First Published: 2012-02-15

 

Dubai’s economic growth set to continue

 

Trade, tourism keep debt-laden emirate’s economy growing despite persistent contraction in its construction sector.

 

Middle East Online

Dubai’s GDP growth is expected to be over 4,5% in 2012

DUBAI - Dubai's economy will continue to grow in 2012 despite persistent contraction in its once rapidly-booming construction sector, thanks to healthy trade and tourism, an official and economists said Wednesday.

Growth in the gross domestic product of the debt-laden emirate is "expected to be over 4.5 percent this year," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, the head of the Dubai Economic Sector Committee.

The forecast by Dubai's Department of Economic Development (DED) is also around 4.1 percent for 2012.

This is a "respectable rate" driven by over six percent growth in tourism, and similar rates in trade and manufacturing, in addition to transport, said DED chief economist Mohammad Lahouel.

The growth will continue "despite a continued decline in construction," he said at the Dubai Economic Outlook 2012 forum.

Lahouel said the final figures on GDP growth achieved in 2011 were not out, though he expected they should be around three percent, a "little bit over two percent," achieved in 2010.

Standard Chartered's Marios Maratheftis agreed with the positive outlook for Dubai, but he put the forecast for growth rate in 2012 at 2.4 percent.

"We think it is good given that 2011 was a good year," said Maratheftis, the bank's head of research for Western Hemisphere.

A slower rate of growth is not bad news because the quality of growth is improving, he said.

"The fundamentals of Dubai are pretty healthy and strong. Construction will continue to be negative, but I think it is good news because focus is shifting towards productive sectors," he said.

"It shouldn't be about the rate of growth but about the quality of growth," he added, highlighting that the retail sector "is doing well, if not booming" while hospitality is also doing very well.

Dubai's economy contracted in 2009 after being hit by the global financial crisis which dried out international finance and brought its property sector -- which grew at break-neck speed over five years -- to a shrieking halt, shedding around 60 percent of its value so far.

But the economy picked up pace, banking on its developed tourism and retail sectors, as well its traditional trade sector.

Dubai sent jitters throughout global markets in November 2009, when it said it needed to freeze payments on some $26 billion of debt owed by its largest group, Dubai World.

But the conglomerate succeeded in reaching an agreement with lenders to restructure $14.7 billion of debt.

The debt on Dubai's government-related entities is estimated at $100 billion.

 

Enormous challenges emerge after full liberation of Ramadi

Border camps full as Syria families escape regime offensive

Kurdish leader accuses Ankara of 'massacre' over Cizre operation

Mubarak era ‘reappears’ five years after his ouster

Syria artists find inspiration in haunting ruins of Homs

Hamas fighter dies in latest tunnel collapse

Aleppo siege spells trouble for the West

Egypt policeman jailed for beating vet to death

How many civilians are living under 'surrender or starve' sieges in Syria?

NATO to consider policing refugee crisis

Iran deal will delay bomb up to 15 years

Top spy warns homegrown extremists pose biggest danger to US

UN to Turkey: Open borders to stranded Syria refugees

From Muslim Chechnya to ISIS: Spies collect intelligence to help Russia

Kremlin rebukes Merkel over criticism of Russia air strikes in Syria

Nine killed in Damascus car bomb attack

Approval of reformists raises potential for change in Iran

Saudi Patriot missile shoots down Scud fired from Yemen

Pentagon chief seeks anti-IS support in Europe

Iraq military advance reopens Ramadi-Baghdad road

IEA holds OPEC responsible for oil supply glut

Iraqi woman charged over US hostage death

Gunbattle between Yemeni forces, Qaeda militants in Aden

UAE tries 'Hezbollah', 'Qaeda' cell members

US welcomes Saudi offer to deploy troops in Syria

Israel sets two conditions for return of Palestinian bodies

Moscow denies accusation that air strikes undermined Syria talks

Israeli general says IS wounded were treated in Gaza

Doctors, police protest in northern Iraq

Canada to cease all air strikes against ISIS by February 22

Outraged Italy demands answers over brutal killing of student in Egypt

Libya Presidential Council needs ‘more time’ to form unity government

Pressure on multiple fronts squeezes rebels in northern Syria

Bahrain charges 11 with forming 'terrorist' group

Obama to Arab countries: security requires 'inclusive government'

Tunnel collapse kills one Gazan man on Egypt border

South Sudan war zones on the brink of famine

Khamenei to Iran officials: Don’t let elections distract you!

UN accuses Assad regime of 'extermination' in jails

At least 35 migrants drown in two accidents in Aegean Sea

Cameron's office warns Brexit could affect border controls

Russia detains seven alleged IS members

Turkey groups send in aid for thousands of Syria refugees on border

Iraq prepares for Mosul offensive with massive deployment

Syria rebels withdraw from three Aleppo villages