United Arab Emirates Economic Forecast

United Arab Emirates Economic Outlook

March 5, 2019

The non-oil economy appears to have started 2019 on a solid footing. The PMI rebounded to a seven-month high in January after a lull at the end of 2018, signaling solid prospects in the non-oil sector thanks primarily to strong domestic demand. Employment growth, however, remains low due to ongoing pressure on firms’ margins. Meanwhile, though OPEC+ cuts weighed on oil production so far in Q1, crude oil prices consequently rebounded, which should buttress the government’s coffers going forward. Furthermore, the public sector will likely be a key driver of growth in Q1 and throughout the year, as the large fiscal stimulus approved both at the federal and emirate level should have begun lifting economic activity in the quarter.

United Arab Emirates Economic Growth

A strong fiscal stimulus focused on infrastructure investment in preparation for Expo 2020 should power growth this year. A recent landmark investment law and other business-friendly reforms also appear poised to attract qualified foreign workers and to boost FDI inflows. Nevertheless, slower global growth, trade protectionism and financial volatility constitute important downside risks. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to increase 3.0% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.3% in 2020.

United Arab Emirates Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)43,19143,33537,37535,378-  
GDP (USD bn)390403358349-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)5.212.3-19.1-10.3-  
Investment (annual variation in %)-5.710.94.32.3-  
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)  
Unemployment Rate2.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)8.41.9-3.4-2.5-1.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)15.715.518.720.7-  
Money (annual variation in %)
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)18.313.34.72.4-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)71.253.616.78.4-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)14010876.668.3-  
Exports (USD billion)371343300299-  
Imports (USD billion)231235224230-  
Exports (annual variation in %)3.2-7.6-12.4-0.6-  
Imports (annual variation in %)5.91.7-4.62.9-  
International Reserves (USD)68.278.493.985.4-  
External Debt (% of GDP)44.348.360.862.2-  

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United Arab Emirates Facts

Exchange Rate3.670.0 %Mar 20
Stock Market0.30.75 %Mar 20

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United Arab Emirates Economic News

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