Dubai has emerged as an international hub for businesses by attracting global investors who believe in the emirate’s diversified economy, prudent economic policies and proactive judicial system, an industry veteran said.
Shailesh Dash, an entrepreneur, financier and founder of various successive businesses, said the Dubai economy is resilient and well balanced in terms of diverse growth points to deal with worldwide economic slowdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The UAE and Dubai have emerged very rapidly as one of the most important economic and financial hubs in the entire Middle East with global recognition. I give credit to its visionary leaders who have led the UAE to be among the top 5 countries in the world to live and do business,” the award-winning entrepreneur told Khaleej Times.
Dubai a business hub
Dash, who launched a successful business in the period immediately after the global financial crisis of 2008, urged the government not to compromise over the business-friendly environment which it developed over a period of time.
“Dubai is no longer seen as a transient economy as businesses have taken root and human capital has followed the business and family-friendly environment that the UAE offers. It is the sole reason why our business has grown rapidly in various spheres,” he said.
Referring to the success of his business ventures, he said these companies have contributed to developing healthcare, education and logistics businesses in the UAE and Gulf region in the past 10 years. Today, these firms employ nearly 4,000 employees and contribute directly to the regional economies and its social infrastructure.
“As an investment and asset management firm we were able to market the UAE as an investment-friendly destination and raised more than $500 million from around the world to invest mostly in the UAE and GCC countries,” he said.
Retain investor confidence
Dash, who is member of several boards, said Dubai has one of the best competitive economies in the world, but it needs to revisit the role of corporate regulators to safeguard the interests of businesses to retain investor confidence in the system.
He said the regulators should engage more with the stakeholders to ensure compliance over the rules. Penalising minor issues, while within their rights, will demoralise businesses and hurt investor confidence in Dubai economy, he said.
Al Masah Capital probe
With reference to the investigation by Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of Al Masah Capital Management Limited and also of its parent company Al Masah Capital Limited, he said the businesses had all the relevant checks and balances which are appropriate for compliance and that Al Masah Capital has complied with all regulations and is cooperating with the authorities. He stated that in fact it was open to the DFSA to require the company to make changes if they felt that business was not conducted in accordance with the approvals. Even now, the business have not been shut down which indicates that they are not a detriment to DIFC or its users.
“My faith in the market and the progressive vision of the leaders of this nation remains unqualified and I do not waiver from this position. I see this situation as a setback to me and it indicates that sometimes at a delegated level the officials may lose sight of the big picture,” he added.
We believe in compliance
Dash said he is determined to continue to invest in the UAE market despite all the challenges that caused some inconvenience to the progressive growth chart of the business.
“I am an entrepreneur who believes in the UAE and Dubai and will keep on working to the promotion of the UAE and Gulf as a business hub. I will continue onshore investment in the UAE as I have full faith in the Securities and Commodities Authority,” he said.
“We operate in a highly regulated environment not just in the UAE or Dubai but also globally in other mature jurisdictions. I have no doubt in my mind that I will continue to serve the needs of the UAE as an investment destination and my sole objective is to provide value to my stakeholders,” he said.