The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been impressed with the UAE's economic performance of late.Economists predict the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 3.4 per cent this year.Speaking to the Khaleej Times, Masood Ahmed - director of the organisation's Middle East and Central Asia Department - suggested that oil exporters within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been doing well."The UAE as a whole is responding comfortably to improved non-oil and oil sector growth," he remarked."However, the medium-term challenge for the country is to further build on the good performance to strengthen its resilience."His comments came as the IMF released its Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia in Dubai yesterday (November 11th).The report indicated the economic outlook for the Middle East and North Africa region is mixed and it is no surprise that oil exporting nations - such as the UAE - are likely to fare far better than oil importers.As a whole, the region's GDP is anticipated to rise by 5.1 per cent in 2012 - up from 3.3 per cent last year.Higher oil prices and production will mean a clutch of countries - namely Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE - will expand rapidly in 2012 before settling down slightly in 2013.Conversely, those that rely on oil from other nations, like Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, will struggle to record GDP growth of more than two per cent.This should give investors a better idea of which parts of the Middle East, Asia and North Africa they need to be pouring money into.Last week, undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Shehhi said the UAE has emerged strongly from the global financial crisis of 2008-09."We have put the crisis behind us. Preparing for the next phase of development, we have managed to successfully forge ahead with new plans and strategies," he remarked.