Dubai’s GDP growth rate is expected to reach 2.1 percent in 2019 before rising to 3.8 percent in 2020, with improvements seen this year and next for finance, tourism as well as retail and wholesale.
A report released by the Department of Economic Development (DED) said GDP growth will then slow to 2.8 percent in 2021.
“Economic momentum has picked up at the beginning of this year with a surge in new business licences and improved optimism on jobs and business performance,” the report said.
Growth in financial services is expected to speed up to 2.4 percent in 2019 from last year’s 0.6 percent, while tourism will grow 6.2% in 2020 and 2021, and retail and wholesale is expected to grow 4.5% next year.
DED statistics show that 6,709 new business licences were issued in the first three months of the year, a 29 percent increase over the same period in 2018.
Additionally, the DED report noted that the Dubai Financial Market General Index gained 4 percent in the first quarter of the year.
Net foreign investment over the quarter rose to AED 680 million and accounted for 65 percent of all trade in the DFM, with institutional investors accounting for AED 492 million in investment.
Looking ahead to Expo, DED cited figures from a recent EY study which found that the total value-add to GDP related to the event stands at AED 122 billion ($33.21 billion), including AED 22.7 billion ($6.18 billion) during the event and AED 62.2 billion ($16.93 billion) through 2030.
The report also noted that Dubai’s government “is scaling up its support to local businesses by multiplying buyer-seller meets in and outside Dubai and working closely with the federal government to ease trade barriers in countries with high growth potential.”
Emirates NBD said in a report, “We share the department’s optimism that the Dubai economy will expand faster this year than last year, and we have actually had a more positive forecast for this year than the DED driven by Expo projects being completed and on the back of increased government spending.
“However, our 3.1 percent forecast is probably a bit on the high side and may be subject to a downward revision pending the release of full UAE GDP data for 2018.”