The UAE economy is expected to expand by at least 16 per cent in 2007 on higher oil prices and new investments, according to the International Monetary Fund.
In a new report released in December, the IMF says at least $22 billion (Dh80.8bn) will be pumped into the UAE economy every year over the next decade, including a total of $35bn (Dh128bn) into oil and gas projects. But it warned that the UAE’s rapid growth has been expensive, with inflation soaring to record levels.
“The UAE has enjoyed rapid economic growth, impressive by any global standard. Its challenge now is to address the housing constraint that is pushing up inflation while sustaining growth and ensuring macroeconomic and financial stability,” the report said. “Record high oil prices have generated increasing current account and fiscal surpluses and facilitated the build up of official foreign assets. But fiscal policy has remained prudent as evidenced in the decline in expenditures to the GDP and the non-oil fiscal deficit to the GDP.”
Projections by the UAE Ministry of Economy and Commerce showed the GDP will jump by 16.5 per cent in 2007 partly due to a surge in non-oil sectors – chiefly industry, tourism, trade and construction. By the end of 2007, the GDP is expected to hit a record Dh698bn in current prices while the non-oil sector will perform even better than the hydrocarbon sector, growing by about 21 per cent to Dh455bn.
Gross Capital Formation, which covers private and public investment, will rocket by 19 per cent to Dh144bn from Dh121bn.