DUBAI, October 24, 2021 (WAM) – United Arab Emirates Banking Federation (UBF) President Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair today held a press conference – his first since the United Arab Emirates eased COVID-19 related restrictions – during which he addressed a number of topics related to the post-pandemic recovery and growth of the UAE banking sector.
Topics for discussion included the achievements of the banking sector during and after COVID 19, the progress made by UAE banks on the emiratization process, the collective efforts of UBF members to achieve the goals set out in the government initiative “Projects of the 50”, the impact of Expo 2020 Dubai on the banking sector and expectations regarding the performance of the UAE banking sector in the second half of 2021.
Also on the agenda were efforts by UBF and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) to tackle financial crime compliance, the effect of the new UAE residency guidelines on the banking sector, as well as the latest updates on key UBF initiatives.
Commenting on the CBUAE’s proactive efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on retail and business customers, Al Ghurair said, “The CBUAE’s timely and integrated measures to support the financial system have helped protect the economy of the United Arab Emirates from the impact of the pandemic and accelerate the post-COVID recovery. In total, the UAE has dedicated a support program of up to AED400 billion, of which the CBUAE has provided banks with total aid in excess of AED250 billion. In particular, the AED 100 billion zero-cost facility has benefited both individuals and businesses and made liquidity management easier for banks. thanks to guaranteed financing at zero cost. To date, CBUAE’s TESS loan deferral program has benefited hundreds of thousands of retail clients, tens of thousands of SMEs, and thousands of private sector businesses.
Reaffirming the banking sector’s commitment to Emiratization and the ’50 Projects’ initiative, Al Ghurair said: “UBF will play an enhanced role in facilitating skills development and employment opportunities for UAE nationals Arab Emirates, in line with the goals envisioned in the “50 Projects”, which is a historic initiative that sets a roadmap for a new era of economic development. We believe in investing in the Emirati people, who are the ones who will lead to the next stage of our country’s economic growth and transformation.In the long term, our goal goes beyond simply creating employment opportunities for Emiratis and extends to providing them with the resources and the training they need to become the financial sector leaders of tomorrow, so that they are able and prepared to shape the future of the UAE economy. ”
During the press conference, the president of UBF observed that demand for loans had increased in the run-up to Expo 2020 Dubai – which he identified as a key factor in the post-COVID recovery of the UAE’s banking sector and the country’s economy in general – and is expected to accelerate over the coming months. He said he was optimistic that many companies visiting the UAE for Expo 2020 could transfer part of their business activities to the UAE and start new investments there, leading to new business for them. banks.
Commenting on the good financial results of UAE banks in the second quarter, Al Ghurair said the positive results indicate that the banking sector is in recovery mode, having been in decline globally due to COVID-19 . He added that he expects UAE banks to maintain their growth momentum in the second half of the year, thanks to improved operating conditions, profitability and demand for credit.
The UBF President also shared his views on the UAE’s new visa guidelines, observing that “the decision to liberalize residency guidelines is a historic step that will boost the UAE economy. by attracting visitors and investment and will lay the foundation for growth for decades to come. ” He explained that the UAE always strives to create a positive environment for investors, and since the human factor is a key part of this, these visa guidelines have been approved by UAE leaders to promote a such investment environment.
The press conference ended with a briefing by Al Ghurair to media representatives on current and upcoming UBF initiatives covering fraud prevention, cybersecurity, ethical selling, management and protection of UBF. data, etc.