Dubai’s economy expanded by 3.2 percent annually in the first half of 2023 to reach 223.8 billion dirhams ($60.9 billion), driven by 3.6 percent growth in the second quarter of the year and consolidating the position of the emirate like world economic center.

Emirate transport and storage sector outperformed all other industries, expanding 10.5 percent in the first six months of the year, according to government data.

The sector, which includes land, sea and air transport and logisticsIt contributed 42.8 percent to overall growth and injected Dh31.4 billion into the economy.

“This economic expansion is consistent with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 goals of doubling GDP growth over the next decade and cementing the emirate’s position as one of the world’s top three urban economies.” Sheikh Hamdan bin MohammedCrown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, in a statement on Sunday.

The emirate’s rapid economic growth is a “natural outcome” of the country’s strategy to “invest in people and create the conditions to ensure the continued development of Dubai’s investment environment,” he said.

Dubai’s economic performance extends the growth momentum achieved in 2022, when the emirate expanded by 4.4 percent. It is forecast to grow 3.5 percent in 2023, according to Emirates NBD.

Dubai’s commercial sector grew by 1.7 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2022, injecting 53.6 billion dirhams. It contributed 23.9 percent of economic output and 12.9 percent of total growth.

Dubai, the Middle East’s travel and tourism hub, said its air transport sector benefited from increased travel demand, with national airlines recording a 56 percent year-on-year growth in passenger numbers in the first half of 2023.

The emirate’s hotel and food services sector expanded by 9.2 per cent in the first six months of 2023, adding Dh7.9 billion to the economy. The sector contributed 3.5 percent to GDP and 9.5 percent to overall growth.

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Dubai recorded 8.55 million international visitors in the first half of 2023, a 20 per cent year-on-year increase, surpassing pre-Covid levels of 8.36 million international visitors in the first half of 2019, according to the Department of Economy and Emirate Tourism.

“With this sustained economic growth, we are seeing viable momentum as a direct result of the city-wide coordinated implementation of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33,” said Helal Al Marri, Director General of DET.

“We are committed to accelerating all projects under D33 and crystallizing these critical economic levers.”

Dubai’s real estate activity grew 3.6 percent annually, driven by higher property sales in the first half of this year, according to data from the Dubai Land Department.

Dubai’s financial and insurance activities grew by 2.7 percent during the first half of 2023, contributing 11.9 percent to GDP and contributing Dh26.6 billion to the economy. Data from the UAE Central Bank indicates that the volume of credit and deposits grew by an average of 9 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

The information and communications sector recorded a growth of 3.8 percent compared to the first half of 2022, achieving value added of Dh9.6 billion and contributing 5 percent of the total growth.

Updated: October 15, 2023 at 9:46 am