Dubai Expects Stronger Growth in 2017 as Economy Diversifies

Growth in Dubai will accelerate this year even as oil prices remain low and slower trade puts pressure on the emirate, senior government officials said.

The economy is expected to expand 3.1 percent, following growth of 2.7 percent in real terms in 2016, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the emirate’s Economic Development Committee, said in Dubai on Tuesday. This year will be “challenging” but “diversification and opening new markets” including Islamic finance and developing the renewable energy industry will aid the economy, Sami Al Qamzi, director general of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, said separately.

Growth in the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, has been slowing since oil prices plummeted to below $30 a barrel. Authorities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai delayed projects and cut spending amid the slump. With crude recovering to about $55 a barrel this year, Dubai plans to increase spending and create jobs, according to its 2017 budget announced in December.

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Source: Bloomberg

Dubai stocks lead Middle East gains

Dubai stocks gained the most in the Gulf, led by Emaar Properties PJSC, as investors hunt for dividends ahead of earnings season. Insurers in the emirate rose on merger speculation. Emaar Properties, which accounts for about 22 percent of the DFM General Index, climbed 1.6 percent as analysts see the stock handing investors a dividend of 18 fils per share for 2016, according to Bloomberg. Dubai’s gauge advanced for a sixth day, the longest streak since July, adding 1.8 percent Sunday.

Dubai Islamic Insurance & Reinsurance Co. was the biggest gainer among insurers, rising 4.6 percent as traders exchanged 39 million shares, the most in two years. Investors are betting that some insurance companies in the emirate will merge, Ahmed Waheed, the Dubai-based vice president of the institutional desk at Mena Corp Financial Services LLC, said.

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Source: Daily Star

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