January 2018

Gulf Industry Magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.

UAE non-oil growth hits a high

UAE’s non-oil private sector witnessed the sharpest pace of expansion last month since August with steep growth in both output and new business contributing to the improvement in business conditions, said Emirates NBD in its latest PMI Index.

 Furthermore, firms responded to higher output requirements by increasing buying activity at the fastest pace in the survey’s history, whilst many respondents reported that they anticipate operating conditions to further improve in the next 12 months. In terms of inflation, average cost burdens rose at a solid pace, partly reflecting higher raw material prices.

The survey sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information and analytics, contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the UAE non-oil private sector.


Dubai non-oil growth remains strong

DUBAI’S non-oil private sector business conditions signalled a strong upturn in November, with steep growth in both output and inflows of new work contributing to the latest expansion, according to the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index – a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy – eased to 55.3 in November, from 55.6 in October. The rate of growth remained above the series’ long-run average, however. At the sector level, wholesale & retail companies reported the strongest improvement in business conditions.

A reading of below 50.0 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is generally declining; above 50.0, that it is generally expanding. A reading of 50.0 signals no change.

The survey covers the Dubai non-oil private sector economy, with additional sector data published for travel and tourism, wholesale & retail and construction.


Dubai’s GDP grows 2.9pc in 2016

THE economy of Dubai in 2016 continued to perform well at the macro level with real GDP (gross domestic product) growing at 2.9 per cent, according to a report.

Dubai was able to achieve growth rates that exceeded that of developed economies despite the decline in oil prices, stated the emirate’s Economic Report - 2017 signed recently by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

Growth in 2016 was supported by progress in key economic sectors, such as manufacturing, transport and storage, real estate, finance and insurance, wholesale and retail trade and tourism. Key economic sectors accounted for 77.2 per cent of Dubai’s GDP of Dh376.8 billion (in constant prices) in 2016. All sectors excluding the construction sector achieved positive growth rates, stated the report.

The wholesale and retail trade sector (which also includes the repair of automobiles) accounted for 27.5 per cent of GDP and 22.4 per cent of total employment and in spite of a slowdown in 2016 the sector is expected to spring back to rates close to the overall growth of the Dubai economy.


Mena construction market to hit $330bn

THE construction sector in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is set to outpace the global growth, expanding by 5.8 per cent in 2018 to hit $225 billion, according to BMI Research, a Fitch group company.

The Mena region will be the fastest growing region globally for the construction sector, both in the short and long-term expanding by an annualised average of 6.5 per cent over the next five years to hit $330 billion.

Positive demographics, gradually rising oil prices, and ambitious economic diversification agendas throughout the region will fuel Mena›s outperformance in the coming years, vaulting it ahead of other fast-growing infrastructure markets like Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, stated the BMI in its monthly market intelligence, trend analysis and forecasts for the MEA infrastructure industry.


UAE pharma market to top $3.8bn

THE pharmaceutical market in the UAE is expected to grow from Dh9.61 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2016 to Dh14.11 billion ($3.84 billion) by 2020, driven by increased healthcare spend, mandatory health insurance and growing medical tourism.

This was stated by the participants in the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers Association Gulf Forum, PhRMAG 2017, which is being held in Dubai under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, and president of the Dubai Health Authority, reported Wam, the Emirates news agency.


Saudi UPS market set to grow at 4pc

EMERGING IT/ITeS market, rising SME sector, growing data centre spending as well as booming tourism and hospitality sectors will drive Saudi Arabia’s UPS (uninterruptible power supply) market revenue to grow at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 4 per cent during 2017-23, a report said.


Television market in MEA to grow 30pc

THE television market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is expected to grow by 30 per cent from 2016 to 2021, an increase in value of almost $3.5 billion, making the MEA region one of the fastest growing global markets, said a report published by IDATE Digiworld.

According to the report, a fast-growing young population and a promising economic outlook are both contributing factors for the growth.


UAE gold holdings top $307m

THE UAE Central Bank’s reserve of gold bars amounted to Dh1.129 billion ($307.3 million) by the end of October 2017, a growth of 11.2 per cent from Dh1.015 billion by the end of 2016.

The month of April 2017 saw the Central Bank resuming gold holdings after eight years during which the banks› reserves were confined to a foreign currency basket, primarily US Dollar in addition to a portfolio of selected currencies, reported Emirates news agency Wam.

However, the current reserve of gold bars accounts only for a minimal amount of the bank›s total foreign currency reserve, which surged to Dh322 billion by the end of October.

According to official statistics released by the Central Bank, gold assets have been growing since the beginning of the year, though sales increased at the time gold prices were in a remarkable hike.


More Stories