Propelled by vibrant growth in trade and tourism, Dubai’s economy is headed for the fastest expansion in six years, with the gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, accelerating to 4.9 per cent in the first half of 2013, the government’s Statistics Department said on Wednesday
The strong economic performance, better than the 4.7 per cent growth forecast by the Dubai Economic Council, was fuelled by a surge in trade, industry, hotels and other non-oil sectors, underscoring the emirate’s expanding economic diversity, said Aref Al Muhairi, executive director of the Dubai Statistics Centre.
Khaleej Times reports  that Dubai’s real GDP grew to Dh169 billion in the first half of 2013 from Dh161 billion in the first half of 2012, and growth covered almost all non-hydrocarbon sectors.
“This is one of the highest growth rates. It shows that Dubai is the most credible city to host the World Expo  and proves that it has achieved massive leaps against the global financial crisis to affirm the strength and solidity of its economy,” Muhairi was quoted as saying.
According to data provided by the Statistics Department, restaurants and hotels industry grew 13.7 per cent during that period to reach Dh8.9 billion compared with Dh7.8 billion while the trade sector, which contributed by 29.2 per cent of the GDP, grew by 4.1 per cent to emerge as the largest component of the economy.
The manufacturing sector recorded a growth of 13.3 per cent, while transport and communications sector posted 4.9 per cent surge.
The real estate and business services sector, which accounts for about 13 per cent of GDP, grew 3.3 per cent year-on-year, accelerating from 1.7 per cent growth in all of 2012. The financial sector expanded 2.7 per cent. Electricity, gas and water expanded 4.3 per cent. Hotel occupants rose 11.1 per cent in the first half to 5.6 million people. The number of hotel rooms increased by 4,729 to almost 59,000, the statistics office said.
Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index surged 79 per cent this year, making it the best performer among the 50 biggest equity markets globally.
“Dubai is seeing an acceleration in a number of sectors, benefiting from increased investment and exports, including tourism,” Monica Malik, chief economist at investment bank EFG-Hermes Holding, said.
According to the Dubai Economic Council , the value of Dubai’s foreign trade in the first half of 2013 set a new record, reaching Dh679 billion, compared to Dh584 billion in the same period of 2012, showing a growth of 16 per cent. India, China and the US ranked as the top three trade partners.
The DEC said the backbone of any economy in the world, the financial sector also performed very well in Dubai as deposits and advances of the emirate’s banks grew in the second quarter compared to the corresponding period last year.
“Most of macroeconomic and sectoral indicators witnessed growth in the second quarter that exceeded those in the first quarter of this year and the last quarter of 2012,” said the DEC.