Dubai’s Retail Sector Drives Growth During Q1

Industry, finance, transportation, real estate and construction are some of the other key sectors driving economic growth in the emirate.



Dubai’s retail and wholesale sector owned the lion’s share in buoying the growth rate of the emirate’s economy during the first quarter of this year, said a government report.

According to a Dubai Economic Council report, the retail sector contributed 28 per cent to Dubai’s growth plans closely followed by the industrial sector with a contribution of 16 per cent.

Finance and transportation were the other key sectors with a contribution of 14 per cent while property and construction accounted for 13 per cent and eight per cent of the GDP respectively.

Economic growth in the emirate touched 4.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year and is expected to rise up to 4.7 per cent during the second quarter, the study said.

The report also estimated that the Dubai government’s deficits fell from Dhs1.8 billion in 2012 to Dhs1.5 billion in 2013 owing to a 7.2 per cent rise in revenues to Dhs32.6 billion. The non-tax revenues such as fees and fines dominate the bulk of the public revenue earned by the government.

Though not heavily dependant on oil, revenues rose significantly. Net oil revenues in Dubai showed a growth of 40 per cent to Dhs3.9 billion and accounted for 12 per cent of the total revenue this year, the report stated.

The real estate sector was shown to be well on the rebound as the value of land deals and rents picked up on a positive note. The average price per square metre of residential apartments rose by 25 per cent in the city as compared to the first quarter in 2012.

The investor interest in the residential properties were primarily from India, Pakistan, the UK, Russia, Iran and the UAE with a strong focus on buying the apartments than selling, the report said.

As per the council report, the tourism sector exceeded its performances of the end of the last year and attributed positive growth rate to various events and exhibitions held in the emirate.

Seasonal attractions like the Dubai Shopping Festival and Global Village helped increase Dubai’s visitor profile. According to the report, around 4.66 million visitors, mainly from Russia, the UK, Saudi Arabia and India visited at the time of the Dubai Shopping Festival itself.

Increased tourism flow helped boost the hospitality sector of the economy with a rise of 4.7 per cent in guests at hotels and hotel apartments. Despite adequate expansion anticipating increased tourists, the occupancy rates rose to 90 per cent from 85 per cent last year.

The banking sector in the emirate continued to see a rise of both deposits and loans. Deposits at banks rose by 8.3 per cent and loans were up 1.4 per cent in the first quarter.

As per the report, personal loans accounted for 29.9 per cent while property and construction accounted for the 16.8 per cent of bank-sanctioned loans. Only 4.1 per cent of loans were given to the manufacturing sector.

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