DED expects strong GDP performance in 2013

Members of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) fully expect the city's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow strongly in 2013.Based on preliminary figures from the first six months of last year, the organisation believes the emirate's economy expanded by 4.1 per cent throughout 2012 and this momentum will carry over into this year, the Khaleej Times reports.DED director general Sami Al Qamzi told the news provider that there have been numerous signs to suggest Dubai's GDP will be even higher in the next 12 months."Hotel occupancy has already hit record high levels and the number of travelers and tourists has been higher than expected during the first two months of the year," he was quoted as saying.Mr Al Qamzi also highlighted a strong recovery in the property sector last year and the significant number of mega-projects that have been approved in the early stages of 2013 has restored investors' confidence in the industry.The real estate sector is always a major driver of economic growth and it was certainly heartening to see so many building developments being approved in 2012.Figures released by the Building Department of Dubai Municipality showed that 23,243 permits were issued in the last 12 months, with nearly 13,000 of these being attributed to private villas.A lot of projects were shelved when the global economy nose-dived in 2008, but many of these have since been resurrected and Dubai properties are selling well once again.Mr Al Qamzi added that building developers have made a massive contribution to the recent upturn in the DFM General Index - Dubai's financial market.He also praised the role of Emirates, which is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, in re-establishing Dubai as one of the strongest investment hotspots on the planet."Trade, transportation and logistics have played a key role in growth acceleration," the DED chief was quoted as saying.It is most definitely an exciting time for investors in this part of the UAE.

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