Dubai’s economy expanded an annual 3.2 per cent in the first half of 2023 to reach Dh223.8 billion ($60.9 billion), driven by 3.6 per cent growth in the second quarter of the year and solidifying the emirate's position as a global economic hub.
The emirate's transport and storage sector outperformed all other industries, expanding 10.5 per cent in the first six months of the year, according to government data.
The sector, which includes land, sea and air transport and logistics, contributed 42.8 per cent to overall growth and injected Dh31.4 billion into the economy.
“This economic expansion is consistent with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to double GDP growth over the next decade and consolidate the emirate’s position as one of the world’s top three urban economies,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of The Executive Council, said in a statement on Sunday.
The emirate's rapid economic growth is a “natural outcome” of the country's strategy to “invest in people and create the conditions to ensure continuous development of Dubai’s investment environment,” he said.
Dubai's economic performance extends the momentum of growth achieved in 2022, when the emirate expanded by 4.4 per cent. It is forecast to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2023, according to Emirates NBD.
Dubai's trade sector grew 1.7 per cent in the first half of the year from the same period in 2022, injecting Dh53.6 billion. It contributed 23.9 per cent of the economic output and 12.9 per cent of total growth.
Dubai, the travel and tourism hub of the Middle East, said its air transport sector benefited from increased demand for travel, with national airlines recording 56 per cent growth year-on-year in passenger numbers in the first half of 2023.
The emirate's hotel and food services sector expanded 9.2 per cent in the first six months of 2023, adding Dh7.9 billion to the economy. The sector contributed 3.5 per cent to the GDP and 9.5 per cent to overall growth.
Dubai recorded 8.55 million international visitors in the first half of 2023, up 20 per cent year-on-year, exceeding pre-Covid levels of 8.36 million international visitors in the first half of 2019, according to the emirate's Department of Economy and Tourism.
"With this sustained economic growth, we are seeing actionable momentum as a direct result of the co-ordinated citywide delivery of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33," said Helal Al Marri, director general of DET.
"We are committed to the acceleration of all projects under D33 and the crystallisation of these critical economic levers."
Dubai's real estate activity grew by 3.6 per cent on an annual basis, driven by higher property sales in first half of this year, according to data from the Dubai Land Department.
Dubai's financial and insurance activities grew 2.7 per cent during the first half of 2023, contributing 11.9 per cent to the GDP and contributing Dh26.6 billion to the economy. UAE Central Bank data indicate that the volume of credit and deposits grew by an average of 9 per cent compared to the same period of 2022.
The information and communications sector recorded a 3.8 per cent growth, compared to the first half of 2022, achieving an added value of Dh9.6 billion and contributing 5 per cent of the total growth.