By Martin Dokoupil
DUBAI May 5 Dubai's economy is expected to grow
around 5 percent 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 percent
in 2013," Executive Director Arif Obaid al-Muhairi said on the
Dubai Statistics Center's website www.dsc.gov.ae. "We expect
that the current year will witness growth close to these rates."
The economy grew around 4.5 percent in the first nine months
of last year, he said.
Dubai accounts for a quarter of output of the United Arab
Emirates economy, with oil-powered Abu Dhabi responsible for
around 65 percent.
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 percent growth in both 2013 and 2014.
Dubai's tourist numbers rose 10 percent to 11 million people
in 2013, and new trade licences recorded an increase of 12
percent. Real estate transactions jumped 53 percent to above 236
billion dirhams ($64.3 billion).
Selling prices for residential property rose about a third
from a year ago in the first quarter of 2014, prompting
International Monetary Fund warnings of a possible real estate
In the UAE, business activity growth in the non-oil private
sector edged up to a four-month high in March, indicating robust
growth should continue this year.
($1 = 3.6730 UAE Dirhams)
(Editing by John Stonestreet)