Heavy investments boosted the UAE economy by at least 20 per cent in current prices during the oil boom of the past eight years to catapult the country to the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, official figures have shown. Cumulative public and private investment climbed a staggering Dh900.6 billion during 2001-08, more than double their size in the previous eight years, showed the figures by the Ministry of Economy.
The surge in investments, which were listed as gross fixed capital formation, was a result of a sharp rise in the country’s oil export earnings and strong domestic demand which encouraged the private sector to invest heavily.
From around Dh254.2bn in 2001, the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) leaped to a record Dh927bn in current prices last year, an average annual growth of around 20.8 per cent, the Ministry said.
The highest growth rate was recorded in 2006, when it jumped by 32.7 per cent mainly because of a sharp increase in oil prices and the country’s crude output, as well as higher growth in non-oil sectors.
High growth was also recorded in 2008, when the nominal GDP swelled by 27.4 per cent after crude prices climbed to a record high level.