Place Overseas reports that the Chairman of influential Al Habtoor Group of Dubai, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, met the Consul General of Turkey, Ms. Elif Comoglu Ulgen in Dubai on 12 April. Ms. Comoglu was accompanied by the Turkish Commercial Diplomat in Dubai, Mr. Serdar Kumbaraci. The meeting which lasted several hours also involved Mohammed Al Habtoor, the CEO of Al Habtoor Group and Mohammed Al Mazrooei, the Managing Director of the group.
The significance of this meeting is that it was the first official meeting that took place between the Chairman of Al Habtoor group and the Turkish Consul-General, who had previously met at a book-signing event to mark the launch of ‘Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor’, his own autobiography. We are informed that the main subjects discussed at the meeting of 12 April were potential business interests between Turkey and the UAE, particularly Dubai, and enhancement of cultural ties between the two countries.
Al Habtoor Group’s Chairman underlined the fact that Turkey is one of the ‘bright spots’ in the world in terms of business and economic growth. He also added that there are many opportunities for collaboration between Turkish businesses and those in the UAE. There are already Turkish real estate constructors operating in Dubai, winning contracts and increasing market share. However, the flow of funds is certainly from Dubai to Turkey at the moment, where smart money is pouring into Turkey from Dubai. Place Overseas observes that number of individual and corporate UAE investors investing in Istanbul real estate has doubled in 2011-2012.
Dubai’s biggest trade partners in 2011 according to statistics issued by the government of Dubai were as follows
- India 19%
- China 9%
- USA 6%
- Other countries 66%
Turkey’s trade with Dubai accounted for less than 4% in 2011. It is estimated that this figure may grow to 10% of total Dubai foreign trade by the year 2016. Turkey has seen exceptional growth since 2002. In 2009 – 2011, GDP growth averaged at around 8.5% per annum. In 2012, this rate came down to a more sustainable 2.2%, compared to around negative 1.5% in EU zone countries. Despite the European economic crisis, Turkey is still one of the strongest emerging powers in the region and according to the World Bank, annual growth rate will average at around 4% for the next 5 years.