IMF Predicts UAE GDP Growth at 3.7 Per cent in 2019

IMF Predicts UAE GDP Growth at 3.7 Per cent in 2019

Dubai – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) GDP is expected to grow from 2.9 in 2018 to 3.7 per cent in 2019, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF projects strong economic growth in the country on the basis of higher oil prices and fiscal adjustments. IMF was of the view that UAE and other GCC economies will recover strongly in 2019.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai being the major contributors will play a crucial role in growth revival of UAE economy. IMF expects Abu Dhabi and Dubai GDP to grow by 3.4 and 4 per cent in 2019 respectively.

Earlier this month, in an International Finance conference held in Abu Dhabi, the Central Bank’s Governor Mubarak Rashed al Mansoori stated that UAE GDP growth would hover around 4.2 per cent in 2019, which is 0.5 per cent more than the IMF projections. Nonetheless, both IMF and UAE Central Bank believe that increase in oil prices, fiscal consolidation and strong contribution from non-oil sectors are some of the major reasons behind positive outlook for the UAE economy in 2019.

UAE GDP Growth Drivers – 2019

In addition to the rising oil output and fiscal consolidation, the announcement of Dh 60 billion ($16.4 billion) budget by UAE federal government for 2019 and Dh 50 billion ($13.6 billion) Economic Stimulus Programme by Abu Dhabi government will ensure that UAE economy achieves GDP growth rate of near around 4 per cent in 2019 as estimated by IMF and UAE Central Bank. Not to forget, World Expo 2020 preparations are in full swing, which is also likely to boost economic activity in Dubai and influence Dubai and UAE’s GDP growth rate positively.

UAE Ease of Doing Business

Earlier this month, UAE rose to 11th position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2019 from the 21st position it held last year. UAE has jumped 10 position and currently also leads the Arab world in the same category for the sixth consecutive year. Considered as the second largest economy in the Arab world, UAE is fast implementing new reforms to ensure economic development and businses activity in the country.

The radical shift in UAE’s Ease of Doing Business ranking is a result of series of initiatives taken by the UAE government which includes 10-years visa plan, 100 per cent ownership for foreign investors and companies, new visa reforms to radically reduce the employee visa cost and tariff reductions for large, medium and small-sized factors to support UAE industries.

Investment Opportunities in UAE

UAE has always been an investment friendly destination offering attractive investment environment to international companieas that are looking to tap into the Gulf region. The country has also developed world-class infrastructure in the form top quality airports, hotels, public facilities and economic zones, which furthers its evolution as an international business destination. A robust existing framework in conjunction with new rules to facilitate the business environment can ensure GDP growth in 2019 as indicated by the IMF and UAE Central Bank.

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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at for research inquiries.