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13 April 2024

2009 outlook stays positive

Dubai's GDP in 2008 rose by about 16 per cent in nominal terms, according to official figures. (AFP)

By Muna Ahmad

Preliminary official figures show that the gross domestic product (GDP) of Dubai in 2008 rose between 13 and 16 per cent in nominal terms and six to eight per cent in real terms, a top official said.

Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, Director-General of Dubai Department of Economic Development, told Emirates Business. that at 37 per cent of the GDP, wholesale and retail sectors were the biggest contributors to the UAE's economy, contrary to the perception that real estate was the biggest contributor. Al Qamzi said lots of speculative figures have been released by different sources about the emirate's GDP for 2008.

"As a result we have linked up with the Dubai Statistics Centre to come up with the official figures which are still under review and will be released in the first quarter of this year. Overall the 2008 results are healthy, we have overall growth in the economy and GDP," he said and added: "We are trying to develop sectors such as logistics and finance and they have high potential. Our role in this is to study these sectors and look at the regulations." Some sectors, such as real estate, would adjust themselves to the new circumstances, he said.

Al Qamzi said the outlook for 2009 is positive "regardless of the percentage of growth we achieve".

About financial regulations and regulators, he said: "I'd like to see an improvement in regulations involving the IMF, the World Bank and others. This would include forming a permanent standing committee for global financial regulation. We need a new architecture for international and domestic financial systems capable of safeguarding the interests of all players in a market."