By Rania Oteify
Overall GDP growth expected to be flat with some positive growth in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE's economy is likely to see growth of zero to one percent this year as the impact of Dubai's debt restructuring continues to be a drag on its performance, an IMF official said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Masood Ahmed, director for Middle East and Asia, International Monetary Fund, said: "In 2010, we expect that overall GDP growth will be about flat. Within that, we expect some continued contraction in Dubai and positive growth in Abu Dhabi."
He said: "Overall GDP last year including oil was minus 0.7 (percent)."
The IMF's growth forecast was bleaker than that in a Reuters poll on Tuesday.
Analysts predicted UAE growth would be 2.5 percent this year - the slowest pace in the Gulf - down from a November forecast of 2.9 percent.
But the world's third largest oil exporter would still improve from an estimated contraction of 1.4 percent in 2009.
Masood met with officials from the UAE central bank and finance department and said he expected a review to be released in coming weeks.
Dubai rocked global markets on Nov 25 with plans to delay repayment on $26 billion in debt linked to state owned conglomerate Dubai World and its main property units.
The flagship company is working on a restructuring plan.
While talking to reporters, he said: "The effect of the restructuring continue to be a drag on the growth of Dubai and the UAE in 2010."
The UAE central bank and Abu Dhabi lent an overall $20 billion to Dubai last year to help its neighbour restructure debts. (Reuters)