UAE expects strong economic growth

Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the UAE would 'adhere to its long-term strategy to diversify its national economy'

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The United Arab Emirates expects strong growth this year after its economy expanded by 4.6 percent last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said.

“We expect to continue to achieve strong growth in 2015,” Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the ruler of Dubai, said in a note on the state of the UAE economy issued late Saturday, adding that the non-oil sector had experienced positive growth in the first quarter and highlighted a “continuing rise in government spending and the increase in government and private capital.”

However, inflation in Dubai in May jumped to 4.7 pct, the highest since May 2009.

Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the UAE, which is the world’s sixth-largest producer of crude oil, would “adhere to its long-term strategy to diversify its national economy.”

He noted that the non-oil sector grew 8.1 percent in 2014 and that its contribution to the economy had reached 68.6 percent.

“We have put in place all the necessary plans to take that contribution to as high as 80 percent in 2021,” he said.

This would be done “through intensive investment in the industrial and tourism sectors, air and maritime transport, import and re-export, as well as supporting a range of projects and initiatives based on the knowledge economy,” he added.

The financial sector posted a gain of 15 percent in 2014, while tourism continued to grow with some 20 million tourists visiting the country, he said.

(With AFP and Reuters)