United Arab Emirates Economic Forecast

United Arab Emirates Economic Outlook

March 6, 2018

The strong tailwinds that were in place in 2017 are keeping the non-oil economy sailing smoothly in the early months of 2018, despite a slowdown following the introduction of a 5% VAT in January. The non-oil PMI receded to a five-month low in February on lower output growth but remains in expansion territory, buttressed by strong domestic demand. Moreover, despite the constraints imposed by the OPEC agreement to cut oil production, the hydrocarbon sector is benefiting from higher oil prices compared to last year. Looking ahead, stronger oil revenues are poised to support government spending this year. Notably, a large increase in infrastructure spending is expected, especially in Dubai, which hosts the 2020 World Expo and is already benefitting from a boom in construction.

United Arab Emirates Economic Growth

Strong public sector support should drive a sharp increase in growth in the non-oil economy this year, while household consumption remains constrained following the implementation of VAT. Public spending should furthermore be reinforced by higher oil prices amid healthy global growth. Finally, tourism growth will likely remain robust, particularly in Dubai as the city prepares for the 2020 World Expo. However, downside risks related to regional instability remain, notably the ongoing feud with Qatar, as well as risks of volatility in oil prices. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to increase 2.8% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.3% in 2019.

United Arab Emirates Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)41,68542,13642,33637,743-  
GDP (USD bn)365381394362-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)-18.9-1.625.3-13.111.7
Investment (annual variation in %)
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)  
Unemployment Rate4.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)10.910.45.0-2.1-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)17.015.815.618.119.3
Money (annual variation in %)2.922.
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)3.673.673.673.673.67
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)3.673.673.673.673.67
Current Account (% of GDP)21.819.514.94.72.4
Current Account Balance (USD bn)79.774.158.717.011.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)14214112876.668.3
Exports (USD billion)360371368300299
Imports (USD billion)218230240224230
Exports (annual variation in %)19.13.1-0.9-12.4-0.6
Imports (annual variation in %)
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)38.744.348.860.2-  

Sample Report

5 years of United Arab Emirates economic forecasts for more than 30 economic indicators.


Sample Report

Get a sample report showing all the data and analysis covered in our Regional, Country and Commodities reports.


United Arab Emirates Facts

Exchange Rate3.670.0 %Mar 15
Stock Market0.40.75 %Mar 15

Start Your Free Trial

Start working with the reports used by the world’s major financial institutions, multinational enterprises & government agencies now. Click on the button below to get started.

Sign Up

United Arab Emirates Economic News