A UAE newspaper has said that the country celebrated the 50th year of its formation with pride and satisfaction. The country has come a long way from where it started. Apart from a country with enviable human development indices to its credit in terms of greater participation of women in all walks of life including government, science, academics, modern living amenities for all the citizens including transport, and an emphasis on creating conducive cultural atmosphere through book fairs, art shows, museums.
"This has been built on the base of an innovative economy that grows and changes with the challenges of the day," said Gulf Today in an editorial on Sunday.
The paper continued," The country faced a grim challenge in the form of COVID-19 in 2020 and in 2021. With the availability of anti-Covid-19 vaccines, the UAE swung into action in making the vaccines available to all its residents. It also provided the base for clinical trials of the Chinese vaccine, displaying an openness for research work and collaboration.
"And because of its timely and swift response, the government was able to restore confidence in the economy. It has ranked high in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, 15th in Kearney’s 2021 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index, from 19th in 2020.
"One of the major changes that the UAE had this year has been to align its Friday weekend with the rest of the world by changing it to half-day on Friday and Saturday-Sunday. It makes for a four-and-a-half-day week, an ideal work week by world standards. This makes the country the hub for international financial networks to work seamlessly with the weekly global business cycle.
"Though the country retains much of its traditional culture, the UAE has shown an openness to embrace change in a big way. The notion that it is a conservative Arab nation has been simply changed. In many ways, the UAE has been a leader in the region in creating a global-friendly business environment. There was a time when some other country was the financial hub in the Mideast, but the UAE has now taken over the leadership role in the financial segment.
"The other major change that the country has adopted is allowing 100 percent ownership of the businesses to foreigners. Earlier, there was the need for a local sponsor and partner. By relaxing the conditionality, the UAE has become an open market in terms of setting up shop both in manufacturing and in trade. This makes the country a business-friendly place in more senses than one. Investors now have plenty of freedom to take decisions on their own. The right to own business is a big step forward in making the country an investment-friendly place.
"The UAE has marked a major landmark in its space programme when the UAE’s Hope reached the Mars orbit in February, 2021 after a seven-month journey to the Red Planet, and became only the fifth country after the United States, Russia, the European Union (EU) and India. The data being streamed from Hope about Mars has been released for public use. One of the aims of the UAE space programme is to provide information about the weather and to help in improving agriculture.
"Because of its stable governance system, the country is a haven for businesses and investors from all over the world, which is an achievement where in many countries political instability has had a negative impact on their economies.
"The UAE has thus evolved into a free market economy with a transparent rule regime. That is why, it has been declared the second safest country in 2021 by Global Finance’s safest countries index. At a time when the world is wracked by political volatility and natural disaster like the global pandemic of COVID-19, UAE is a safe harbour for the businesses in the world," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2022.