Rich banking on UAE in troubled times
The UAE economy has been boosted by a multibillion-dollar injection as investors look for a safe haven amid turmoil across the Arab world, a report has revealed.
The ‘Cost of the Arab Spring’ report, by global consultancy firm Geopolicity, shows the Emirates’ GDP - the value of goods and services produced - has soared by $62.8 billion since unrest started to unravel in Tunisia in February. The study looked at the financial cost of the unrest that has swept through parts of the Middle East and North Africa, but also focused on economies that have grown as a result. And the UAE came out on top. UAE economists said the growth had been seen in bank deposits, property and new businesses.
Mohammed Ali Yasin, of Capital M Investments, said: “The UAE is one of the few Middle East spots seen as having political stability and the infrastructure is there.” ‘Countries have paid high price for uprising’.
Ali Yasin predicted there would be a mini-boom in Arab nations, once the civil unrest settles, and the UAE is seen as a sturdy launching pad for businesses wanting to expand into the Middle East. “When the heat cools down we need to benefit from these business opportunities so this can be sustained,” he said. “The ‘Arab Spring’ is something that has surprised everybody with the speed and magnitude that it happened… but they (individuals and businesses) need to make the most of this opportunity.”
Geopolicity used International Monetary Fund data to prepare its report, which also shows that Saudi Arabia had GDP gains of $5 billion.
“Oil exporters were winners and oil importers losers. Libya, Egypt and Syria have so far paid the highest price - both human and economic,” the report says. The cost to those countries was $55.84 billion.
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