Sheikh Mohammed: UAE economy robust
The UAE economy is robust and is based on a solid foundation and long-term vision, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said on Monday.
“That is why, we, the leadership and the government, are not worried about the future of our national economy. We rely on our youth to further strengthen national economy,” he told a group of young Emiratis at Qasr Al Bahar in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
The young nationals said they were proud of the country’s top leadership who facilitate world-class education and training, jobs and dignified living for them.
Shaikh Mohammed’s upbeat outlook of the UAE economy is underscored by optimistic projections made by eminent economists at various global organisations and financial institutions. These include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, Institute of International Finance (IIF), Economic Intelligence Unit, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Saudi American Bank Group and National Bank of Kuwait.
All macroeconomic indicators show signs of a sustained vibrant growth, and economists believe that a combination of higher than expected oil price, a strong performance from the trade and tourism sector, and expectations of faster regional growth will help accelerate the country’s growth to close to five per cent in 2011 and 2012. They believe high government spending and improved consumer confidence would boost private consumption in the UAE. Increased spending on infrastructure projects, industry, ports and airports in the UAE will add further momentum of the UAE growth, economists said.
Analysts believe the UAE, a safe and sought-after global investment haven, continues to attract foreign investments, which will play a vital role in reenergizing trade and industry.
As Minister of Foreign Trade Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi has pointed out, the country, Arab world’s second largest economy, is now the regional headquarters of over 25 per cent of the top 500 companies in the world thanks to its highly favourable business and investment climate.
The IMF, which expects only a 3.5 per cent rise in the 2011 growth rate, has observed that the regional unrest would benefit the UAE, as the country stands to gain from increased tourism and investments looking for diversification within the region.
IIF also sounded very bullish about UAE’s growth and said the economy is expected to accelerate to 3.8 per cent in 2011 and to four per cent in 2012. Dubai, which has been named as the best country for inward investment in the Middle East by the London-based The New Economy magazine, is set to bounce back with a projected 3.5 per cent growth in 2011 as the turmoil in the Arab world would indirectly boost the UAE’ overall economy, the Washington-based IIF said.
Forecasts by the London-based Economic Intelligence Unit indicate that the UAE’s GDP will rebound by nearly 3.6 per cent in 2011 from 2.1 per cent in 2010. Saudi American Bank Group said higher crude production would ally with an increasing in public spending and better performance in Dubai’s non-oil sectors to boost the UAE’s economy by nearly four per cent in 2011.
Chief Economist at NBAD said higher oil and gas output and its firm prices along with a modest pick-up in non-oil activity would accelerate the UAE’s real economic growth to four per cent year-on-year in 2011 and will lift it even further stronger to 5.1 per cent in 2012.
The National Bank of Kuwait said a lower than expected inflation would boost the country’s international competitiveness and support real incomes, benefiting consumer-facing sectors.