The nature of business is that risks exist, but with positive steps taken to support the economy, we strive to move forward
Ali Gargash, Managing Director and member of the board of directors of AJG Holding. (Photo by Shihab)
As a member of one of the oldest Emirati traders families in Dubai and exposed to different facets of the economy during my exciting career, I am proud of the way the UAE has supported business. . I would like to cite two personal examples to illustrate my point.
My family had started a small auto shop called Gargash Auto, which over time deteriorated about 16 years ago. Fast forward to 2014, the company was in trouble and the then manager decided to move on.
The Ministry of Labor has set up a wage protection system. It helped us hire a top manager to push this company on its current upward trajectory. In 2016, the insurance authority set price limits for car insurance. This allowed clients to clarify their own insurance, but also streamlined our own negotiations with our incorporated insurers.
Another big point is the updated business licensing processes, which has allowed us to register as an LLC, opening up better financing options to expand our reach. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic struck and the authorities intervened to protect the lives of everyone in the country. We had just started operations in our hospital. We prepared internally for the worst-case scenario and discussed the general impact of the pandemic on the phone calls I can remember to this day.
Government guidelines were clear on how to operate, meaning we could use our doctors effectively and treat patients. Hospital bills, such as insurance claims, were passed through a centralized program that kept us running and I can say with certainty that lives have been saved thanks to the actions taken by the Dubai Health Authority. during locking.
I am not minimizing the challenges that UAE businesses face in general. We’ve all been through the pandemic together, and I’ve had other businesses that have slowed down or even failed. However, I would like to underline the support received which continues to this day. The nature of business is that there are risks, but with positive steps taken to support the economy, we are striving to move forward. We can even hope.
Through these little examples, I hope to show the progression of how things have built from where they were to where they are and although I am not an oracle, I am optimistic.
To support Expo 2020 Dubai, the government announced a series of user-friendly regulations across various industries, for example, online payment platforms like Stripe to operate in the United Arab Emirates. On immigration, the United Arab Emirates Golden Visa initiative stimulates entrepreneurship and social development.
Even capacity building of the local workforce is underway with Nafis, which aims to boost the competitiveness of the private sector in the UAE by including a mix of subsidies and new regulations for local workers.
These things did not exist when I started my career. I encourage people to consider these options, despite the global challenges in the aftermath of Covid-19, and I hope we are moving forward in the right direction through our wise and visionary leadership.
(The author is the CEO of AJG Holding)