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Dubai sees 2013 GDP growth above 4%

posted on 06/03/2013: 5938 views

Dubai, owner of the world's biggest airline by international traffic, expects the economy to expand at a "relatively high rate” in 2013, driven by a tourism boom, a senior government official said.

Gross domestic product may grow more than 4 percent this year, Sami Al Qamzi, director general of 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 travellers 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 officials announced plans in November for a development boasting the world's biggest shopping mall and gardens larger than London's Hyde Park, as the emirate revives property projects on hold since a borrowing spree brought it to the brink of default in 2009. The benchmark DFM General Index has gained 15 percent since the start of the year, led by real-estate developer Emaar Properties PJSC.

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. Emirates Group, which operates Emirates Airline, posted a 68 percent increase in first-half profit.

"Trade, transportation and logistics have played a key role in growth acceleration,” Al Qamzi said. Trade volume at Jebel Ali Port probably rose more than 5 percent in 2012, he said.

Real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle's Q4 2012 Dubai Real-Estate Overview reported promising signs of recovery from the end of last year in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with upward prices in the residential, retail and hotel sectors. These were coupled with stimulus packages, as well as UAE Central Bank mortgage loan-to-value caps to curb market fluctuations.

According to the latest figures from Ventures ONSITE, the UAE has a value of projects planned, under tender, under construction or on hold, of US$900,953 million. Likewise, project values for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are US$673,490 million, Qatar US$108,063 million and Kuwait US$142,924 million. (Reuters)


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