Preemptive Dubai holds GDP decline to 3.5% while global economies falter

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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While several major economies all over the world struggle to manage and report steeper declines in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Dubai’s progressive efforts have enabled it to successfully limit its GDP decline to 3.5%, The Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) stated.

Dubai had recorded a dynamic growth rate of 2.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

Amid its release of GDP numbers, DSC stated that “The impact of the current worldwide crisis on Dubai in the first quarter of the year was less compared to some of the world’s major economies.”

GDP in the eurozone and US economies fell 3.8 percent and 5 percent respectively in the first quarter.

“Dubai’s economy witnessed healthy levels of growth in 2019. It was expected that in the first quarter of 2020, the economy will experience a decline due to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” sais Arif Al Muhairi, the executive director of DSC.

International trade and the global economy have been severely impacted by the restrictions on movement for individuals worldwide through entry points in air, sea, and land as well as the intensified precautionary measures, which limited the flow of freight across borders.

“Being a central player in international trade and a vital global passenger transit hub, Dubai’s economy was affected by these exceptional circumstances,” Al Muhairi added.

The pandemic has not significantly affected few sectors including financial services, manufacturing and real estate who were able to successfully maintain their growth momentum.

Despite a decrease of 7.5%, trade activities still contributed to 23% of the GDP of Dubai, the report remarked.

The gradual reopening of businesses and lifting of restrictions in Dubai from June beginning is also contributing to the recovery of the economy.

Dubai has been in the frontline in introducing measures to combat the impact of COVID-19 and had introduced stimulus packages in March itself. An equity injection was also pledged to support Emirates airlines.

The government has also waived 2.5 percent market fees, refunded customs fees on imported items along with a 10% discount on utilities for its residents and citizens.