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UAE well placed to face fluctuations

The International Monetory Fund (IMF) has estimated the United Arab Emirates’ average economic growth at 3.6 percent for 2014, and forecasts 3.2 percent in 2015. Despite lower oil prices, sluggish global growth, and volatility regional markets, the UAE remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world with strong non-oil economy growth of 4.8 percent (2014). According to the IMF, the UAE is well placed to cope with lower oil prices, due to its perceived safe haven status for investment and a positive balance sheet.

The IMF expects the UAE’s non-oil economy growth to slow to 3.4 per cent in 2015, but then climb from 2016 to reach 4.6 percent GDP (gross domestic product) growth by 2020, partly due to megaprojects and private investment in the run-up to Expo 2020, which will take place in Dubai. According to the IMF, the UAE’s 2014 surplus of 12.1 percent of GDP may fall to 5.3 percent in 2015, due to the impact of lower oil prices.

According to figures shared by Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) in May, Sharjah’s GDP achieved 8.5 percent growth in 2014, crossing AED 80 billion (US$ 21.8b). Authorities credit Sharjah’s 2015 GDP growth with the effectiveness of the government’s economic development strategy, measures put in place to attract investment and cooperation between the government and private sector. Sharjah is currently investing 45 percent of its annual 2015 budget in economic development.

Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s estimated Sharjah’s ‘real GDP growth’ for 2014 as 5.5 percent, weighted by the agency’s own criteria, with 3.5 percent growth in real GDP forecast for 2015.

According to S&P, Sharjah’s real economy is supported by a diverse production base, with real estate and business services accounting for about 20 percent; manufacturing 16 percent; mining, quarrying, and energy 13% percent; and wholesale and retail trade 12 percent. No business sector in the Sharjah emirate represents more than 20 percent of its total GDP.

Source: WAM, Gulf News, S&P

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