UAE: Businesses Heave a Sigh of Relief as They Resume Work

Published May 27th, 2020 - 06:30 GMT
UAE: Businesses Heave a Sigh of Relief as They Resume Work
Businessmen and corporate executives said travel restrictions, the global economic slowdown and dwindling spending power hit investor confidence. (Shutterstock)

The reopening of businesses and ease of restrictions on movement are steps in the right direction that will help revive the UAE economy in coming weeks, businessmen and corporate executives say.

They said travel restrictions, the global economic slowdown and dwindling spending power hit investor confidence. However, the government's initiatives, stimulus package and wise policy measures have put the economy on the right track.

"It's the  right time to resume business operations in a phased manner. People more or less are well aware of the new safety protocols and if we all work together along with the various govt entities I don't see any reason to be paranoid. At the end of the day, economy has to move forward for us to regain our life back and each one of us whether business owners, the health sector or community at large, we have a very crucial role to play in it," Yusuffali MA, chairman, Lulu Group, told Khaleej Times on Tuesday.

Endorsing the similar view, Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: "There will be a definite positive impact on various sectors in Dubai once the economy reopens. This is true of across the business segments but most  importantly on retail.  People who were quarantined will have lot of requirements and release of  this pent up demand will give surge to retail sales. Even sectors like healthcare will see increase in revenue as people  requiring  many elective procedures have been postponing these for three months. I see that there will be an overall spurt of all business activities in the near future"

Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director of RAK Hospital and group CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group, said: "The Covid-19 situation has created a new normal across the world and fortunately, we're blessed to be in a country which has taken a proactive approach to counter it, be it screening or providing healthcare for Covid-19 patients. Re-opening commercial setups is a wise step by the government in accordance with guidelines based on social and international practices. Such measures are instrumental in reviving the confidence of professional and business communities since prolonged restrictions can create a lot of nervousness, insecurity, and mental health problems. I'm confident that we will revert to normal soon, so let's stay positive."

Raza Beig, CEO of Splash, Iconic and Landmark International/ fashion director of Landmark Group, said: "#StepOutResponsibly for the  sake of your loved ones , 'your safety is in your own hands' no pun intended. #BeResponsible for your self, family, colleagues and society at large."

With a new normal of social distancing and a spurt in remote working, technologies will continue to play crucial role.
Shailesh Dash, a financier and entrepreneur, said the reopening of businesses is good news for the private sector.  "Now the focus of the corporate sector should be to adapt faster to the various technologies available for the continuity of their businesses while acting in a responsible manner to manage their business following the govt guidelines on social distancing."

During the outbreak of Covid-19, the grocery sector in the UAE witnessed a paradigm shift as consumers were buying essential commodities both online and offline following the government guidelines.

Kamal Vachani, group director of Almaya Group, said: "Reopening of business is a great step and a very welcome step taken by the UAE government. We are very happy and delighted; this will surely have a positive impact on the economy and the corporate sector is thrilled with this news as this will further boost the confidence of the people towards our resilient economy."

Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Al Adil Group, said that each business should implement measures that will help the economy to bounce back to pre-Covid days. "The reopening will surely be a big boost for business establishments. It goes without saying that this will create a very strong momentum in the market. Corporates should effectively use this opportunity to move forward in a positive manner and do whatever is possible to keep the economy moving forward. Though operationally lots of changes will be required keeping safety in mind, it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that rules are maintained at all times."

The last two months have affected normal life and as the country seeks a gradual return to normal life.
Adeeb Ahamed, managing  director of LuLu financial group, said: "I am confident that the people and business community of Dubai will adhere to the guidelines keeping both short-and long-term recovery in mind. We wholeheartedly welcome the decision to reopen various sectors of Dubai in a phased manner. In these uncertain times, the wise and humanitarian leadership of the UAE needs to be appreciated for doing everything in their capacity to maintain a sense of harmony, safety, and business continuity within the country. The pandemic has been a period of self-reflection for all of us, and by placing trust in the capacity of its residents to act responsibly, the UAE government has set a positive example for the world to follow."

Ahamed added: "Such measures, implemented in line with globally accepted health and social practices will only enhance the government's standing of having everyone's best interests in mind by minimising risks and maximising well-being."
Atik Munshi, senior partner at Crowe UAE, said the whole world has been trying to come to terms with the threat of Covid 19.

"One side of the coin is the health factor and an almost equal import side is the economic factor. Unless there is good balance between these two factors the chances of a quick recovery dims," Munshi told Khaleej Times.

He said the government of the UAE has been very proactive in providing the health and safety measures and this is welcome news that the government is balancing the 2 aspects well with the reopening of the businesses.

"I feel that this is a positive and timely move which will encourage businesses to recoup themselves and strive with might and main to cover the lost ground. Albeit the required precaution would need to be maintained to ensure that health safety is not compromised," he said. "Considering the acumen of the local business houses it is more or less certain that they shall take the required precautions for their staff and customers and will not allow concession on the safety measures," he added

Vrinda Gupta, managing partner at Vazir Group, said it is a relief and reassurance to have businesses and the economy return to a sense of normalcy. "We all have a responsibility towards upholding the sanitisation and social distancing measures to help curb the pandemic...but businesses are also responsible delivering on their services and maintaining economic buoyancy for all associated. controlled measures like these are the need of the hour' she said.

Extra vigilance on compliance on safety precautions will be of prime importance as the businesses resume activities. Imran Farooq, CEO of Samana Group, said: "Restarting business activities in offices is a wise decision and much-appreciated by the business community to put the virus-stricken economy back on track. It will have a ripple effect on all stakeholders to start moving forward. But businesses  need to be extra vigilant on compliance on safety precautions."

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