Dubai: The UAE economy is on track to record its strongest annual GDP growth since 2011, one of the latest in a series of quarterly economic reports released by Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Oxford Economics is predicting UAE’s growth to be at 6.8 per cent for the year – a significant increase in the recorded actual growth of 3.8 per cent in 2021.
According to the Q3 2022 State of the UAE Retail Economy report, the oil sector pushed a 13.4 per cent increase in GDP driven by crude oil prices hovering around $100 per barrel for most of the third quarter.
The non-oil economy also demonstrated robust growth, buoyed by the government’s moves to create an investor-friendly environment, with a strong focus on both digital and creative industries.
The sharp rise of e-commerce continues, with sales projected to rise by 22 per cent this year, exceeding $6 billion and putting the market on track to reach $9.2 billion by 2026. Spending online increased by 34 per cent in January-September compared with the same period a year earlier, with e-commerce sales now accounting for 11 per cent of total retail economy sales.
Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, said: “Another strong quarter for the UAE retail economy showcases notable sector-wide resilience and reinforces the country’s steady march towards a return to sustainable growth. The continuation of forward-thinking government initiatives underpinning this progress is making the UAE highly attractive to international businesses – as are the Government’s steps to become a sustainability leader in the MENA region.
“With all indicators pointing to a strong fourth quarter this year, and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the UAE has put the pandemic-related turbulence firmly in the rear-view. We only need to consider the ongoing opportunity, security, and safety this nation offers to see why the world continues to flock to the region to build their future here.”
Travel and tourism visitors have returned and are now spending more than before the pandemic-induced turbulence. As restrictions continue to ease, the pent-up demand for travel has been unleashed – with Dubai experiencing a 182 per cent year-on-year rise in international visitors between January to August. Hotels have been a big beneficiary of increasing tourist arrivals, with the number of occupied room nights rising by 28 per cent on the year in January to August and 17 per cent above pre-COVID-19 levels from 2019, at just under 24 million.
The research also indicates that business continues to boom for the UAE real estate market, with Dubai recording the most robust performance between January and September since 2011. Transactions saw a 60 per cent jump compared with a year earlier and a 14 per cent rise in the quarter to 25,500, climbing by 77 per cent to Dh184 billion this year, setting new records for both metrics.