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UAE economic recovery at fast pace: IMF

Welcomes stable real estate prices in Dubai as sales in summer moderated

The UAE economy, the Arab world's second largest, is recovering at fast pace from the global financial crisis, the IMF said on Wednesday.

"Economic recovery has continued at a solid pace, supported by construction, logistics and hospitality," a team from the International Monetary Fund said after visiting the Gulf country.

Growth was underpinned by ongoing public projects in oil-rich Abu Dhabi and continued strength in Dubai's services sectors, it said in a statement.

The IMF projected the UAE economy would grow 4.25 per cent this year, down from 5.2 per cent in 2013 with non-oil growth forecast at 5.5 per cent.

The decline in oil prices, if sustained, could have a significant impact on revenues, the IMF warned, adding however that the UAE had sufficient fiscal buffers to minimise the fallout.

The IMF welcomed stable real estate prices in Dubai as sales in summer moderated.

"The slower momentum in the market is welcome news following a period in which prices had increased at a fast pace," it said.

Dubai and its government-related entities (GREs) have continued to improve their debt profiles after the major debt restructurings from the 2008-2009 crisis, the IMF said, adding that several GREs had begun to make early repayments.

While debt levels for some GREs remained significant, stronger financial positions and lengthened maturity profiles had further reduced debt-related risks.

Dubai said this week it has repaid $1.93 billion (Dh7 billion) raised from Islamic bonds and renewed its commitment to pay back billions of dollars worth of debt on time.

In August, the emirate's real estate giant Nakheel repaid all of its $2.15 billion bank debt almost four years ahead of schedule.

By AFP
Published Thursday, November 06, 2014
Emirates 24/7