CEO Predictions 2013: Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Exclusive: Dubai’s market outlook for the year is confident and the business community is growing, writes Buamim.

‘Focus’ was the defining word for Dubai in 2012. Over the past 12 months the emirate has concentrated on what it does best and focused its efforts on getting the most out of its main economy drivers – trade and tourism.

Looking around the world, the global economy is still suffering. The financial crisis cut deeper than most people anticipated, yet through all the economic turmoil Dubai has retained its position as the Middle East’s most forward thinking business hub. Green shoots are starting to appear and this is helping to increase optimism and confidence throughout the business community.

One thing that has come out of the crisis is the realisation that we need to actively seek alternatives to enable growth. Whether this means making new clients, forming new business partnerships, or investing in new assets, it is only through a focused and well-planned approach that results can be realised.

This is definitely the case for Dubai Chamber. We used 2012 to launch our new strategy that focused our efforts on serving the business community better and increasing growth across Dubai’s private sector. For instance, we’re looking at Africa and have chosen Ethiopia as the location to provide a gateway to the potentially lucrative markets of east Africa and beyond.

As well as increasing our network abroad physically we are virtually expanding by offering international membership. We are the first chamber of commerce in the Middle East to offer this novel and innovative approach which will help connect our members worldwide.

Looking forward to 2013 one thing that is certain is that Dubai is in good shape.

It has matured and is ready to enter a new phase of development. More so than ever before, Dubai is in a position to be able to offer its expertise abroad.

Overall, the outlook is confident, consumer expectations are high and the business community is growing. It is an interesting and exciting time to be living in, and one which is changing rapidly.

Our job is to adapt and adjust to new situations and to take opportunities as we see them. We just need to make sure that we are focused and ready for any challenges that lie ahead.

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