Stimulus helps Dubai economy grow by 1.94% in 2018

By Eudore R. Chand

Switzerland becomes top-5 trading partner

DUBAI 27 March 2019: Dubai’s GDP at constant prices achieved a growth rate of 1.94% in 2018 compared to 2017 with a value added of Dh398.13 billion, according to Dubai Statistics Center (DSC).

Arif Al Muhairi, DSC Executive Director revealed that GDP growth in 2018 was largely driven by the performance of the trade activities which grew by 1.3% compared to 2017. Trade contributed by 18.1% of the total growth achieved in 2018 and by 30% of the total growth achieved during the second half of 2018.

Real estate activity also grew by 7% in 2018 and contributed by nearly 25% to the total economy growth achieved. Al Muhairi stated that, the moderate rental rates in Dubai boosted the demand on renting the real estate units considerably.

The transport and storage sector accounted for 13% of the GDP growth during 2018, as a result to the sector’s growth by 2.1%. The passengers’ traffic at Dubai airports grew in 2018 at a rate of 1% compared to 2017, with a total number of 90 million passengers, which positively impact the transport and storage sector.

Accommodation and food services (Hotels and Restaurants) raised by 4.5% in 2018 compared to 2017, driving overall economic growth by 11.5%. Data show that hotel and hotel apartments reservations grew by 3.2% in 2018 compared to 2017. The promotions offered by the hotels attracted visitors and motivated them to spend longer days there.

On another level, financial and insurance sectors grew by 0.6% during 2018 contribute to the overall economic growth by 3.3%. According to Data released by the Central Bank of UAE the Total credit of all banks operating in UAE increased by 4.8% to reach nearly Dh1.6 Trillion by end of 2018. Based on the analysis of credit for residents by economic activity, it was clear that 22% of this credit were for personal and consumption purposes and this contributed in increasing demand for goods and services. On the other hand, it was found that 21% of total residents Credit was allocated for activities related to construction and real estate sector, while trading activities accounted for 10% of Total Credit for residents.

The data of the Central Bank of UAE also show that the Total Deposit of all banks operating in UAE achieved a growth rate of 7.4% for residents and 11% for non-residents out of which corporate deposits accounted for 39% while individuals’ deposits accounted for 25% of Total Deposits. These Deposits show the banks’ capabilities to respond to demand on credit, and in enhancing the economic development by providing financing for all activities and purposes.

Al Muhairi also revealed that the government sector achieved a growth rate by 1.4% in 2018 accounting for 3.6% of the total growth achieved in Dubai’s economy. The preliminary data demonstrated that the government spending in 2018 on infrastructure projects went up by 32% compared to 2017. Government spending on infrastructure affected the growth in the construction sector, which grew by 4.5% in 2018, and contributed by 14.5% to total economic growth of Dubai.

Al Muhairi concluded, the government investment in infrastructure projects proves that the government is moving forward in developing and enhancing Dubai’s infrastructure which plays a strategic role in supporting the economic development and providing a supporting and stimulating environment for business sector to flourish.

UAE’s GDP set to expand 3.5% this year: Dubai Customs

Meanwhile, UAE GDP is set to expand 3.5 percent this year against 2.8 per cent in 2018, thanks to a stimulus package worth Dh50 billion announced last year along with a host of other measures for the ease of doing business in all the emirates.

Director of Dubai Customs, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, said Dubai’s non-oil trade maintained its levels against a backdrop of economic turmoil and global conflicts and the vague British position on Brexit. Europe is one of Dubai’s main partners and together they make up 19 percent of the total trade business.

Dubai Trade Partners

  1. China maintained its position as Dubai’s biggest trading partner in 2018 with Dh139 billion worth of trade
  2. India came in second with Dh116 billion
  3. USA in third place with Dh81 billion
  4. Saudi Arabia continued to be Dubai’s largest Arab trade partner and its fourth largest global trade partner with Dh55 billion
  5. Switzerland in fifth place with Dh49 billion
Dubai Gazette