UAE’s smart strategy pays rich dividends: paper

ABU DHABI: With its steady progress in various fields and amazing economic successes, the UAE has presented itself to the rest of the world as a perfect model for development, said the Sharjah-based English daily newspaper, The Gulf Today, in an editorial this morning.

“The country has witnessed a transition from an oil-based economy to a productive economy with enormous diversity in various fields,” it said.

The article made reference to online portal HotelandRest to highlight how the UAE has turned into a regional economic power in just 10 years.

“The report highlights the fact that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has led the UAE over the past decade to an economic superiority where the GDP rose to AED1.54 trillion in 2014, noting that at the beginning of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa’s leadership in 2004, the GDP was AED314.81 billion and is still undergoing further growth,” the daily said.

According to an IMF forecast, the GDP will rise in 2018 to AED1.74 trillion.

The paper quoted figures released by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, ADTCA, showing that from the beginning of 2014 to the end of September, 2,498,672 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation, a 26 percent year-on-year increase.

“In Dubai, the hospitality industry has continued to record substantial growth as it prepares to welcome visitors from around the world for the Dubai Expo 2020. In the first half of 2014, local hotels welcomed more than 5.8 million tourists, the highest number on record.

“The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has reported that during the first half of 2014, the number of visitors to the emirate reached one million, a 15 percent increase over the same period in 2013. The number of hotel guest nights during the summer months showed a six percent increase.” The editorial concluded by saying, “It is to the credit of the UAE’s leaders that the country has continued to prosper, despite the turmoil that has continued to affect much of the Middle East region.”