The UAE expects to see a “strong tourism recovery” this winter, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said on Sunday following a meeting of the Cabinet in Abu Dhabi.
The Cabinet also approved temporary licensing for the first cargo aircraft in the region to operate on electricity.
Sheikh Mohammed said the Cabinet reviewed the UAE's competitive and development indicators, which showed the country is seeing growth levels higher than before the pandemic.
“Our indicators today are stronger than our indicators before the pandemic, and our economic growth is faster than before the pandemic, and our tourism, commercial and development sectors are larger than before the pandemic,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
“Under the leadership of my brother Mohamed bin Zayed, the UAE has managed to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. Our country has become globally prominent for its significant economic growth and development.
“Many countries in the East and West of the world are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic.
“Global trade has not yet regained its strength, but the UAE has become a model and a global exception in the speed and strength of growth after the pandemic.”
The development indices topped by the UAE rose from 121 in 2020 to 156 indicators and was ranked in the top ten in a further 432 global indicators, compared to 314 pre-pandemic.
“We are the first in the world in terms of security and safety, infrastructure, flexibility of regulations, and more,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
He said the UAE's foreign trade for the first six months of this year exceeded Dh1 trillion, compared to Dh840 billion before the pandemic. Economic growth so far this year has exceeded 22 per cent.
The tourism sector’s revenue exceeded Dh19bn during the first half of this year and the total hotel guests in the same period reached 12 million — an increase of 42 per cent.
“We expect a strong tourism performance in this winter season,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
Figures released in August showed Dubai hosted 7.12 million international visitors in the first half of 2022, nearly three times the 2.52 million tourists recorded in the same period last year. The number brings the emirate closer to its pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels of 8.36 million arrivals in the first six months of 2019.
Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism attributed the surge in visitor numbers to the momentum generated by Expo 2020 Dubai, which ended on March 31, and the emirate's status as a safe destination.
First electric cargo planes
The Cabinet agreed on the procedures of temporary licensing to operate electric cargo aircraft.
“We have approved in the Council of Ministers the temporary licence for the first cargo plane in the region that operates on completely clean electric energy and without any emissions — an important step that may contribute to changing the future of the shipping sector and its environmental impacts,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
The global all-electric aircraft sector is expected to grow by 14 per cent to about $20 billion by 2030, up from $6bn last year, according to a new study by Dublin-based consultancy Research and Markets.
Industry stakeholders are developing core aircraft components and adopting technologies to transition the sector into a more sustainable means of air transportation and cut carbon emissions, Research and Markets said.
New public-private partnership law
During the meeting, the Cabinet also issued a new law regulating the partnership between the public and private sectors.
The law is aimed at organising partnerships between both sectors, encouraging the private sector to participate in the development and strategic projects, increasing investment in projects of economic and social values, and enhancing the competitiveness of projects in the local, regional and global markets.
“Our goal is to create opportunities and encourage the private sector to engage in developmental, economic and social projects and to develop partnerships that lead to improving the quality of public services,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
The Cabinet also approved several international agreements, including an agreement with Spain to co-operate in the fight against crime, a partnership agreement with Indonesia and an agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to establish an office in the UAE.