The UAE economy  is expected to sustain an annual growth rate above 4 per cent in 2013, the Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an international conference showcasing the oil and natural gas assets of Turkmenistan, Al Mansouri said: “The obstacles and challenges...the issues of concern to us over the 4-5 last few years have been largely overcome. The real state sector is up nicely and the tourism business, in general, has also been growing due to the rise in global optimism about the UAE. The optimism among businesses and investors will influence the growth of the UAE and region.”
“Due to the growing global confidence in the UAE and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) as a unit, I am expecting varying (annual) economic growth ranging between 5 per cent to 8 per cent in these countries over the next 3-5 years, which can termed as good under the current circumstances,” Al Mansouri added.
The UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have expanded by 4.9 per cent in 2012  from the previous year. The US-based Institute for International Finance (IIF) has forecast the UAE economy to cross the Dhs1.5 trillion mark in 2014. At $360 billion in 2012, the GDP of the UAE ranks third in the Middle East North Africa (Mena) region after Saudi Arabia and Iran, and 30th in the world, which was driven largely by high global prices of crude oil, which is the mainstay of the country’s exports.
There are various deviating estimates regarding the actual growth rate of the nation’s GDP, however all available statistics indicate that the UAE currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Separately, Al Mansouri said he expects the much anticipated new Companies Law to get passed before the end of the first half of 2013.