UAE’s Non-Oil Economy Contracted First Since 2011 Last Year

The United Arab Emirates’ non-oil economy shrank 6.2% last year on lower oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, the first contraction since 2011 at least, according to preliminary government data.

Overall gross domestic product in the Arab world’s second-largest economy is estimated to have contracted 6.1% in 2020, according to data cited in a statement by the Ministry of Economy. That’s slightly more than initial projections of a 6% contraction. Non-oil GDP is seen rebounding to grow 3.6% this year.

“The UAE economy performed better than expected in 2020 despite the current global challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, the country’s economy minister. “This is a comparatively low decline” compared to major global economies, he added.

The International Monetary Fund forecast a 6% contraction in the UAE economy, and expects GDP to recover partially this year.

UAE’s Non-Oil Economy Contracted First Since 2011 Last Year


The Ministry of Economy and other government entities are working to double the economy over the next decade, to 3 trillion dirhams ($816.8 billion) from about 1.4 trillion dirhams now, he said.

More from the statement:

  • Government spending increased by about 1.2 billion dirhams.
  • Accommodation and food services fell around 24% last year while wholesale and retail operations declined 13%. Financial and insurance activities dropped 3% and manufacturing industries increased marginally.

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