The UAE economy grew by around 3.2 per cent in 2010 following a sharp slowdown in 2009 because of the 2008 global fiscal crisis, an official has said.
The expansion meant that the country’s gross domestic product surged above Dh1 trillion for the first time to maintain its position as the largest Arab economy after that of Saudi Arabia, said the official at the ministry of foreign trade.
“The UAE’s economy is strong at the current stage…it expanded by nearly 3.2 per cent in 2010 while the country’s total trade swelled by 11.5 per cent in the first 10 months of 2010 to reach nearly $165 billion,” the ministry’s director Abdullah Al Saleh said during a UAE-Spain investment seminar in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Al Saleh’s estimates are far higher than those by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund, which put real GDP in the UAE at 2.4 per cent in 2010, close to IMF data.
Another institution, the Kuwaiti-based Markaz financial centre, also put real GDP at 2.4 per cent in 2010 and expected it to pick up to 3.2 per cent in 2011.
It said growth follows a three per cent contraction in the country’s GDP in 2009 following a steep fall in crude prices and production by the UAE.
In recent press comments, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansouri projected a real GDP growth at three per cent last year but said the estimates remain subject to change depending on oil prices and other factors.