The United Arab Emirates economy grew by 4.2 percent in 2011 but is expected to expand at just three percent this year as oil prices decrease, the Gulf country's economy minister said Monday.
Gross domestic product jumped from 1.3 percent in 2010 to "4.2 percent in 2011," Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri told reporters.
The figure is slightly lower than the International Monetary Fund's estimate, which expected GDP growth in 2011 to reach 4.9 percent.
Improved oil prices, in addition to expansion in non-oil sectors, notably tourism, contributed to the oil-rich state's rise in GDP, Mansouri said.
Oil sector revenues accounted for around 31 percent, while wholesale trade amounted to 13.5 percent. Tourism grew by eight percent.
The minister did not announce an official forecast for growth 2012, but estimated it would be around three percent.
"I am optimistic about 2012," Mansouri said, citing an average oil price of 114 dollars a barrel in the first four months as a good indication.
"I don't imagine growth will be as high as four percent; around three percent is more likely," he added.