Dubai economic growth slows in 2017

Dubai's economic growth for 2017 came in below government forecasts. AFP
Updated 21 April 2018
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Dubai economic growth slows in 2017

  • Economy grows 2.6% in 2017, down from 2.85% the previous year
  • Wholesale and retail trade grew by just 0.9% during the year

Dubai’s economy registered slower growth in 2017, according to official figures, coming in below the government’s official forecast.

The emirate’s GDP grew 2.6 percent to 389 billion dirhams (SR381 billion) in 2017, according to data released on Saturday by the Dubai Statistics Center, compared with 2.85 percent the previous year.
The Dubai Economic Department last year forecast growth of 3.2 percent in 2017, followed by 3.5 percent in 2018.
Wholesale and retail trade — accounting for 26.6 percent of the emirate’s real GDP — grew by just 0.9 percent during the year, even as total imports and re-exports grew by 2.2 percent during 2017.
Growth in total imports and re-exports was attributed to a growth in industrial inputs and capital goods, which contributed to the growth of foreign trade by 1.8 and 1.6 percent respectively, according to the DSC.
“These figures provide solid evidence for the fact that Dubai plays a dynamic role in supporting trade between the region and the rest of the world,” said the DSC’s executive director Arif Al Mehairi. “This growing role has boosted the growth of Dubai’s trading sector.”
Transportation and real estate were among the fastest growing sectors of the economy, improving by 7.3 percent and 4.5 percent respectively during 2017.
The construction sector meanwhile grew by 3.5 percent during the year.
“The Dubai government’s spending on infrastructure projects, which rose by almost 27%, had a pronounced positive impact on the performance of the construction sector in the emirate.” the DSC said.
The IMF last week estimated that the UAE’s economy as a whole grew just 0.5 percent in 2017. The fund estimates this will grow to 2.5 percent in 2018 and 3.2 percent in 2019.


Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

Updated 25 May 2018
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Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

  • Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih: “We are ready, the company (Saudi Aramco) essentially has ticked all the boxes. We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”
  • Khalid Al-Falih: “Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made. All I could say is stay tuned.”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is most likely to hold the initial public offering (IPO) of oil giant Aramco in 2019, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Friday, confirming a delay from the initial plan to list the company this year.

“The timing I think will depend on the readiness of the market, rather than the readiness of the company or the readiness of Saudi Arabia,” Khalid Al-Falih, who’s also the company’s chairman, said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia on Friday.

“We are ready, the company essentially has ticked all the boxes,” he said. “We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”

For almost two years, Saudi officials said the IPO was “on track, on time” for the second half of 2018. But for the first time in March they suggested it could be delayed until 2019.

“Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made,” Al-Falih said. “All I could say is stay tuned.”

The Aramco IPO would be a once-in-a-generation event for financial markets. Saudi officials said they hope to raise a record $100 billion by selling a 5 percent stake, valuing the company at more than $2 trillion and dwarfing the $25 billion raised by Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.