The government’s efforts in the United Arab Emirates to overcome the worsening economic crisis in Dubai are met with wide doubt by observers and specialists.
Recently, the UAE Prime Minister, Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the creation of a new ministry called “Ministry of Possibilities,” and entrusted three ministers with the tasks of its administration in its first phase. The step came more than three years after the establishment of a ministry of happiness. In 2016, the UAE introduced the ministries of happiness, tolerance and artificial intelligence.
The new ministry, which bears an unusual name, has a vague purpose. Its tasks are to face the future challenges and “work on important national files, build new government systems for the future, build an electronic platform to facilitate government procurement, and shorten its time from 60 days to 6 minutes.”
However, deep doubts surround the new ministry in solving the crises of the UAE, especially the crisis of the Emirate of Dubai, which is economically bloated.
Dubai’s $108 billion economy is mainly based on the construction sector, so any shake-up in the sector is shaking Dubai’s economy.
The Ministry of Possibilities will not succeed in beautifying the recession, stagnation in economic growth. The Ministry of Happiness has not succeeded in drawing the smile on the faces of the owners of the troubled and bankrupt companies, which have been affected by Dubai’s current situation.
And the Ministry of Possibilities announced by the ruler of Dubai without a minister, its staff members of the Council of Ministers, in addition to overlapping with other ministries, in addition to the establishment was originally in response to an emergency situation, the anger of Mohammed bin Rashid slow service in post offices in the UAE.
Regardless of the ambiguity of the new ministry’s functions and management, there is considerable skepticism about the Ministry of Possibilities to dismantle the Dubai knot that followed the 2008 global financial crisis and continues.
In 2009 and beyond, Dubai suffered a severe financial crisis that forced it to borrow $ 20 billion from the emirate of Abu Dhabi to overcome its crisis. Dubai is still unable to repay it until now and has repaid more than once.
In 2009, the government of Dubai restructured foreign debts owed by Western institutions worth about $ 235 billion, with billions of dollars being poured into the markets to prevent the collapse of the financial and real estate sectors, especially with the spread of defaults and the flight of borrowers.
Will the Ministry of the Possibilities able to solve the problem of Dubai real estate and the escape of investors, and stop the decline in housing prices, as investors in the real estate sector in the emirate of 25% of their money since 2015?
Is the Ministry of the Possibilities to break the recession that hit Dubai markets 10 years ago, especially after the collapse of oil prices in 2014, and the return of hundreds of international companies that fled after the outbreak of the Gulf crisis in mid-2017?
Will the ministry be able to improve the mental image of the Emirate of Dubai, especially with continued international accusations of the involvement of institutions and companies engaged in financial crimes, and turning Dubai into an oasis of money laundering in the world. These accusations were linked against corrupt rulers looted the wealth of their people and turned them into banks and real estate companies in Dubai, or businessmen have won billions of dollars in their country from smuggling, bribery, drug trafficking, weapons and looting of public money and brokerage in foreign debt?
Observers say that the task of the Ministry of Possibilities seems impossible under the difficult circumstances of Dubai, shown by recent figures, GDP growth slowed to 1.9% last year 2018, the slowest growth rate in the emirate since 2010.