By Anshuman Kukreti – for Middle East Business News –
In spite of the political fallout, the Emirati economy catapulted to a growth trajectory beyond bounds of ‘the predictable’ during 2014.Considered as the second largest economy in the Arab world, the UAE cruised to a far better-than-expected growth of 4.8% during the same year. Moreover, the IMF has vouched for the fact that the country is on its track to witness a growth of 4.5% in the whole-long 2015 to pass, irrespective of the dip in oil prices.
What do these facts suggest?
Is the U.A.E progressing towards avenues, to make itself free of dependence on oil?
The discussion to follow will talk about the same and provide you an insight regarding the proliferating non-oil activities in the country.
Exponential Increase in the Non-Oil Activities Spurring Growth
According to an article on a reputed news portal, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has forecast the real non-oil GDP to be over 5% in 2015 and 2016. This will majorly be possible due to the increasing projects getting investments from all across the globe, a large number of firms finding a potential market in the country and the talent UAE entices in heaps every year.
Although, the weaker oil rates are expected to pull back the fiscal growth and current account forecasts for 2015, economists seem persistent in vouching for a robust overall development of the Emirati economy.
The same article also suggests that the 2015 budget would run a surplus of 3.1% of GDP even with a 3% growth in the total expenditure this year.
All these numbers clearly validate the fact that non-oil activities in the professional arena have witnessed a steep ascent to pave the way for future growth prospects.
During 2014, the consumer inflation gained thrust and accelerated with a pickup in all economic activities. However, Emirates NBD’s Haque clearly mentioned that the stabilization in the residential real estate prices since the second quarter of 2014 indicates towards the inflationary pressure on the segment to moderate in 2015.
SMEs on the rise
Another industry propelling economic developments of the country is a dynamic SME (Small manufacturing Enterprises) industry. The latest update from the UAE’s ministry of economy suggests that the SMEs contribute nearly 40 to 46 percent of the nominal GDP in Dubai and over 60% to the UAE’s GDP. Moreover, the sector is quite renowned for providing immense job opportunities to professionals coming from different corners of the globe. The figure for the same stands at an astounding number of 86% of all the employment in private sector.
Tourism to witness growth too
From the infrastructure initiatives undertaken by the Emirati government, one can easily infer the fact that tourism is one of the most rapidly growing pillars of the country’s economy. One of the key sectors to contribute nearly 10.4 % of the GDP in 2014, UAE’s tourism has been estimated to have a total value of 60 billion dirhams. Owing to the expected boost in the infrastructure and hotel projects, as Dubai nears the EXPO 2020, the figure is all set to reach 80 billion dirhams by 2024, hence making it one of the top three tourist destinations in the Middle East.
Aviation Next in The Queue
Ongoing expansion of international airports in the UAE, like the Al Maktoum International airport having a capacity of 160 million annual passengers and the fast growth of brands in the business like Etihad, Emirates, Air Arabia and Flydubai has driven a relentless surge in the number of international visitors to the UAE.
The sector is expected to contribute nearly $44.5 billion to Dubai’s GDP by 2020, up from the current $22 billion. This would also make it accountable for the creation of nearly 372,900 jobs in the emirate, representing nearly 22% of the emirate’s employment figures. Obviously, applicants keenly look forward to the exponentially increasing opportunities in this field.
Seriously, the UAE has made a complete flip to present itself as an economy which not only has become non-oil reliant, but one that entices talent and resources from various countries. Suffice to say, it’s just a matter of time when the cluster of seven well-woven emirates will rise as one of the strongest economic powers on the globe.
* Author Bio: Anshuman Kukreti is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics relating to employment across the gulf. He is presently working as a content writer for Naukrigulf.com. Reach him @ LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.