Al Sarkal: Many investment sectors will flourish over next few decades
"Despite the negative effects of the global financial crisis, significant investment opportunities have emerged from projects that were frozen after 60 to 70 percent of the construction work had been completed because of the crisis and the lack of liquidity, among other reasons," Al Sarkal said during a session that was attended by elite of experts and investors. He urged investors to benefit from these exceptional opportunities available in the region. "Investment in human capital will be the best form of investment, as it serves to support the comprehensive development embraced by the UAE, as well as the significant changes taking place in the Arab world," he added, stressing that developing the youth, and arming them with experience and education, is the cornerstone of effective investments across all sectors. Al Sarkal added that investment in education and development of human resources is continuing to gain in importance, especially since over 50 percent of the region's population is under the age of 30 years. Al Sarkal also spoke about investment in other sectors, such as health, property and retail trade, that are expected to offer promising opportunities in the near future due to the increasing population of the Gulf and Middle East regions, setting aside for the now the effects of the political and social changes happening in a number of countries in the region. The Shurooq CEO pointed out that efforts by the region's governments to improve the standard of living of their citizens and upgrade public services will lead to huge opportunities in the regional health sector, which is expected to see a leap due to the construction of integrated health and spa compounds. He urged investors to invest in construction of housing compounds in the UAE and especially in the Northern Emirates, which are thus far lacking in this kind of project, especially in light of the laws that allow freehold ownership to Arabs from outside the UAE. "The retail sector also needs more investment to be pumped in, especially in the Gulf and North African markets that are still in need of this kind of investment, which offers good returns due to growing demand," Al Sarkal said. He also emphasised that the Middle East, especially the Arab world, enjoys a distinguished geographic location at the juncture of continents that makes communication with all countries easier, and that its young population and abundance of manpower reinforce this advantage.