The UAE’s economy is expected to grow at a steady rate of about 3% during 2017, according to Sultan Al Mansouri, the country’s Minister of Economy.
In an interview with Gulf News, Al Mansouri said that he expected much of that growth to come out of the fact that the UAE is diversifying its economy away from oil. Non-oil contributions to GDP saw 3.6% growth in 2016, he said, adding that he expected that growth to reach 3.8% in 2017.
That said, Al Mansouri added that the drop in oil prices would still present challenges for the UAE’s economy.
“We foresee a few challenges that the country will be facing this year like the drop in oil prices, which still casts a shadow over the economies of oil exporting countries like the UAE. One aspect to this challenge is the difficultly in predicting the change in oil prices, and the possibility of returning to previous oil prices,” he told the newspaper.
To get around the challenge, he recommended “the adoption of prudent fiscal and economic policies”.
Indeed, Al Mansouri said that, in 2017, the Ministry of Economy would promote investment in strategic projects that will add economic value to the country. He also spoke of combined initiatives worth AED 300 million designed to foster science, technology and innovation in the country.
“The Ministry’s plans and efforts to consolidate economic diversification are based on the need to reduce dependence on oil revenues and to find other sources of income from non-oil sectors of the economy,” he said.