The UAE’s economic growth is expected to receive a recovery boost on the back of an upturn in oil prices and sustained public and private sector activity ahead of Expo 2020.
A recovery in non-oil activity and growing trade with Iran will see a GDP growth rise from 4 to 5 percent a year from 2017 to 2020, compared with about 3.1 percent growth in 2016.
It is expected to support an increase in major project spending after a year of flat growth stunted by government spending cuts and a review of oil and gas and infrastructure projects in Abu Dhabi, according to Meed’s UAE Outlook Report.
About $155 billion (AED569 billion) of major projects were under way in the UAE at the mid-point of 2016, according to the report, which said a project pipeline of about $629 billion in major projects has been planned but are not yet under way.
It says $22.6 billion in project contracts have been awarded in the UAE in the first half of 2016, largely driven by real estate, transport and power projects in Dubai.
About $37 billion of awards will be made in the UAE in 2016, a similar level to 2015, says Meed.
It was estimated that $507bn worth of projects were awarded from 2006 to 2015, representing about 35 percent of the total value of GCC contracts.
The construction sector led the way for future projects, according to the report. The transport sector was next, with Abu Dhabi’s metro and light rail plans, Al Maktoum International Airport expansions and further phases of Etihad Rail’s federal railway to come.