UAE oil reserves enough to support growth for 30 years.
The UAE's oil reserves, its well-developed infrastructure and the current investments in projects are enough to support the country's growth for the next 30 years, Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), told a seminar in Dubai.
The seminar on Dubai Policy Watch was organised by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development, and was attended by a large number of young UAE nationals.
"Hub of reserve'
Al Tayer, who is also chairman of the UAE's largest bank, Emirates NBD, said: "The UAE is a strong economy supported by a sound infrastructure and large reserves of oil."
Recently, Dubai announced discovery of oil, which will boost its current production of 100,000 barrels per day and help accelerate economic growth. The UAE has proven oil reserves of about 98 billion barrels.
Al Tayer described the UAE as a "store" or a reserve that will feed the region in years to come.
"What has been invested in the UAE so far will benefit the people of the UAE," he said. "The economic crisis is a global one and the UAE was affected because we have an open economy and we don't have restrictions on foreign investments."
He said the repayment of short-term borrowing was affected by the downturn. Most large developers borrowed money to support massive projects during the economic boom. "We can't deny that the UAE was affected by the economic meltdown, but let's face the problem and find a solution," he said.
He urged everyone who cares about the country to adopt the same policy the UAE pursued during a similar downturn in the '80s.
Al Tayer said, "At that time the recession lasted only three years and the oil price dropped from $45 [Dh165] per barrel to $10 and $12 as well as the budget from $22 billion to $10 billion. "We worked hard to reduce expenses and spread the culture of saving in government institutions and among people. This is what we have to do with the current economic situation," he said.
"Yes, the economy is suffering and some companies have a lot of debts, but nothing lasts forever. Things will get better and the economy will prosper again. But first we should hold ourselves accountable."
Without the UAE, he said, "we have no identity". "We mean nothing, without this nation," he said.