UAE announces $13.6 billion stimulus amid slowdown

UAE announces $13.6 billion stimulus amid slowdown
The Arab world's second largest economy saw its growth fall to just 0.5 percent in 2017.
2 min read
06 June, 2018
Crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Visit [Getty]

The UAE has announced a three-year, $13.6 billion stimulus package as Abu Dhabi seeks to boost its flagging economy.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed made the announcement on Tuesday as well as a series of economic initiatives to create 10,000 jobs for nationals over the next five years and to make doing business easier. 

"I have approved a 3-year 50 billion dirham economic stimulus package to support Abu Dhabi's economic development," Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.

He said he has asked the emirate's executive council to draw up a working plan for allocations within three months.

Tuesday's announcement comes on the heels of new incentives announced two weeks ago to lure foreign investors that included a 100 percent ownership of companies and a 10-year visa for professionals and investors.

The economic initiatives are expected to cover allowing people to work from home, reviewing building regulations to reduce costs for developers and speeding up the length of time the public sector takes to pay private contractors.  

The measures are in response to an economic slowdown in the oil, tourism and real estate sectors. Economic growth in the UAE dropped to just 0.5 percent in 2017, down from 3 percent the previous year. 

While the UAE has the most diversified economy among Gulf states, it remains dependent on oil sales to fund government revenues and public sector employment. 

The oil price crash that began in mid-2014 resulted in large budget deficits for the UAE and other oil producing states. 

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