UAE economy and GDP to grow by 4.2% in 2019

UAE Central Bank expects 4.2% GDP growth in 2019

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) GDP is expected to grow by 4.2 per cent in 2019, up from 2.8 per cent in 2018, according to the Central Bank’s Governor Mubarak Rashed al Mansoori. In an International Finance conference held in Abu Dhabi last week, the governor stated that things have started to materialize, growth and liquidity is there as well as government initiatives. He predicts good times for UAE economy in the future.

While oil revenues will mainly drive UAE economic growth forecast for 2019, strong contributions from non-oil sectors are also expected. According to al-Mansoori, the non-oil GDP is expected to be 3.7 per cent in 2019 up from 3.3 per cent in this year. This is due to the growth expected in non-oil sectors, which accounts for 77 per cent of the UAE economy. He further commented that Iran sanctions would not have any material impact on UAE economy as local banks took measures when sanctions were previously put on Iran by the US.

UAE GDP Growth Drivers – 2019

UAE GDP is expected to achieve higher growth in 2019 due to couple of factors, which includes the rising oil output and fiscal stimulus. Last month, UAE cabinet approved federal budget of Dh 60 billion ($16.4 billion) for the year 2019 while Abu Dhabi announced Dh 50 billion ($13.6 billion) economic stimulus programme in June to encourage business and investment environment in the Emirate. In addition, World Expo 2020 preparations are in full swing, which is likely to boost economic activity in Dubai and UAE.

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 UAE Central Bank.

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