Penang is keen to draw lessons from UAE
by Regina William
GEORGE TOWN: Penang is keen to draw lessons from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) experience to help transform it into an international city and location of choice for investors, a destination of choice for tourists and a habitat of choice for those who desire sustainable living.
“Instead of making this as a final goal, making quality as a way of life can help to promote a culture of excellence. Perhaps this is why so many talented Malaysians and Penangites from all races are working or doing business in United Arab Emirates. From 200 only 10 years ago, the number of Malaysians has increased 30 times to 6,000,” said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a statement yesterday.
Lim is on a visit to the UAE with InvestPenang executive committee chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon and InvestPenang director and Jelutong member of parliament Jeff Ooi.
He added that the breakneck economic growth in Abu Dhabi and Dubai was remarkable.
Lim would be visiting the Dubai Cityscape 2008, a four-day international real estate exhibition and reputedly the largest in the world. There are two huge projects, namely the 350 billion dirham (RM330.6 billion) Jumeirah Gardens, to be built over 12 years by Meraas Development in Dubai, and the construction of a 140 billion dirham structure by Dubai developers Nakheel. The 1,000-metre tall building will surpass the emirate’s 807-metre Burj Dubai. The total cost of these projects is close to US$1 trillion (RM3.48 trillion).
Lim said that stressing on quality economic growth did not mean core values would be ignored.
“The local population are well taken care off with their huge oil revenues and are also devout Muslims.
“Tourists and foreigners from all over the world, especially Caucasians outnumber the locals four to one because of an open and liberal lifestyle.”