UAE economy grew 4.3 per cent in fourth quarter of 2023


The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) economy grew 4.3 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, preliminary government data showed, with non-oil economic growth vastly outperforming overall GDP.

Non-oil GDP surged 6.7 per cent in the same period, according to data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.

Financial and insurance activities, transportation and storage, real estate and construction sectors were among the top growth sectors.

The Gulf state has also intensified investments into sectors such as renewable energy and advanced technology.

One of the world’s top oil exporters, the UAE has accelerated plans to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons and draw foreign investment, with non-oil GDP now representing over 70 per cent of the overall growth contribution.

Real GDP growth is estimated at 3.6 per cent in 2023, according to Reuters calculations, with non-oil GDP growth at 6.2 per cent amid a decline in oil activity last year on lower production and prices, which weighed on all regional oil and gas producers.

The International Monetary Fund said in a recent statement that economic growth in the UAE was broad based, and driven by solid domestic activity in sectors such as tourism, construction and financial services.

The Fund has raised its preliminary forecast for GDP growth in 2024 to 4 per cent from the 3.5 per cent projected in its last Regional Economic Outlook report published in April.

A Reuters poll of economists in April also forecast the UAE’s GDP growth at 4 per cent in 2024, the fastest among Gulf peers.

“The UAE’s economy has been remarkably resilient to both a lacklustre external backdrop as well as significantly higher interest rates in 2023,” Emirates NBD analysts said in a research note on Thursday.


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