UAE 2009 GDP to grow at 2-4%, inflation to dip - DCCI

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The UAE's GDP is to grow by two to four percent in 2009 and inflation to fall to six to eight percent from 14 per cent in 2008, reports newswire Zawya, quoting a top official at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

Hamad Buamin, Director-General of the DCCI praised the government’s efforts to tackle the current financial downturn. He was speaking at a forum - "The Gulf during the international financial crisis - heading for stability", organised by the chamber in co-operation with the United States's Georgetown University, according to the newswire.

Buamin added that the UAE's total debt stands at $211bn (Dh774.3bn) and Dubai's share in it is estimated at $120.2bn, accounting for 57 per cent of the country's total debt. He pointed out that most of the debt was used to finance infrastructure and real estate projects. "Both the public and private sectors depend on external sources to finance their investment programmes and development projects, which has caused the debt," he said.

"A number of Dubai's sectors are affected by the global crisis, the most prominent of which are the financial, real estate, trade, tourism and export sectors," Zawya quoted Buamin as saying.

"The crisis has led to a drop in the economy's growth and in the demand for consumption, investment and tourism. It has also resulted in redundancies. There are other sectors which were impacted, but by lesser degrees, such as education, medical services, and the food and beverage industries," Buamin said.

"The current global recession and the fall in oil prices have impacted trade in Dubai - the extent of which will be clearer during the coming period."

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