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. Dubai and the broader UAE also benefit from one of the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates to date, with a public programme rolled out from December 2020 and the majority of the population fully inoculated by mid-2021. This has helped ease the burden on the health care system and enabled the continuity of key service industries.
Supported by a recovery in consumer sentiment and the gradual easing of international travel restrictions, Dubai’s economy is projected to bounce back in 2021 and beyond. In particular, its cornerstone tourism and retail sectors will benefit from the hosting of Expo 2020 later in the year, while the decision to allow 100% foreign ownership in most industries should help attract more inflows of foreign capital.