which we want to excel. We believe it will encourage out-of-the-box thinking, and provide a suitable environment for information, knowledge and expertise exchange which will ultimately support the advancement of Dubai."