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"it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that" (the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll) What can policymakers learn from the painful times of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) that hit the region hard a decade ago? This article examines the economic landscape in the UAE prior to the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), the factors leading up to the crises, and the ongoing economic & financial policies that must be addressed to minimize economic downturn in the future. It extracts lessons and recommends responses to remedy identified policy gaps and fortify economic development while striding towards the future. Economic diversification, digitalisation, strengthening monetary and fiscal policy toolboxes, improving STEM education and looking East in foreign trade and investment strategies, are a few critical responses identified. These policy responses provide valuable lessons for policymakers across the region, while preparing for uncertain economic times in a region going through socio-economic and geopolitical turbulence.
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