The UAE's economy has swelled by nearly 36 times in current prices since the country was created by seven Gulf emirates in 1971, according to official figures.

From only Dh6.5 billion in 1971, the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to climb to Dh237.5 billion this year, the Planning Ministry said in a report marking the UAE's 30th anniversary.

"This represented an average annual growth of around 13.2 per cent, one of the fastest GDP growth rates in the world," the report said.

Economists said the rapid growth was a result of massive investment in infrastructure and development projects, exceeding Dh250 billion. The figure does not include funds pumped by the private sector, which has gained momentum in reforms being carried out by the government in line with a diversification policy.

Planning ministry figures showed investments also grew by an average 13 per cent a year to an estimated Dh59 billion this year from only Dh1.7 billion in 1971. The national income jumped 14 per cent to Dh209 billion from Dh4.7 billion.

The increase in the GDP pushed up the UAE's per capita income to Dh63,500 this year from less than Dh10,000 in 1971. With such a growth, the UAE now has one of the world's highest per capita incomes.

A drive to lessen reliance on oil and expand other sources of income boosted the non-oil sector's contribution to the GDP to nearly two-thirds this year from less than 30 per cent in 1971, the figures showed.

The UAE has used its massive oil wealth to finance development projects and an ongoing economic diversification drive to guard its economy against unpredictable oil export earnings, attain sustainable growth and ensure jobs for its citizens.

Oil production has consistently increased over the past three decades following new hydrocarbon discoveries and development of oilfields.

From less than 500,000 barrels per day in early 1970s, the UAE now produces just above two million barrels per day in line with an Opec agreement while its sustainable capacity exceeds 2.6 million bpd.

The increase sharply pushed up its crude oil revenues to around $21 billion last year from just $2 billion at the beginning of production. Cumulative revenues from oil and gas sales totalled more than $250 billion over the past three decades.