UAE GDP to grow more than 3.5 per cent this year

 

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The GDP of the UAE is expected to grow more than 3.5 per cent in 2015, revealed Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, on Saturday.

State news agency WAM reports the minister as saying that GDP will surpass AED1.6 trillion this year, compared with AED1.5trn in 2014 despite volatile oil prices. This is largely as a result of the UAE’s continued efforts at diversification, which has led to lower reliance on hydrocarbons, and a higher share of the industrial sector in the GDP.

“The UAE’s ability to maintain high growth rates in the past years, despite global economic volatility, shows its economic efficiency and proves that its diversification policy is successful, as it relies more on non-oil sectors to weather global challenges” said Mansouri, adding that he expects the size of industrial investments in the UAE to double in five years.

UAE’s investments in the industrial sector currently amount to AED127 billion, contributing to nearly 14 percent of the country’s GDP, the minister had earlier said.

The UAE stands out among its GCC peers on its economic diversification efforts, with the share of non-hydrocarbon sectors increasing from 44.7 percent of GDP at the beginning of the century, to roughly 61.1 percent in 2014. In Dubai itself, less than 4 percent of revenue is derived from oil.

In a release, the minister also stressed that his ministry seeks to bolster the competitiveness of the national economy, the flow of foreign direct investments as well as the country’s economic relations with foreign countries.

With a population of approximately nine million, a GDP of $396.2 billion and a GDP per capita of approximately $43,875, the UAE is ranked as the region’s 2nd most competitive economy according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16, released last week.

UAE’s official GDP numbers are 500 basis points higher than the latest IMF estimate, which pegs GDP for 2015 to be at three per cent.

In August this year, the IMF said real GDP is expected to moderate to three percent and recover gradually to 3.8 percent in 2020, which is still below the 4.6 percent clocked in 2014. This was the third downward revision by the IMF this year.

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