Dubai expects the economy to expand at a “rlatively high rate” in 2013, driven by a tourism boom, a senior government official said. Gross domestic product in the emirate may grow more than four per cent this year, Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, said in an e-mailed answer to questions.
Figures for the first six months of 2012 point to growth of 4.1 per cent for the full year, he said.
“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,” Al Qamzi said. The department also expects “the construction and real estate sector, which is already showing positive signs, to bounce back”.
Dubai announced plans in November for a development boasting the world’s biggest shopping mall and gardens larger than London’s Hyde Park. The DFM General Index has gained 15 per cent since the start of 2013, led by Emaar Properties.
Passenger traffic through the emirate’s airport rose 13 per cent in 2012 to 57.7 million, making it the world’s third-busiest, according to Dubai Airports. The Emirates Group, which operates Emirates airline, posted a 68 per cent increase in first-half profit.
“Trade, transportation and logistics have played a key role in growth acceleration,” Al Qamzi said. Trade volume at the Jebel Ali Port probably rose more than five per cent in 2012, he said.