UAE GDP Forecast – 2017 to 2020

Dubai – The United Arab Emirates economy is expected to grow between 4 to 5 per cent in next four years (2017 – 2020). Recovery in oil prices, infrastructural development works and private sector activities will drive the economy forward according to the new research. Additionally, the growth in local as well as the tourist population along with EXPO 2020 will stimulate the economic growth. As EXPO 2020 is expected to attract more than 25 million visitors, the event is likely to attract foreign investments between $100 to $150 billion in Dubai and UAE across various sectors of the economy such as real estatetourismretail and education.

UAE – Status of Mega Projects 

Mega projects in the country are forecasted to recover by 2017 as Dubai prepares for EXPO 2020 according to MEED (Middle East Business Intelligence). Though the GDP growth in 2016 is projected between 2.6-3.1%, project spending on mega projects will rise from next year.

According to MEED, mega projects worth $155 billion are currently under construction in UAE while there are upcoming projects worth $629 billion. In the first half of 2016, real estate, transport and power projects worth 16 billion were initiated in Dubai. Moreover, UAE leads the GCC region in terms of infrastructure development and economic growth, as UAE is responsible for near around 35 per cent of projects worth $507 billion between 2006 to 2015 period.

The economic forecasts and growth assumptions are based on the current UAE oil exports that revolve around an average oil price of $37 in 2016 and projected to be $50 in 2017, increasing at CAGR of 10 per cent by 2020.

Global Ranking – UAE Economic Performance

UAE has performed extremely well on various global economic indexes due to country’s ability to deal with financial crises and socio-economic changes. This is due to the fact that the UAE government is heavily investing in the diversification strategy (Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic Vision Plan and Dubai 2021 Plan) to reduce the reliance on oil revenues in coming years and diversify its economy to non-oil based GDP. The results are for everyone to see:

  • UAE ranked 3rd for Economic Openness Globally
  • UAE ranked 4th for Business Environment, Infrastructure & Technological Advancement
  • UAE ranked 5th on Global Readiness Index
  • UAE ranked 5th on Change Readiness Index
  • UAE ranked 15th on World Competitiveness Index

UAE & Dubai successful due to favorable Business Environment

Favorable business environment, business friendly regulations and zero income tax has enabled UAE to be ranked amongst the top 15 countries for economic performance. More precisely, Dubai is still considered among the most lucrative destinations for future investments mainly due to economic growth projected in next 5 – 7 years, government efficiency and continuous infrastructure development.

Investment Opportunities in UAE

Notwithstanding the recent collapse of oil prices, the overall economic outlook of UAE looks resilient, offering great avenues of investment for local as well as international investors in the mid-to-long term period.

Research Konnection –  Connect with us on if you are looking for market research or business setup in Dubai (UAE).

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
How can we help you?

Contact us for market research services or submit a business enquiry online.

Contact Us