Dubai Economic Outlook 2017 – Forecasted Gdp Growth 3.1%


Dubai economic outlook 2017 looks bullish this year, with the economy expected to get major push from high-end public private partnerships in infrastructure, tourism and SME (Small & Medium Enterprise) expansion. Dubai’s economy and GDP is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2017, according to Shiekh Ahmed bin Maktoum, the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee in Dubai. However, IMF has forecasted a GDP growth of 3.6% for Dubai, which is slightly higher than the government’s projection.

Despite regional and global economic challenges, Dubai economy and economic outlook for 2017 remains buyout mainly due to adaptive economic model and infrastructure development in the Emirate.

Dubai Budget 2017

The government of Dubai has also allocated an ambitious budget of Dh 47.3 billion with an intended objective of job creation and sustainable development in the Emirate. Compared to last year budget (Dh 46.1 billion – 2016), there was an increase by 2.6% in 2017, which indicates government of Dubai’s keenness in developing infrastructure.


Tourism will continue to be one of the bright sectors of the emirate and its strategic integration with other sectors such as infrastructure, hospitality, retail and trade industry will continue to drive Dubai’s economy. The total revenue from tourism industry is expected to reach Dh 58 billion in 2016 up from Dh 42 billion in 2015, underscoring how important these sectors will be in the times to come.


2017 will also see increased focus on innovative start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures as the new locomotive of Emirate’s economic juggernaut. Along with traditional sectors such as real estate, tourism and trade, e-Commerce, Tech (IT) & Innovation based ventures will define the new growth trajectories of Dubai.


During the first session of Dubai Future Accelerator (DFA), a total of 19 projects worth Dh 120 million have been signed, underscoring government commitment towards innovation and entrepreneurship. Similarly, Dubai Design District (D3) has been inaugurated which will work as a prolific platform for creative people from around the world to live, do business and grow. D3 is more than just a purpose-built community and will act as a complete ecosystem for creative individuals from design, fashion and luxury background to prosper.


2017 will also see many of the high Expo 2020 projects finally coming on stream, thereby further adding to economic output in the form of increased business activities and rise in employment. Likewise, the Dh 2 billion iconic Dubai Canal Project inaugurated few weeks back will be a major attraction for Expo and Non-Expo visitors coming to Dubai.


Built near Jebel Ali Free Zone and close to the fast developing areas of “Dubai South or New Dubai” Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) will be one of the largest airport in the world when operational managing over 200 million passengers annually and over 12 million tonnes of freight.

Construction activities in and around the Maktoum International Airport / DWC are gaining momentum, with various affordable luxury housing projects moving towards completion. Located close to the Expo 2020 site, the new residential catchment is counted amongst one of the major epicenter of cultural and commercial life in Dubai.


Increasingly, Dubai and UAE have been consolidating its position on the global map as epitome of prosperous and high value yet sustainable lifestyle. Major non-partisan international ranking agencies and consulting houses such Brookings Institution, PwC and Economic Intelligence Unit have ranked Dubai as top destinations in the world to do business and reside. Dubai’s tax haven status and speed of business execution, further adds to its inherent pull factor.

With accelerated economic activities, the times to come will see new vigor in the investment opportunities in Dubai. Along with traditional sectors such as tourism, Food and Beverage (F&B), retail (apparel), logistics, real estate and construction); 2017 should also see more investment into information technologies (IT), manufacturing and retail industries.

A higher economic growth will induce rise in income, that will spur growth in numerous other sectors such as healthcare & medical tourism, education, sports & fitness on the back of increased household spending and consumer confidence.

Government initiatives, liberal cultural outlook and tax haven status will help Dubai a whole new generation of talent to come to the Emirate and establish their businesses.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
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