United Arab Emirates Economic Forecast

United Arab Emirates Economic Outlook

April 2, 2019

Economic growth in the first quarter of 2019 appears to have been modest, according to available data. In the oil sector, production cuts agreed to by the UAE in an OPEC+ deal since early January likely kept output subdued and dragged on growth, though they supported prices. Meanwhile, growth in the non-oil economy fell to an over two-year low in February after a solid start in January, according to PMI data. The non-oil private sector remains mired in a difficult competitive environment, with firms slashing prices to attract new business and shedding jobs to keep costs down. Moreover, recently-released data shows the economy—while still rebounding from 2017—fared less well than expected last year. Notably, growth in Dubai fell to a nine-year low in 2018, largely on the back of feeble commercial and residential real estate markets due to falling prices and oversupply.

United Arab Emirates Economic Growth

The non-oil sector should drive growth this year, supported by a large fiscal stimulus in preparation for Expo 2020. Recent business-friendly reforms also appear poised to attract qualified foreign workers and to boost FDI inflows. Nevertheless, slower global growth, trade protectionism and fragility in Dubai’s property markets constitute important downside risks. Met the why particular panelists expect GDP to increase 2.9% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.3% in 2020.

United Arab Emirates Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)43,19143,33537,37535,378-  
GDP (USD bn)390113358349-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)5.212.3-19.1-11.3-  
Investment (annual variation in %)-5.711.94.32.3-  
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)  
Unemployment Rate2.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)8.41.9-3.4-2.5-1.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)15.715.518.720.7-  
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)3.673.673.673.673.67
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)3.673.673.673.673.67
Current Account (% of GDP)18.313.34.72.4-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)71.253.616.78.4-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)11111876.668.3-  
Exports (USD billion)371343300299-  
Imports (USD billion)231235224230-  
Exports (annual variation in %)3.2-7.6-12.4-0.6-  
Imports (annual variation in %)5.91.7-4.62.9-  
International Reserves (USD)68.278.493.985.4-  
External Debt (% of GDP)44.348.360.862.2-  

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United Arab Emirates Facts

Exchange Rate3.670.0 %Apr 12
Stock Market0.30.75 %Apr 12

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