Although Dubai has traversed some challenging economic territory over recent years the economic stimulus of Expo 2020 preparation and more stable oil prices have eased this strain in 2019, and business sentiment has improved accordingly. With the long-anticipated expo event set to take place in 2020, attention has started to focus on the important question of sustaining the current economic momentum over the medium term.
Dubai's well diversified economic base has continued to underpin growth in the emirate. Despite slowing global growth and rising tensions placing pressure on international shipping, Dubai’s maritime sector has continued to strengthen, and in 2019 the emirate moved up in the ranking of the world’s top-10 maritime capitals, securing the ninth spot. The emirate is also rapidly emerging as a leader in transport and logistics innovation. While much of the current investment activity in the sector is being injected into transport infrastructure projects for Dubai Expo 2020, the local government is also considering the long term, and there is a strong pipeline of transport infrastructure projects planned under the Traffic and Transportation Plan 2030 to expand roads, airport capacity and public transport routes.
Recent years have also witnessed the emergence of a number of governmental bodies responsible for driving innovation and technology. Smart Dubai, for example, seeks to turn Dubai into the world’s smartest city, with a core ambition of digitising 100% of all government transactions in the emirate by 2021.
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