Latest figures reveal country’s GDP and non-oil GDP declined by 6.1 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively, in 2020

The UAE’s GDP and non-oil GDP declined by 6.1 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively, in 2020 compared to the previous year, as the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic was laid bare by the country’s Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri.

Bin Touq said the UAE economy performed ‘better than expected’ in 2020, despite the global challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly given the country’s economy is linked through foreign trade, foreign investment, tourism and the logistical sector with the movement of trade and investment and global transportation, which declined significantly last year worldwide.

According to the preliminary results of economic performance in 2020 from the Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Centre, non-oil GDP reached just over AED1 billion ($272 million), while GDP at constant prices for the year amounted to AED1.4 billion ($381 million), the first contraction since 2011 at least.

Government spending increased by more than AED1.17 billion ($318.6 million) over 2019, while, at the same time, investments resulting from capital additions achieved a 3.9 percent growth, totaling more than AED13.1 billion ($3.6 billion) in the year 2019.

Accommodation and food services activities, which have arguably been impacted the most severe as a result of lockdowns and curfews and subsequent movement and capacity restrictions, witnessed a drop of 23.6 percent, as well as transportation and storage activities by 15.5 percent. Wholesale and retail trade dropped by 13.1 percent, while construction and building activities dropped by 10.4 percent.

Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy
Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy

In addition, financial and insurance activities fell by 3 percent. Manufacturing industries recorded an increase of 0.2 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Ministry of Economy and other government entities are working to double the economy over the next decade, to AED3 trillion ($816.8bn) from about AED1.4tr ($381.2bn) now, said Bin Touq.

According to estimates from the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) real GDP is expected to grow by 2.5 percent this year, with non-oil GDP to increase by 3.6 percent. These figures are expected to rise to 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent respectively in 2022.

Source: Arabian Business

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