Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dubai’s economy grew around 16 per cent in 2005 and is estimated to reach AED136 billion according to a statement from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), This rate of growth is expected to beat that of China, acknowledged to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world today with a growth rate of 8.5 per cent.
Emphasizing that 2005 had witnessed a consolidation of Dubai’s rapid growth, Mr. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Director General, Department of Economic Development (DED), reiterated that the Dubai’s economy is sustainable over the long term. He anticipated that backed by business friendly governmental policies, the Emirate’s economic growth would continue its steady pace and is expected to touch the AED150 billion mark in 2006.
“At current prices, Dubai’s GDP has recorded a significant increase and is estimated to reach AED136 billion in 2005 up from AED118.4 billion in 2004,” said Mr. Alabbar. “When compared to AED62.3 billion in 2000 and AED44.7 billion for the year 1996, this puts the accumulated annual growth of Dubai’s economy in the last decade at among the highest rate of growth in the world,” he explained.
Mr. Alabbar underlined the remarkable success of the diversification policy, which has been consistently adopted by the Emirate in the 80’s and has been supported by the DED first developed strategic plan in 1997. “The non-oil GDP grew by 14.92 per cent in 2005 and is estimated to reach AED128.4 billion, up from AED11.7 billion in 2004 and AED92.5 billion in 2003. Compared with figures for 1996 when the non-oil GDP was only AED38.17billion, this shows a record rise of 236 per cent in the last decade,” he said.
“Dubai’s economy has continued to grow at a significant pace in the last few years as a result of the innovative and forward looking strategies of the government,” said Mr. Alabbar. “The establishment of transparent policies that support and encourage private enterprise has generated greater confidence in the economy,” he said.
“In formulating these policies, the Government of Dubai has always received extensive support from the private sector, which has come forward with innovative initiatives and suggestions, to further develop the business environment in the Emirate,” said Mr. Alabbar acknowledging the contribution of the private sector to Dubai’s economic growth.
Mr. Alabbar added that in addition to the constant growth of non-oil sectors, high oil prices have also contributed to Dubai achieving steady growth rates.
“Backed by consistently high oil prices, Dubai’s oil GDP grew by 18 per cent over last year’s AED6.7 billion and is estimated to touch AED7.9 billion, although the contribution of oil to Dubai’s overall GDP has remained close to the 2004 levels at 5.8 per cent,” said Mr. Alabbar. “In turn, the contribution of the non-oil sector to the Emirate’s GDP was 94.20 per cent in 2005,” he added.
Mr. Alabbar noted that the government initiatives had enabled a continuous inflow of foreign capital – a trend that is expected to be maintained with the prevailing lucrative return on investment in key sectors.
He pointed out that the Department, in addition to main economic sectors, will focus towards setting up a viable industrial sector, which is the real evidence of true economic growth, through the establishment of industrial incubators.