Manufacturing expanded by 5.9 per cent last year revealing grounds for optimism in an important non-oil segment of the economy. Jumana El Heloueh / Reuters
Manufacturing expanded by 5.9 per cent last year revealing grounds for optimism in an important non-oil segment of the economy. Jumana El Heloueh / Reuters

Oil prices give economy its best year for half a decade



The UAE posted its best economic growth for five years last year - an impressive feat amid adverse global conditions.

But to focus only on the official GDP expansion rate of 4.2 per cent does not paint a complete picture of the economy. A large part of last year's rise was attributable to greater oil output and higher crude prices.

The Emirates increased production to offset lower output from Libya resulting from civil war in that country. The resulting higher revenues raised the amount of money for the Abu Dhabi Government to invest in areas such as infrastructure and social spending. But higher oil output has an impact on efforts to diversify the economy.

Last year, the contribution of the non-oil sector to the economy fell to 61.6 per cent from 69.1 per cent the year before, official data released yesterday by the Ministry of Economy shows.

For the longer term, officials are targeting a cut in the reliance on crude to guard against the risk of a repeat of 2009, when lower oil prices dragged the economy into a decline. It recovered in 2010 with growth of 1.3 per cent.

"The percentage contribution of oil has gone up, but it will come down again," Sultan Al Mansouri, the Minister of Economy, said yesterday. "Our policy is to diversify and get away from a reliance on oil and ensure its contribution is 20 to 25 per cent [of the economy]."

Limited room for increases in oil production this year is expected to help to tilt the balance back towards non-oil economic segments.

But lower rises in output combined with an uncertain global economy are likely to mean GDP growth moderates this year. Economic growth would drop to about 3 per cent this year, Mr Al Mansouri forecast.

"This year I expect the non-oil sector to bounce back, as spending in Gulf economies usually picks up in the second half of the year, and as the Dubai economy in non-oil picks up," said Shady Shaher, the senior economist for the Middle East and North Africa at Standard Chartered.

Data the ministry released yesterday revealed grounds for optimism in some non-oil segments of the economy.

After falling 11.4 per cent in 2010, manufacturing expanded by 5.9 per cent last year.

The transport, storage and communications sectors, other economic pillars, grew 4 per cent after a 5.5 per cent dip the previous year. Wholesale and retail trade and repair services bounced back from a 10.2 per cent dip in 2010 to expand 8 per cent last year.

But construction was still under strain, the data showed. Growth in the sector fell back to 2.8 per cent from 3.1 per cent in 2010.

A sharp drop in property prices as a result of the financial crisis sapped appetite for new building projects. Property prices have fallen more than 60 per cent in parts of Dubai and to a lesser extent in Abu Dhabi since the middle of 2008.

"The large supply overhang and the completion of additional projects in the coming years render an early and broad-based recovery of the sector unlikely," the IMF said in a report last month.

And to help to further revive the fortunes of businesses, economists say, credit growth needs to pick up.

Sluggishness continues to beset lending, an important driver of GDP before the global financial crisis.

The outlook for lending is expected to continue to be muted this year.

MATCH INFO

Juventus 1 (Dybala 45')

Lazio 3 (Alberto 16', Lulic 73', Cataldi 90+4')

Red card: Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus)

McIlroy's struggles in 2016/17

European Tour: 6 events, 16 rounds, 5 cuts, 0 wins, 3 top-10s, 4 top-25s, 72,5567 points, ranked 16th

PGA Tour: 8 events, 26 rounds, 6 cuts, 0 wins, 4 top-10s, 5 top-25s, 526 points, ranked 71st

What went into the film

25 visual effects (VFX) studios

2,150 VFX shots in a film with 2,500 shots

1,000 VFX artists

3,000 technicians

10 Concept artists, 25 3D designers

New sound technology, named 4D SRL

 

Barbie

Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera
Rating: 4/5

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Tips for used car buyers
  • Choose cars with GCC specifications
  • Get a service history for cars less than five years old
  • Don’t go cheap on the inspection
  • Check for oil leaks
  • Do a Google search on the standard problems for your car model
  • Do your due diligence. Get a transfer of ownership done at an official RTA centre
  • Check the vehicle’s condition. You don’t want to buy a car that’s a good deal but ends up costing you Dh10,000 in repairs every month
  • Validate warranty and service contracts with the relevant agency and and make sure they are valid when ownership is transferred
  • If you are planning to sell the car soon, buy one with a good resale value. The two most popular cars in the UAE are black or white in colour and other colours are harder to sell

Tarek Kabrit, chief executive of Seez, and Imad Hammad, chief executive and co-founder of CarSwitch.com

if you go

The flights

Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines fly direct from the UAE to Singapore from Dh2,265 return including taxes. The flight takes about 7 hours.

The hotel

Rooms at the M Social Singapore cost from SG $179 (Dh488) per night including taxes.

The tour

Makan Makan Walking group tours costs from SG $90 (Dh245) per person for about three hours. Tailor-made tours can be arranged. For details go to www.woknstroll.com.sg

CONFIRMED LINE-UP

Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Liudmila Samsonova
Daria Kasatkina 
Veronika Kudermetova 
Caroline Garcia (France) 
Magda Linette (Poland) 
Sorana Cîrstea (Romania) 
Anastasia Potapova 
Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)  
Jasmine Paolini (Italy) 
Emma Navarro (USA) 
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine)
Naomi Osaka (Japan) - wildcard
Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) - wildcard
Alexandra Eala (Philippines) - wildcard

David Haye record

Total fights: 32
Wins: 28
Wins by KO: 26
Losses: 4

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

12 restaurants opening at the hotel this month

Ariana’s Persian Kitchen
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Estiatorio Milos
House of Desserts
Jaleo by Jose Andres
La Mar
Ling Ling
Little Venice Cake Company
Malibu 90265
Nobu by the Beach
Resonance by Heston Blumenthal
The Royal Tearoom 

SCHEDULE

Saturday, April 20: 11am to 7pm - Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival and Para jiu-jitsu.

Sunday, April 21: 11am to 6pm - Abu Dhabi World Youth (female) Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Monday, April 22: 11am to 6pm - Abu Dhabi World Youth (male) Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Tuesday, April 23: 11am-6pm Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Wednesday, April 24: 11am-6pm Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Thursday, April 25: 11am-5pm Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Friday, April 26: 3pm to 6pm Finals of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Saturday, April 27: 4pm and 8pm awards ceremony.

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 261hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh129,999 (VX Luxury); from Dh149,999 (VX Black Gold)

England's all-time record goalscorers:
Wayne Rooney 53
Bobby Charlton 49
Gary Lineker 48
Jimmy Greaves 44
Michael Owen 40
Tom Finney 30
Nat Lofthouse 30
Alan Shearer 30
Viv Woodward 29
Frank Lampard 29

In numbers

Number of Chinese tourists coming to UAE in 2017 was... 1.3m

Alibaba’s new ‘Tech Town’  in Dubai is worth... $600m

China’s investment in the MIddle East in 2016 was... $29.5bn

The world’s most valuable start-up in 2018, TikTok, is valued at... $75bn

Boost to the UAE economy of 5G connectivity will be... $269bn 

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

Structural weaknesses facing Israel economy

1. Labour productivity is lower than the average of the developed economies, particularly in the non-tradable industries.
2. The low level of basic skills among workers and the high level of inequality between those with various skills.
3. Low employment rates, particularly among Arab women and Ultra-Othodox Jewish men.
4. A lack of basic knowledge required for integration into the labour force, due to the lack of core curriculum studies in schools for Ultra-Othodox Jews.
5. A need to upgrade and expand physical infrastructure, particularly mass transit infrastructure.
6. The poverty rate at more than double the OECD average.
7. Population growth of about 2 per cent per year, compared to 0.6 per cent OECD average posing challenge for fiscal policy and underpinning pressure on education, health care, welfare housing and physical infrastructure, which will increase in the coming years.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Vault
Started: June 2023
Co-founders: Bilal Abou-Diab and Sami Abdul Hadi
Based: Abu Dhabi
Licensed by: Abu Dhabi Global Market
Industry: Investment and wealth advisory
Funding: $1 million
Investors: Outliers VC and angel investors
Number of employees: 14

CRICKET WORLD CUP LEAGUE 2

Mannofield, Aberdeen

All matches start at 2pm UAE time and will be broadcast on icc.tv

UAE fixtures

Wednesday, Aug 10 – Scotland v UAE
Thursday, Aug 11 - UAE v United States
Saturday, Aug 14 – Scotland v UAE
Monday, Aug 15 – UAE v United States

UAE squad

Ahmed Raza (captain), Chirag Suri, Muhammad Waseem, Vriitya Aravind, CP Rizwan, Basil Hameed, Rohan Mustafa, Zawar Farid, Kashif Daud, Karthik Meiyappan, Zahoor Khan, Junaid Siddique, Sabir Ali, Alishan Sharafu

Table (top three teams advance directly to the 2023 World Cup Qualifier)

1. Oman 36 21 13 1 1 44
2. Scotland 24 16 6 0 2 34
3. UAE 22 12 8 1 1 26
--
4. Namibia 18 9 9 0 0 18
5. United States 24 11 12 1 0 23
6. Nepal 20 8 11 1 0 17
7. Papua New Guinea 20 1 19 0 0 2