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UAE’s move to boost FDI will positively impact the construction sector

Stakeholders highlight benefits of 100% business ownership and 10-year visas for players in the HVACR industry

| | May 27, 2018 | 9:54 am
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Dubai, UAE, 27 May 2018: In a bid to attract FDI, the UAE government has recently announced that it will allow 100% business ownership to foreign investors and grant 10-year visas to expatriates. What does this mean for the country’s built environment? Stakeholders from the HVACR industry speak up on the direct, and indirect, impacts on the construction sector.

Naveen Sivakumar, Head of Marketing and Business Development, Turkey, Middle East and Africa, Danfoss, called the announcement an “extremely positive and welcome move”. Safdar Badami, Managing Director, Al Muqarram Industry (AMI) called the decision a “landmark moment for the economy”. The decision, Badami said, will give “a boost both in numbers and value” to construction firms, which he believes are set to grow exponentially, adding that the move attracts both financial gains and value addition to the economy. “Policy decisions such as these make us more confident in its future ability,” Badami said. “We can hope to see more investments, employment opportunities and growth prospects for the economy and our organisation by association.”

“It’s got to be a good thing,” added Brian Suggitt, Chairman, Eurovent Middle East and Managing Director, Systemair. “It makes it easier for people to make a decision. It gives people a wider choice of what they can do and how they wish to invest.”

Badami spoke on its two-fold effects. “Firstly, they make procedural necessities and hassles convenient for the existing businesses,” he said. “In addition to this, they also make innovating and merit a prime factor in growth. Secondly, they also convey to the global business community that UAE is taking concrete steps to making it a hub for business. The stability works as an incentive to attract more firms to the region.”

Sivakumar weighed in: “For key stakeholders, such as contractors, it will increase the sense of ownership and foster an environment of stability and security. They will now be able to focus more on the important practices of energy efficiency and green technology, without having to worry about various cost-saving procedures.”

The decision is also expected to have positive ramifications with regard to attracting talent. Suggitt added that the inclusion of engineering specialists among those likely to be granted 10-year-visas is an excellent move, one that would attract global manufacturers, particularly European ones.

Badami added: “The UAE construction market will not only become a preferred destination for investors but also for the best global talents. As we look to bridge the skills gap in the economy, there could not be a more timely policy change than this. I definitely see a more inclusive construction industry that values and welcomes talent. I can confidently say that the construction market will see an influx of talent that will help it to grow exponentially.”

Suggitt stressed that the influx of more people could only benefit the country in the long-term in view of more projects. “Investors will still look to use UAE resources,” he said. “That will increase as well, so overall it’s a very good thing.” Badami said this decision will greatly affect the quantity and quality of investments and projects in the UAE going forward.


Hannah Jo Uy is Features Writer at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com

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