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Although Dubai has traversed some challenging economic territory over recent years the economic stimulus of Expo 2020 preparation and more stable oil prices have eased this strain in 2019, and business sentiment has improved accordingly. With the long-anticipated expo event set to take place in 2020, attention has started to focus on the important question of sustaining the current economic momentum over the medium term.
Amid an attempt to drive a post-coronavirus economic rebound, a number of countries in the Gulf have introduced new immigration measures to help attract skilled foreign workers.
More female employees are joining workplaces and boardrooms in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with gender equality a key target of a regional drive to improve environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
Dubai’s diversified and digitalised economy was able to absorb the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic relatively well. The emirate enjoys some of the fastest internet speeds and most advanced broadband infrastructure in the world, which facilitated the rapid shift to online work, education and commerce.
With Covid-19 facilitating the widespread adoption of remote working practices, some emerging markets are seeking to attract digital nomads through a series of incentives and special visas.
– Economies in the region were hit by reduced trade volumes and lower oil prices
– Governments launched extensive stimulus packages to stabilise their economies
– Short-term recovery will be tied to oil prices and the resumption of travel
– The pandemic looks set to accelerate economic diversification efforts
While many Gulf nations were already working to diversify their economies prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the subsequent economic downturn and collapse in oil prices has meant that governments in the region have had to reassess and – in some cases – accelerate their strategic plans.
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