Dubai launches $8.7 trillion development plan by 2033

Elizabeth Smith

“Dubai will rank as one of the top four global financial centers, with an increase in foreign direct investment of more than 650 billion dirhams ($177 billion) over the next decade,” Sheikh al Maktoum tweeted. “Over 300,000 global investors are helping to transform Dubai into the fastest growing global city.”

D33’s goals

With D33, the sheikh explained, Dubai aims to double the size of its economy in 2033, when the 200th anniversary of its birth will be celebrated, and to consolidate its position among the world’s top three cities on the economic front.

The value of the total goals set by the initiative is 32 trillion dirhams by 2033, equivalent to $8.7 trillion. D33 aims to drive sustainable economic growth through innovative approaches.

An ambitious but feasible plan

“It is an ambitious plan, but there is no reason to doubt these goals given Dubai’s economic history and the results of its reforms,” Tarek Fadlallah, ceo for the Middle East at Nomura Asset Management, told Cnbc.

Karim Jetha, cio of Dubai-based asset management firm Longdean Capital, pointed out that neighboring Saudi Arabia is investing trillions to shed its closed, conservative image and attract tourism and foreign investment (already 90 percent of residents are expatriates).

“The numbers look ambitious, but Dubai has never been short on ambition,” Jetha said. “While neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia are opening up and trying to capture more business regionally, Dubai is aiming higher and trying to be a global hub.”

Reforms to attract new residents

A few days ago Dubai announced the abolition of its 30 percent tax on alcoholic beverages, a move that appears aimed at boosting tourism and business.

In recent years, the emirate has kicked off a flurry of reforms to make it more attractive to foreigners and international companies, turning it into an ideal destination not only for investment but also for living there permanently (90 percent of residents are already expatriates).

The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, has also abandoned the Islamic weekend (Friday-Saturday) to adopt the Western weekend (Saturday-Sunday) to be in line with much of the rest of the world.

Read also: Dubai as a center of innovation: from blockchain to AI, a city projected into the future

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