Dubai economy expected to grow 4.5% in 2012 – Sheikh Ahmed

Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Dubai’s economy is expected to grow by 4.5 percent in 2012, up from an estimated increase of more than 3 percent in 2011, His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee, has said.

Speaking on Wednesday at the ‘Dubai Economic Outlook 2012” presentation, Sheikh Ahmed – also head of Emirates Airline – said that last year’s figures showed tourism had been a major driver of the economy, contributing around 60 percent to the emirate’s GDP.

“We hope to see it increase to 4.5 percent in 2012,” he said.

Dr. Mohammad Lahouel, chief economist at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, said real estate and construction “had declined by an average of 12 percent per year” over the last three years. He added that actual GDP growth in 2012 was being forecast at 4.1 percent.

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Dubai rattled global markets with its 2009 request for a standstill on flagship conglomerate Dubai World’s $25bn debt pile. The emirate has since completed several restructurings at state-linked entities.

The emirate accounts for 28 percent of the UAE’s economy. Dubai’s economic output shrank by 2.4 percent in 2009 after the global financial crisis burst its property bubble, freezing projects worth tens of billions of dollars.

Dr. Lahouel, outlining the detailed spending plans, said that investment this year “will be a little less, 3-4 percent, in 2011…private investment is likely to pick up as excess capacity is reduced.”

He added that growth in internal exports exceeded 12 percent in 2011.


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