Sheikh Mohammed: Overall economy grew by 4.6% last year, with nominal GDP hitting $400 billion
The figures were released in a statement on Saturday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.
“2014 was the strongest year economically for the UAE, and the country is set to continue to perform strongly in 2015,” he said in a statement carried by the UAE news agency WAM.
The country will continue to diversify its economy through the development of new sectors like Islamic finance, in a bid to reduce dependence on oil and gas, Sheikh Mohammed noted.
According to new figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, 2014 saw a real GDP growth if 4.6%, while nominal GDP reached $400 billion (AED1.47 trillion).
Sheikh Mohammed expects a significant increase in the contribution of the non-oil sector to the UAE’s economy in the next six years. The contribution of the sector currently stands at 68.6% of the country’s constant-price GDP.
“We have put in place all the necessary plans to take that contribution to as high as 80% in 2021 through intensive investment in the industrial and tourism sectors, air and maritime transport, import and re-export, as well as supporting a range of projects and initiatives based on the knowledge economy,” he said.
The UAE also plans on shifting to a ‘knowledge economy’ by tripling national spending on research and development and increasing the number of workers in the sector over the next six years, Sheikh Mohammed said.
Despite a massive decline in oil prices, the country’s economy remained resilient as positive growth was observed in several other sectors, he added.
“The decrease in the oil prices has had a positive impact on the growth of many economic sectors in the UAE in 2014, as current-price growth rates for the transport and storage sector amounted to 10%, up from 7.9% in the previous year; the wholesale and retail sector was at 8%, up from 6.8% in the previous year, and the construction sector 6.1%, a substantial rise from 3.4%,” he said.