Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has published its annual statistical report for the year 2010 pertaining to the Gulf Common Market (GCM). Results presented in the report indicated an increase in the number of registered traded real estate held by GCC nationals within the UAE. While the number of registered property contracts amounted to 4,024 contracts in 2009, the number has increased to 4,604 in 2010. Consequently, gross cumulative rates of GCC citizens owning property in the UAE rose to 34,029 contracts in 2010 compared to 29,425 in 2009.
Commenting on the report, HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, said: “The UAE aims at enhancing socio-economic ties with fellow GCC states as it believes that doing so will result in greater economical opportunities for GCC citizens and will allow for a wider range of investment prospects. Furthermore, increasing collaborative efforts will aid in enhancing economic integration and in promoting the concept of a common GCC citizenship at various levels. The outcomes reflected in the report clearly indicate an increased level of participation among GCC nationals in the economic and real estate sectors within the UAE, and highlight their role in enhancing development in those two fields. The UAE economy has proved to be comprehensive and adaptable enough to meet the needs and requirements of GCC citizens.”
HE added: “The UAE is at the forefront GCC countries in its commitment to the implementation of all resolutions pertaining to the Gulf Common Market, as the initiative will result in increased benefits for UAE nationals and GCC citizens. We are dedicated to enhance the concept of a Gulf citizenship and to achieve equality for all GCC citizens in the areas of professions and trades, economic and investment activities within the UAE.”
The ministry’s report also highlighted a cumulative increase in the rates of licenses granted to GCC citizens to practice economic activities within the UAE, where 26, 223 licenses were issued in 2010 compared to 24,109 in 2009. GCC bank branches in the UAE also witnessed a noticeable stability in growth rates, where 7 banks were registered in 2010.
“The 2010 statistical report highlighted the growth of property ownership among GGC citizens in the UAE, with cumulative rates of GCC property owners increasing by 16% within the last year. Furthermore the number of licenses granted to GCC citizens to practice economic activities in the UAE has also increased by 9%. These rises reflect the high appeal the UAE holds to GCC citizens in various sectors, including the economic, education and social sectors,” HE Al Tayer explained.
Furthermore, the report highlighted a rise in the rate of GCC citizens working within the UAE, which have all been registered in the social security system pertaining to the country, where they amounted to 4,190 employees in 2010 in comparison to 3,589 in 2009. These numbers reflect the UAE’s commitment towards the implementation of the GCM, placing the UAE as a pioneer with regards to GCC integration efforts.
Furthermore, the report registered a noticeable rise in the rate of GCC citizens working within the federal public sector by a number of 184 employees, where the figure recorded in 2009 was 605 employees, compared to 789 in 2010. Results point, however, to a decline in the rate of GCC individuals employed within the private sector from 3080 in 2009 to 2906 in 2010.
In relation to the education sector, the numbers of GCC students enrolled in UAE public schools in all its levels show varying results. Students enrolled at the elementary level have increased to 4,891 in 2010 compared to 4,752 in 2009, while preparatory level enrollment rates have remained consistent at 4,314 students for 2009 and 2010. Secondary school enrollment showed a slight decline, where there were 2,888 GCC students in 2009, and the number for 2010 was 2,886.
The rates for GCC student enrollment in private schools in the UAE also reflected a rise for the primary level from 1,475 pupils in 2009 to 1,507 in 2010, whereas private schools have recorded a decline in the number of GCC pupils in the preparatory phase where the number was 751 in 2009 and 749 in 2010. GCC students enrolled in the secondary level in private UAE schools reflected an increase from 465 in 2009 to 552 in 2010.
The report also indicated that the number of GCC students enrolled in UAE public higher education institutions amounted to 723 students in 2010, compared to the number of students enrolled in UAE private higher education institutions in the same year, which was equivalent to 6,843.
A decline was noticeable; however, with regards to the rate of GCC investment in public shareholding companies which are registered in the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) with shares accessible to GCC nationals. The decrease in the number of GCC investors was recorded at 208,316 in 2010 from 276,805 in 2009.