Dubai economy grows 4.1% in H1

Updated 27 November 2012
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Dubai economy grows 4.1% in H1

DUBAI: Dubai's economy expanded 4.1 percent from a year earlier in the first half of this year, official data showed yesterday, indicating the Gulf's main trade and financial hub is holding up well in a weak global environment.
Foreign trade, including re-exports, rose 11.4 percent in the first half, according to Reuters calculations. That was roughly half the growth rate seen a year ago; in addition to global conditions, international sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program have hit Dubai's trade with that country.
Nevertheless, Dubai's gross domestic product growth in the first half was faster than 3.4 percent recorded in 2011. A major reason was booming tourism.
Hotel guest numbers in the emirate jumped 9.6 percent to 5 million in January-June, while hotels and restaurants saw a 16.1 percent surge in their business, said Arif Obaid Al-Muhairi, executive director at the Dubai Statistics Center.
"These indicators are moving towards growth because of the diversity of Dubai's tourism product," he said in a statement. "That helps attract more tourists, which reflects positively on demand in related activities and improves performance of the local economy."
Wholesale and retail businesses, which make up nearly a third of Dubai's GDP, grew 3.8 percent in the first six months of 2012. The real estate and business services sector rose 1.5 percent.
The Dubai housing market, where prices and rents crashed in 2008-2009, has been recovering gradually but bank lending in the United Arab Emirates remains sluggish.
AL-Muhairi said the Dubai government's latest plans for huge tourism and retail developments would help boost tourist numbers and contribute to economic growth.
Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum announced on Saturday a plan to build a massive complex that would include 100 hotels, the world's largest shopping mall and a park larger than London's Hyde Park.
"We see a strong growth outlook for Dubai next year, supported with a continued favorable outlook for consumption and a gradual pick-up in investment," said Monica Malik, chief economist at EFG-Hermes in Dubai.
Dubai is still restructuring billions of dollars of debt in the wake of the property crash, and its entities are expected to face nearly $50 billion of liabilities maturing between 2014 and 2016. However, Malik said this debt overhang would not prevent the emirate from obtaining sufficient financing.
"We see Dubai continuing to access foreign funding, which remains vital both for supporting the investment program and for the debt management position."
The government has said it expects Dubai's GDP to rise more than 4 percent in 2013.


Oil theft ‘costing Libya over $750m annually’

Updated 32 min 8 sec ago
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Oil theft ‘costing Libya over $750m annually’

  • Libya’s oil sector collapsed in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
  • The recovery of oil production and exports is key to restoring Libya’s economy.

Tripoli: Fuel smuggling is costing Libya more than $750 million each year and harming its economy and society, the head of the National Oil Company in the conflict-riddled country said.
“The impact of fuel smuggling is destroying the fabric of the country,” NOC president Mustafa Sanalla said according to the text of a speech delivered on Wednesday at a conference on oil and fuel theft in Geneva.
“The fuel smugglers and thieves have permeated not only the militias which control much of Libya, but also the fuel distribution companies which are supposed to bring cheap fuel to Libyan citizens,” he said.
“The huge sums of money available from smuggling have corrupted large parts of Libyan society,” he added.
The backbone of the North African country’s economy, Libya’s oil sector collapsed in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Before the revolt Libya, with estimated oil reserves of 48 billion barrels, used to produce 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd).
But output fell to less than 500,000 bpd between 2014 and 2016 due to violence around production facilities and export terminals as rival militias fought for control of Africa’s largest crude reserves.
No oil was exported from Libya’s main ports until September 2016 with the reopening of the Ras Lanuf terminal in the country’s so-called oil crescent.
The recovery of oil production and exports is key to restoring Libya’s moribund economy.
Sanalla urged Libya’s “friends, neighbors but above all the Libyan people themselves... to do everything they can... to eradicate the scourge of fuel theft and fuel smuggling.”