Dubai economy to rebound 2 pct in 2010
Dubai, December 11, 2009
The economy of Dubai is expected to grow 2-3 per cent in 2010 after contracting about two per cent this year due to slowing real estate and construction sectors, a senior government official was quoted as saying on Friday.
Sami Al-Qamzi, the head of the economic development department, told the state television the economy shrank 1.47 per cent in the first half of 2009, Al-Ittihad and Al-Khaleej newspapers reported.
This year's slowdown will be partly offset by a 9.1 per cent growth in the financial sector and a 5.9 per cent expansion in the consumer goods industry, Qamzi added.
Dubai, which enjoyed years of stellar property-fuelled growth until the end of 2008, alarmed global markets on November 25 when its asked for a repayment freeze on billions of dollars worth of debt issued by state-owned conglomerate Dubai World.
The issue raised concerns about the economy of the regional trade and business hub, one of seven members in the United Arab Emirates federation.
The federation's economy was seen rising 2.9 per cent next year, after a 1.1 per cent contraction in 2009, well below a nearly eight per cent average expansion in the previous three years, a Reuters poll showed ahead of Dubai's debt announcement.
Dubai's property boom was brought to a grinding halt after the global financial crisis hit the market of the emirate's major developments that include man-made islands.
Developers in the emirate delayed or cancelled developments worth tens of billions of dollars, a move that weighed on the construction and mortgage sectors.
Qamzi was reported as saying the Dubai economy may grow by as much as 5 percent in 2011.
Earlier this month, a senior official at the International Monetary Fund said it might revise its growth forecast for the UAE's non-oil gross domestic product to 'significantly lower' than the three per cent it had projected in October.-Reuters