December 10
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Dubai outlined a Dh32 trillion ($8.7 trillion) economic plan that includes doubling foreign trade and investment over the next decade to raise its status as a global financial center, Bloomberg writes.

The emirate, which is part of a federation of the United Arab Emirates, is the business and financial center of the Middle East. It is already deepening trade routes and working to attract global firms as it faces growing regional competition.

Foreign trade is projected to reach 25.6 trillion dirhams by 2033 as the city joins the ranks of its global partners. Dubai also aims to attract foreign direct investment of about Dh60 billion annually, Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, tweeted.

Dubai's economy has continued to recover from the 2022 pandemic and grew at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the first nine months of last year. But its plan for long-term growth came amid a bleak global outlook. The International Monetary Fund expects one-third of the world economy to be in recession this year, with the U.S., Europe and China simultaneously slowing down.

The Emirate is seeking to increase its manufacturing and logistics sector as part of the plan. Government spending will rise to Dh700 billion over the next 10 years from Dh512 billion a decade earlier.

The city has been the commercial capital of the region for more than a decade, but Saudi Arabia is also seeking to expand its role as a business and commercial hub under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 development plan.

Dubai has adopted legislative changes and relaxed social restrictions to maintain its attractiveness to foreign investors and talent. The year began with the elimination of a 30 percent tax on alcohol. Last year, the UAE lifted the ban on unmarried couples living together and switched to a Monday-Friday workweek. They also introduced visas to allow foreigners to work, live and study without needing a sponsor.

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