Things are looking up in the UAE this 2019, despite the looming trade wars and geo-political issues affecting global growth. Economists say there are two growth factors for the UAE: a significant increase in oil prices and progress in the country’s fiscal adjustment programme — both on the revenue and expenditure sides. Image Credit:

DUBAI: The UAE gross domestic product, GDP, grew by 1.7 per cent in 2018 at constant prices of 2018 as compared to 2017, said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, citing preliminary macro-economy indexes issued by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, FCSA, for last year.

Al Mansouri noted that the improvement in the UAE’s economic performance was driven by growth in the oil revenues as a result of the increase in world oil prices and robust performance of non-oil activities.

Non-oil sectors

He added that the economy was on the right track to deliver the UAE Vision 2021 which sought to develop non-oil sectors and reduce dependency on oil revenues.

The real GDP rose at real prices (base year 2010) to Dh1442.5 billion in 2018 from Dh1418 billion at the end of 2017, according to the FCSA’s GDP estimates.

For economic diversification, the estimates showed that GDP of non-oil sectors surged to nearly Dh1127.6 million, a growth of 2.9 per cent at current prices and 1.3 per cent at constant prices at the end of 2018 as compared to 2017.

“The oil and gas sector contributed 25.9 per cent to the GDP, while the share was 11.2 per cent for the retail and whole trade sector, 9.2 per cent for the financial services sector, 8.9 per cent for the manufacturing industries and 8.3 per cent for the building and construction sectors,” indicated the estimates.

In 2018, oil activities saw a growth of 35.1 per cent as compared to 2017.