30 March 2014
Growth of Dubai Economy
The economy of Dubai was valued at US$ 46 billion as of 2006. Dubai's gross domestic product as of 2008 was US $82.11 billion. The Great Recession slowed the construction boom.
The International Herald Tribune has described it as "centrally-planned free-market capitalism." Although Dubai's economy was initially built on revenues from the oil industry, revenue frompetroleum and natural gas currently account for less than 3% of the emirate's gross domestic product. Dubai became important ports of call for Western manufacturers. Most of the new city's banking and financial centres were headquartered in the port area. Dubai maintained its importance as a trade route through the 1970s and 1980s. The city of Dubai has a free trade in gold and until the 1990s was the hub of a "brisk smuggling trade" of gold ingots to India, where gold import was restricted.
Today, Dubai has focused its economy on tourism by building hotels and developing real estate. Port (Jebel Ali, constructed in the 1970s, has the largest man-made harbor in the world), but is also increasingly developing as a hub for service industries such as IT and finance, with the new Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Emirates Airline was founded by the government in 1985 and is still state-owned; based at Dubai International Airport, it carried over 28 million passengers in fiscal year 2006 and 24 million the year before.
According to Healy Consultants, Dubai is the top business gateway for the Middle East and Africa. The government has set up industry-specific free zones throughout the city in hopes of giving a boost to Dubai property. Dubai Internet City, now combined with Dubai Media City as part of TECOM (Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority) is one such enclave whose members include IT firms such as EMC Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft, Sage Software and IBM, and media organisations such as MBC, CNN, Reuters and AP.Dubai Knowledge Village (KV), an education and training hub, is also set up to complement the Free Zone's other two clusters, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City, by providing the facilities to train the clusters' future knowledge workers. Dubai Outsourcing Zone is for companies who are involved in outsourcing activities can set up their offices with concessions provided by Dubai Government. Internet access is restricted in most areas of Dubai with a proxy server filtering out sites deemed to be against cultural and religious values of the UAE.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the largest economies of the United Arab Emirates, released growth forecasts for 2014 on Monday, Reuters reported.
The UAE capital Abu Dhabi sees gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.7 percent this year, according to Shorooq al-Zaabi, head of development indicators at the Department of Economic Development.
The emirate posted real GDP growth of 7.4 percent in 2013, up from 5.6 percent in 2012, Reuters reported.