UBF CEOs Advisory Council meeting explored initiatives to promote the countrys real estate sector and boost financing for SMEs
The CEOs Advisory Council of the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) hosted its third meeting this year in Dubai today (September 19, 2018) to discuss the latest developments in the banking sector in the UAE and outline the federation’s priorities in line with the national agenda to stimulate the country’s economy. Chaired by H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UBF, the meeting explored initiatives to promote the local real estate sector and boost financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“The UAE’s economy is set to enter the next phase of growth driven by its robust and resilient industries and sectors. As key sectors of the economy, real estate and SMEs hold bright prospects for future growth, and with the support of the banking sector, we can contribute to achieve the strategic objectives of promoting foreign direct investments and boosting business in the country” said H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation.
“As an organization representing the banking industry in UAE, we are keen to support the country’s efforts in enhancing financial and economic growth, by considering new initiatives to promote residential mortgage lending and encourage financing to SMEs.” added Al Ghurair.
Identifying the real estate sector, which accounted for 6.9% of the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, as a critical sector in the country’s economy, the CEOs Advisory Council commended UBF’s initiatives aimed at supporting the local mortgage market. The council also put forth a set of recommendations to streamline mortgage regulations to encourage residential mortgage lending.
Among the topics of CEOs Advisory Council’s agenda was the review of the progress made by UBF in its efforts to promote financing for SMEs, which contribute more than 60% of GDP of the UAE. The federation continues to hold consultative meetings with the Central Bank of the UAE and other stakeholders to enhance SMEs access to finance. In the past, UBF has introduced several measures to the support the SMEs sector, including the ‘Modus Operandi’ rescue initiative for firms experiencing repayment difficulties.
The meeting also commended the federation’s member banks for having achieved the Emiratization targets stipulated in the UAE’s federal nationalization strategy. The council acknowledged that the outstanding achievement was a result of the banks’ unrelenting commitment towards realizing the vision of the country’s leadership.
In addition, the members of the council were given an update on the progress of UBF’s annual event ‘Middle East Banking Forum 2018,’ one of the leading banking conferences in the region. The council also approved the forum’s agenda and theme, ‘Banking 10 years from now.’ Set to take place on 11 November, 2018 at The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City in Dubai, the forum will feature a stellar line-up of speakers and will gather more than 400 senior executives and officials from banks, financial regulators, government entities, consultancies, technology companies, law firms and other organizations to explore the future and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.