01 May 2019

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

Dubai forecasts 2.1pc real GDP growth

GOVERNMENT-led policy initiatives and investments, improved growth prospects in trading partners, and preparation to host Expo 2020 Dubai are expected to drive the Emirate’s real GDP growth rate to reach 2.1 per cent in 2019.

Real GDP growth rates in the short to medium term are projected to reach 3.8 per cent and 2.8 per cent in 2020 and 2021, respectively, reported state news agency Wam, citing a report released by the Department of Economic Development (DED) about the Dubai Economy. The report said that economic momentum picked up at the beginning of this year, with a surge in new business licenses and improved optimism on jobs and business performance. During the first three months of the year, 6,709 new business licenses have been issued, a 29 per cent increase over the same period in 2018.

The majority of businesses indicated their intention to place new orders and, subsequently, expect volume, revenues, as well as profits to increase. The quarterly BCI survey conducted by DED also indicated that 59 per cent of companies are optimistic about growth in Q1 2019, compared to 41 per cent for the same period of 2018, and 34 per cent expect stability, while 7 per cent of businesses expect a decline in growth, down from 8 per cent a year ago.


Abu Dhabi’s GDP soars 14.4pc to top $253bn

ABU DHABI’S gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices increased by 14.4 per cent, from Dh813.6 billion ($221.5 billion) in 2017 to Dh931 billion ($253.5 billion) in 2018, according to Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

The rise in the GDP was driven by the increase of activity in the value added of ‘Mining and quarrying’ (including crude oil and natural gas) by 35.7 per cent in 2018 to Dh375.9 billion compared with 14.9 per cent or Dh277.1 billion in 2017, reported Emirates news agency Wam.

This increase in value added resulted from higher oil prices, noted SCAD in its latest national accounts report. As a result, its contribution to the total GDP increased from 34.1 per cent in 2017 to 40.4 per cent in 2018. ‘Non-oil’ activities at current prices increased by 3.5 per cent in 2018. These activities have seen positive growth rates since 2013. The strong increase in oil activities combined with lower growth rates in non-oil activities contributed to a decrease in the percentage share of non-oil activities in GDP from 65.9 per cent in 2017 to 59.6 per cent in 2018. The results showed increases across most of the non-oil activities of GDP during 2018. Value added by ‘Manufacturing ‘ increased by 13.8 per cent in 2018.


Bahrain economic growth surges 4.6pc in Q4

BAHRAIN’S economy recorded a real growth of 4.6 per cent and 6.5 per cent in current prices during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same period of the previous year, said the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) in a new report.

According to the report, the GCC Development Program has been significantly reflected in Bahrain’s economic infrastructure projects. It contributed to the expansion of the construction sector, the increasing performance of which has not only strengthened itself but has also given a motivation to other non-oil activities such as real-estates, financial and trade sectors.

The non-oil sector registered a real growth of 3.2 per cent when compared to the same quarter of the previous year and the oil sector growing at a rate of 11.3 per cent in real terms due to increase in the quantities produced.

The report also indicated that the manufacturing industry has grown by 1 per cent at constant prices and 1 per cent in current prices. Construction sector grew by 4 per cent at constant prices and 8.5 per cent at current prices. Real-estate and business activities grew by 1.5 per cent at constant prices and by 2.8 per cent at current prices. While the transportation and communications sector increased by 0.3 per cent at constant prices and by 2.2 per cent at current prices.


Global chlorine capacity to grow 5pc by 2023

GLOBAL chlorine capacity is poised to see growth over the next five years, potentially increasing from 83.03 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2018 to 87.04 mtpa in 2023, registering a total growth of 5 per cent, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The report, titled ‘Global Chlorine Industry Outlook to 2023 – Capacity and Capital Expenditure Forecasts with Details of All Active and Planned Plants’ reveals that around 39 planned and announced plants are scheduled to come online, predominantly in Asia and Europe, over the next five years.

Chlorine capacity in Asia is expected to increase from 48.35 mtpa in 2018 to 51.29 mtpa in 2023, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 1.2 per cent. Among the countries in the region, China will add capacity of around 1.34 mtpa by 2023.

Major capacity addition will be from the plants, Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Company Urumqi Chlorine Plant and Hubei Yihua Chemical Industry Xinjiang Chlorine Plant, with a capacity of 0.98 mtpa and 0.89 mtpa, respectively by 2023.

Vinuthna Bidar, oil and gas analyst at GlobalData, said: “In terms of number of projects, of the 39 planned and announced projects globally, Asia accounts for more than half of the number, with 23 planned and announced projects.”


Dubai Customs logs 2.6m transactions in Q1

DUBAI Customs said that customs transactions grew to 2.6 million for the first quarter of the year from 2.4 million in the same period of 2018, marking an 8.5 per cent increase.

If this momentum is kept up, the customs authority is expected to reach 10.5 million transactions by year-end compared to 9.6 million of the previous year, reported state news agency Wam, citing a Dubai Customs statement.

The customs authority also noted that the Passenger Operations Department at Dubai International Airport conducted two drug seizure operations in Q1, the first saw the seizure of 4.4 kg  of heroin, and the other saw 8.6 kg in cocaine seized.

Jebel Ali Customs Center made 35 different seizures, and the Land Customs Centre also foiled a marijuana smuggling attempt, among others, Dubai Customs noted.


Dubai non-oil sector expands at faster rate

DUBAI’S non-oil private sector economy expanded at a faster rate in March, with total business activity (output) increasing at the fastest rate since January 2015, said the latest Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker. Moreover, two of the three key monitored sectors – travel & tourism and wholesale & retail – posted series record increases in activity. With new business growth also accelerating, expectations for the next 12 months were the second-strongest on record, just shy of January’s peak.  Price discounting, particularly in the wholesale & retail sector, was likely a key driver of demand in March. 

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