UAE economy exceeds 1 trillion dirhams for first time

21:27, January 11, 2011      

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The nominal economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) climbed above 1 trillion dirhams (about 272 billion U.S. dollars) last year for the first time since the Gulf nation was established four decades ago, thanks to a sharp rise in crude prices and expansion in non-oil sectors, an official study said Monday.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) swelled by around 6. 2 percent in current prices in 2010 compared with only about 1.3 percent in 2009, the state news agency WAM reported, quoting a study issued by the Emirates Industrial Bank (EIB).

"The UAE's GDP in current prices surpassed the 1-trillion- dirham mark last year for the first time and there was growth in both the oil and non-oil sectors," the state-controlled EIB said in its monthly economic bulletin.

The report showed that the country's oil sector jumped by nearly 34.7 percent to 346.5 billion dirhams (about 94.4 billion dollars) in 2010 while the non-oil sector expanded by about 5.1 percent to 653.5 billion dirhams (178 billion dollars).

"The non-oil sector recorded growth last year despite the downturn in some sectors, including real estate and construction. The growth was mainly driven by the large expansion in the industrial sector and the recovery in the tourism and services sectors," the report said.

According to the bulletin, several internal and external factors, including the increase in oil prices, contributed to the growth in the UAE's GDP, the second largest in the Arab world.

The industrial sector swelled by about seven percent to 127.6 billion dirhams (about 34.8 billion dollars) in 2010 from 119.2 billion dirhams (about 32.5 billion dollars) in 2009, pushing its contribution to GDP to around 12.8 percent last year, the EIB said.

The UAE, founded in 1971, is the world's third largest oil exporter.

Source: Xinhua

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