(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE economy has achieved an annual growth rate of six per cent during the past two decades, which shows the country's competitiveness and economic growth, said Khalid Ghanem Al Ghaith, UAE Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs.
He was speaking at a networking dinner recently where he lauded the role of diplomats in building mutual understanding between citizens of their countries and the UAE.
Al Ghaith added that guided by the UAE's Vision 2021, the country is continuing its sustainable growth trend. He said that Dubai Expo 2020 is part of the UAE Vision as the country is planning to provide support to up to 100 developing countries to enable them to participate in the Expo to make it truly representative and global.
He noted that for the first time the Expo is expected to attract 25 million unique visitors, more than 75 per cent from various corners of the world, as this event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the UAE, which gives the Expo added significance.
Hamad Buamim, Director-General, Dubai Chamber, updated diplomats on the latest indicators of Dubai's economic growth. He said, "The year 2013 looks to be a more promising year for Dubai and Dubai Chamber members as we expect leading engines of Dubai's economic growth including trade, logistics, tourism and financial services to continue leading other sectors as they did in 2012."
According to the Dubai Chamber, Dubai ranked eighth among global top 20 destination cities by international visitors last year as it also ranked 18th amongst top 20 destination cities by international visitor spending while it occupied the second position in the list of top five cities where global retailers have a presence, clearly showing the popularity the emirate enjoyed on the international economic scene in 2012.
Recent figures highlight the value of exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members in 2013 went up by 18 per cent compared to the same period in 2012. Passengers at Dubai International Airport surpassed the 57 million mark in 2012 as Dubai hotels also posted some of the biggest growth in the Mena region. The emirate hosted a number of global exhibitions.
"Dubai Chamber is embarking on a programme of sending out trade missions to untapped global markets while opening representative offices in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan and Saudi Arabia. These will be followed by India, China, Turkey, Egypt and Brazil over the next three to five years," he added.
Buamim reiterated his department's international scope as well as its support to Dubai's bid to host the 2020 World Expo which is well underway and gathering major support in the UAE.
He stated that Dubai is the best and only place to host the Expo 2020 and that if this wish is granted it will be life-changing for the emirate's economy and businesses based here.
Furthermore, Buamim called upon the diplomats to benefit from Dubai's strategic location and highlight and promote the various foreign direct investment opportunities offered by the emirate and encourage investors from their countries to set up businesses here to expand into the regional market. He also thanked them for their continuous support in highlighting the best Dubai has to offer to overseas investors while promoting bilateral trade between their countries and the emirate.