A new government report has revealed Dubai’s leading role in driving the UAE’s overall economic development
A new report published by Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has revealed the scale of Dubai’s influence over the UAE’s overall economic success story, spelling good news for foreign investors looking to capitalise on the city’s remarkable growth now and in the coming years.
The ‘Dubai Economic Report 2018’, which studies the emirate’s major macro- and sectoral level economic developments and growth during 2017, is designed to be a reference tool for public and private sector decision-makers as well as for developing policies and strategies that enhance overall competitiveness and growth in Dubai and the UAE, according to the DED.
Highlighting Dubai’s remarkable impact on UAE economic development is the fact the emirate’s total gross domestic product (GDP) was valued at AED389.4 billion (US$106 billion) in 2017, marking an increase of 2.8% compared to 2016. By comparison, UAE GDP rose just 0.8% during the same period.
The report attributes Dubai’s commitment to economic diversification as well as its liberalised trading environment in helping to combat the impact of lower oil prices as well as unfavourable economic conditions that have spread across the region in recent years.
The total value of Dubai's non-oil commodity trade reached AED1.3 trillion in 2017, up two percent year on year.
The value of foreign trade rose in the first half of 2018, while the value of re-exports increased 14% year on year during the same period.
Dubai’s growing reputation as one of the world’s most important trading hubs is illustrated by its Trade Openness Index (which assesses the value of exports, imports and re-exports attributed to GDP) ranking of fourth globally and first in the Middle East.
Commenting on the report’s findings, HE Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, said: "The ‘Dubai Economic Report 2018’ confirms that Dubai's economy is firmly on its ambitious path towards excellence and establishing its position as a financial and business hub, regionally as well as internationally. Economic policies being adopted by the government to stimulate diverse economic activities, increasing openness to the world and a developing network of regional and global partnerships are all contributing to accelerating investment inflows to Dubai.
“Given the existing regional economic and political climate and its impact on economic activity in Dubai and the UAE, [the report] reinforces that the strategic initiatives launched by Dubai over the past two years, such as the Smart City, Innovation Strategy and Islamic Economy, as well as the infrastructure projects being implemented ahead of the Expo Dubai 2020, have sustained growth in Dubai. Likewise, the initiatives launched by the Government of Dubai in April 2018 to accelerate business growth and improve the business environment have also helped to consolidate Dubai’s leadership globally,” he added.
In good news for real estate investment, tourism and real estate development led Dubai’s GDP growth, with both sectors expanding by 8% and 7.3% respectively during 2017. By way of comparison, the tourism sector grew just 2.5% in 2016.
According to the report, tourism is expected to grow further ahead of Expo 2020 and particularly during the six-month exhibition period, from October 2020 to April 2021.
More than 270,000 new jobs are expected to be created across the emirate as a result of the Expo and allied activities, with a major share of the jobs coming from the development of dozens of new hotels that will accommodate the 25 million visitors the expo is expected to attract during its six-month duration.