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.