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Indian and Iranian exports to help Dubai economy grow 4 per cent this year

Exports to India and Iran will help drive Dubai's economy up four per cent this year say officials.

Dubai's economy is expected to expand by around 4 per cent this year, bolstered by surging demand for the emirates' exports.

"Growth in trade and services are likely to be the most important drivers of growth in 2011 and beyond," Mohammad Lahouel, chief economist of Dubai Department of Economic Development, said at the Dubai Economic Outlook 2011 event today.

Strong demand in emirate's main export markets of India and, to a lesser extent, Iran will help sustain the economy in the future, he said.

As a small open economy, Dubai is heavily dependent on global trade. Exports, re-exports and imports equate to around 300 of the emirate's GDP.

Dubai's economy was expected to expand by 4.7 per cent this year before accelerating to 6.3 per cent next year, said Farouk Soussa, chief regional economist, of Citibank.

The impact of the global financial crisis dragged the economy into a recession in 2009 before a recovery took hold last year.

Despite brightening prospects for the economy, challenges still remain.

Excessive supply in the property market means the outlook for the sector remains uncertain. A number of companies still have exposure to the market through investments.

Despite acting as a boon for regional fiscal finances, rising oil prices provide another risk to Dubai's economy.

"Dubai is a small open macro economy plugged into global economy," said Mr Soussa. "High oil prices have risk of disturbing the global economy and as a result Dubai's economy."

 

tarnold@thenational.ae

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