Economy: IMF Sees Dubai growth from local spending, trade

Dubai’s gross domestic product will likely accelerate this year at a faster pace than most Arab economies, bolstered by local spending and a pick-up in global trade, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.

GDP will grow as fast as 4 percent from 2.7 percent in 2016, according to Jihad Azour, head of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department. The projected growth compares with an average of 2.3 percent for the Middle East and North Africa, according to IMF data.

Dubai, home to Emirates Airline and the world’s tallest skyscraper, borrowed tens of billions of dollars to build an economy reliant on trade, transport, finance and construction. After a spell of breakneck growth, the global financial crisis pushed the real estate market into a slump and took Dubai to the brink of default. Authorities have since tightened regulations and repaired the emirate’s public finances.

“Growth is expected to strengthen on the back of stronger domestic spending, including investment in preparation for Expo 2020, and the pickup in global trade,” Azour said in an interview in Dubai.

An IMF mission is currently holding consultations with local authorities to discuss the economic outlook.