Dubai’s economy to grow around 5% this year

Duba: Dubai’s economy is expected to grow around 5 per cent this year, a similar pace to 2013, the head of its statistics office said on Monday.

Growth in the Gulf emirate, the region’s trade and business hub, picked up strongly last year, buoyed by the prospect of government real estate projects worth tens of billions of dollars following a property market crash in 2008-2010.

“It is expected that growth… will reach around 5 per cent in 2014,” Executive Director Arif Obaid Al Muhairi said on the Dubai Statistics Center’s website “We expect that the current year will witness growth close to these rates.” The economy grew around 4.5 per cent in the first nine months of last year, he said.

Dubai accounts for a quarter of output of the UAE economy, with oil-powered Abu Dhabi responsible for around 65 per cent.

The UAE, one of the world’s top oil exporters, has yet to release 2013 GDP data. Analysts polled by Reuters in January expected 4.3 per cent growth in both 2013 and 2014.

Dubai’s tourist numbers rose 10 per cent to 11 million people in 2013, and new trade licences recorded an increase of 12 per cent. Real estate transactions jumped 53 per cent to above Dh236 billion ($64.3 billion).

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