Dubai GDP Grows Picks Up in First Half on Hotel Occupancy

Dubai’s economy expanded 4.9 percent in the first half of 2013, led by the hotel and restaurant industry, as the Middle East’s financial and transport hub rebounds from its debt crisis.

Gross domestic product expanded to 169 billion dirhams ($46 billion), the statistics office said in an e-mailed statement today. Growth quickened from a 4 percent pace in the first half of 2012. The hotels and restaurants industry grew 14 percent, while manufacturing expanded 13 percent.

Dubai’s economy is rebounding four years after the second-biggest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates teetered on the brink of default. The benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) surged 79 percent this year, making it the best performer among the 50 biggest equity markets globally.

“Growth was across most of the sectors and economic activities,” Arif Almuhairi, executive director of the statistics office, said in the statement.

Wholesale, retail and maintenance services expanded 4.1 percent and contributed with 29 percent to the emirate’s economy. Business services and real estate, at the heart of Dubai’s debt crisis, grew 3.3 percent. Electricity, gas and water grew 4.3 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaa Shahine in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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