UAE economy doubles pace of growth

THE United Arab Emirates’ economy grew an estimated 3.3 per cent in 2011, the economy minister was quoted as saying yesterday, slower than analysts had expected but still more than double the pace seen in the previous year.

Economy minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said the UAE had faced unprecedented regional and global challenges last year. But he added that it was helped by the rising contribution of non-oil sectors, the ministry’s website reported.

The economy has been recovering steadily from Dubai’s 2009-2010 corporate debt crisis because of high oil prices and strong trade with Asia, though bank lending has remained sluggish and the once-booming real estate sector weak.

The UAE statistics office has yet to release official GDP data for 2011.