The UAE's real GDP is projected to grow by up to four per cent in 2013, fuelled by strong crude prices and expansion in tourism, trade and industry, a senior economy official was reported on Sunday as saying.
In current prices, GDP is expected to soar to a record high of Dh1.39 trillion this year from an estimated Dh1.33 trillion, an increase of about 4.5 per cent, said Mohammed Al Shehi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy.
"The UAE economy will likely expand by 3.5-4 per cent this year to maintain its position as one of the best performing and fastest growing economies in the world," he said, quoted by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emirat Alyoum.
"Growth will be supported by the oil sector and expansion of other sectors, including industry, tourism, services, trade and the recovery of the real estate sector."
Shehi gave no growth figures for 2012 but recent forecasts by Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansoori showed the country's GDP would grow by 3.7 per cent.
"We expect real GDP growth this year to be 3.7 per cent…there has been growth in many sectors, mainly tourism, services and manufacturing, which grew by around three per cent so far this year…trade also expanded by four per cent," Mansoori said.
Mansoori said the UAE, the largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, has managed to slash inflation from a record high of 14 per cent in 2008 to below one per cent in 2011.
He expected inflation in 2012 to be around 1-1.2 per cent which is "a very low rate.
The UAE real GDP grew by around 4.9 per cent in 2011 when oil prices hit a record high of around $107 and the country pumped oil at one of its highest levels. The price surge boosted the UAE's income to an all time high of more than $100 billion and allowed the government to raise spending, giving a fresh boost to non-oil sectors.