The oriental Las Vegas runs to emancipation from oil

Huge reserves of fossil fuels and a strategic location have just launched economic growth of the UAE, making them in the space of half a century a modern state whose citizens enjoy a high lifestyle. This particularly applies to Dubai, governed – since the nineteenth century – by the Al Maktoum family which has effectively been able to associate the black gold with other ways in order to bring prosperity to the Emirate and make it much more competitive, without being afraid to take risks. The Emirate has made big bets that have enabled Dubai to become what it is today: a society less conservative than the others in the region, with a relatively religious tolerance, an extremely stable political situation and a low crime rate, a solid economic and financial stability, a considerable government pro-business commitment and liberal economic policies including the protection of intellectual property rights, countless benefits due to the stable and harmonious industrial relations at their disposal and, finally, a well-defined legal framework for the field of business and an equally clear system concerning on ownership rules.



Dubai is also a very popular destination since the emirate offers much higher salaries than other countries, including the UK and the US. There, foreigners may, in fact, afford to have a good quality of life, habits and pastimes that they hardly would be able to do at home!

The per capita GDP is, in fact, one of the highest in the world: according to data from the Chamber of Commerce of Dubai it consists of 25% of trade, 14% transport, 13% real estate, 12.5% manufacturing, 11,6% financial services, 5% tourism. Between 2009 and 2010, the global financial crisis has slowed down the rapid growth prospects, pushing the government to tighten controls on public capital, to increase liquidity for banks and to support public spending to aid the upturn.

So, since 2011 the national economy of the Emirates has nevertheless begun to progress at more than 5% rate. The current situation of low oil prices (fallen below 30 $ / barrel) could, however, lead to a relative slowdown of the economy, despite further growth prospects and business opportunities represented by the assignment to Dubai of the Universal Expo Dubai 2020, as well as by consistent development plans initiated by the two national airlines Emirates and Etihad.

It is undisputed the equation that links the Dubai business culture and innovation to create a commercial center with different free zones, free trade areas. There is no doubt about the benefits of a bureaucracy sensitive to the needs of foreign investment, the favorable geographical location, close to Middle Eastern markets and as a link between Europe and Asia. Therefore, the successful Dubai economy is due to an effective mix of competitiveness and various advantages that are attracting even more investments: reduced regulations and controls; the absence of direct taxes on corporate or personal income tax revenue; the absence of controls on foreign trade and customs and a fixed exchange rate of US $ 1.00 = 3,678 AED.

The economy is open and dynamic, mainly thanks to the diversification policies that reduced the incidence of oil revenues to the current 22%: it’s possible to buy the famous Italian brands, to invest in logistics in Morocco and along the routes between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, to finance aerospace research or how to artificially increase rainfall.

Economic diversification, building excellent infrastructures (Arabtec, construction giant is, in fact based in Dubai) and a high financial capacity make the UAE one of the least risky countries even if the oil crisis persists. Therefore, the future logistic, commercial and financial Gulf center is a very attractive system…

The main investment areas, which also meet the Islamic criteria, are manufacturing, construction, alternative energy (solar panels and wind turbines) culture and tourism, increasing the sustainability and the services for their visitors.

On these basis, people from the Emirates will build a winning international catalyst for trade and financial flows for the entire area, possessing the ability to raise capital using islamic financial instruments, which have great potential but low uptake due to the lack of knowledge about them.



Italy’s presence in the Emirates is already impressive: it’s the main destination of Italian exports to the Middle East and North Africa with the objective of achieving in 2016 a share of exports amounting to 6,000,000,000: one third jewelery, furniture and manufacturing; 18% mechanical engineering; 8.4% fashion; 8% metallurgy; 5.5% electrical and transport equipment. In addition to selling, Italy produces and researches in operating offices in Dubai, with more than 300 companies “Made in Italy”.



Dubai has already set up several strategic programs for construction, tourism and renewable energy which will also be realized thanks to the partnership signed between Expo 2015 and Expo Dubai 2020 offering an ideal opportunity for Italian companies. An agreement that takes place for the first time in the Expo and represents a great opportunity for cooperation, sharing of technological resources and for a socio-economic development for both countries. A knowledge exchange that will offer a unique international launch pad!



Various incubators and startup accelerators, especially concerning technology, are located in the Emirate. In addition to Silicon Oasis Founders, an incubator promoted by the government, there are also In5, SeedStartup and i360accelerator.

Moreover, there is a vast choice of potential partners: the local economy sector has a long tradition of commercial activity, a wide exposure to international business practices and the latest technology. Consequently, local entrepreneurs have already enjoyed various experiences of success thanks to international partnerships in franchising, licensing, joint ventures, etc, in different sectors.

The royal family that rules Dubai does not point only on the brick, challenges limits …!

“I am confident we will realize our goals. Our vision is clear, our road is paved and the clock is ticking. There is no more time for hesitation or half-baked goals or solutions. Development is an ongoing process and the race for excellence has no finish line.”

(My Vision: challenges in the race for excellence – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum)

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