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Sun 4 Dec 2016 10:20 AM

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UAE records strong growth amid challenging economic conditions - ministry

Contribution of non-oil sectors reaching 69%, leaving 29% to oil sector said Ministry of Economy in its annual report

UAE records strong growth amid challenging economic conditions - ministry
UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri.

The UAE economy is witnessing strong economic progress with the gross domestic product (GDP) expected to accelerate to 3.4 percent in 2017 from an estimated 3 percent in 2016 despite challenging regional and global economic conditions, according to the Ministry of Economy’s annual report.

The GDP has tripled during the past decade, increasing from $139.24 billion (AED511 billion) in 2006 to $430 billion (AED1.58 trillion) in 2015. It is expected to reach $490 billion (AED1.8 trillion) by end of 2016.

Inflation is expected to stabilise in 2015 at 2.3 percent, the same level recorded in 2014, but will rise up to 2.5 percent in 2016, the report said.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the UAE’s current account surplus is likely to decline to $19.5 billion (AED71.56 billion) - the equivalent of 5.4 percent of GDP) in 2015, but would rise again to reach $28.8 billion (AED105 billion) - the equivalent of 7.3 percent of GDP) in 2016.

In 2015, government spending reached $48.73 billion (AED179 billion), an increase of 3.8 percent from 2014 and 4.5 to 6 percent compared to levels before the emergence of “significant” oil price fluctuations.

Strong government spending targeted at economic diversification and major infrastructure projects including those for World Expo 2020, as well as the expansion of airports, the Etihad rail, air and marine transport systems and road networks in the country are expected to boost the growth outlook.

“During this challenging year, the UAE economy has maintained its growth and high competitiveness thanks to the directives of our wise leaders and clear government vision under which goals, plans and initiatives were developed,” said UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri.

The report said the country is making continuous efforts to reduce oil dependence in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and the national agenda, with the contribution of non-oil sectors reaching 69 percent, leaving only 29 percent to the oil sector.

“The UAE has remained advanced, thanks to its capability to reduce the effects of many economic variables such as the relatively low prices of crude oil. The UAE has also shown resilience despite a major global economic slowdown, decline in the number of emerging economies, and trade and investment instability in some parts of the region,” Al Mansouri said.