Dubai's economy continued to record strong recovery in 2012 as its gross domestic product jumped 4.4 per cent, the highest growth since 2009, the government's statistics centre said on Tuesday.
In value terms, the emirate's real GDP grew to Dh318.4 billion compared to Dh304.9 billion in 2011, indicating an increase of Dh13.4 billion to Dubai's economy last year.
The emirate's GDP accelerated to 5.3 per cent year-on-year in the last quarter of 2012, according to the Dubai Statistics Centre. During the first nine months of last year, the economy expanded 4.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.
"The economic performance during the fourth quarter of last year was the most outstanding during the year, to become the most contribution to the economy recording the highest real growth in the last three years,” DSC executive director Arif Obaid Al Muhairi said in a statement.
Economic indicators suggest that the emirate's economy is heading to achieve higher growth rates, Al Muhairi added.
Emirates NBD, in its daily research report, said: "Dubai's real GDP growth reached 4.4 per cent in 2012, higher than our forecast 3.2.” But the bank retained a 2013 growth forecast of 3.9 per cent, despite the higher-than-expected growth in 2012.
"We also expect the construction sector to contribute positively to GDP growth for the first time since 2008, as recently announced projects get underway. However, we expect only modest growth in construction this year.”.
Al Muhairi pointed out that real estate and business services is one of the most promising economic sectors in the emirate's economy, due to its significant contribution to the achievement of diversifying the economic base.
Activity in real estate and business services grew moderately, and grew by 1.7 per cent to reach Dh39.9 billion as an added value.
Last year, the main driver of growth was manufacturing, which expanded 13 per cent year-on-year and contributed almost two percentage points to the overall growth rate of 4.4 per cent. Al Muhairi said that industries contributed 15.4 per cent to GDP.
He said that GDP growth was fuelled by a 47 per cent growth in exports, reaching Dh163 billion, and a 12 per cent jump in imports to Dh737 billion, according to data from Dubai Customs. Transport, storage and communication grew 7.3 per cent in 2012, compared to 2.7 per cent in 2011, and contributed one percentage point to Dubai's growth last year. Growth in this sector underscores Dubai's status as a global and regional trade and logistics hub.
Wholesale and retail trade, which accounts for almost one-third of Dubai's economy, grew just 2.3 per cent last year, slower than we had expected in the light of strong tourism figures. The restaurants and hotels sector saw the fastest growth in 2012 with a 16.9 per cent year-on-year growth. This industry accounted for 4.5 per cent of Dubai's economy in 2012, up from 3.3 per cent in 2008.
From Khaleej Times