Dubai maintains economic momentum with 3.3 percent GDP growth in first 9 months of 2023

Dubai Economic Agenda D33 driving the city towards global prominence
Dubai maintains economic momentum with 3.3 percent GDP growth in first 9 months of 2023
Dubai's GDP experienced impressive growth during the first nine months of 2023

Dubai’s economy continues to display its strength, resilience, and potential for robust growth, as evidenced by a 3.3 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) during the first nine months of 2023. This achievement is a testament to the city’s sustainable development strategies and its ongoing dynamism as a leading global economic powerhouse.

Dubai’s economic landscape showcases a diverse range of industries, demonstrating its commitment to diversification. From bustling tourism centers to technologically advanced communication networks, the depth and breadth of Dubai’s economic activities are apparent. The accommodation and food services sector experienced an impressive growth rate of 11.1 percent, solidifying Dubai’s position as a global leader in tourism. Similarly, the transportation and storage services sector saw a significant surge of 10.9 percent, highlighting Dubai’s prominent role as an international logistics hub. The information and communications sector also experienced growth, with a 4.4 percent increase, emphasizing Dubai’s dedication to embracing cutting-edge technologies and cultivating a thriving knowledge economy. The multifaceted growth across various sectors provides further evidence of Dubai’s economic stability and adaptability.

Read more: Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy hits 4-year peak

Favorable economic climate and robust infrastructure

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum stated that Dubai’s consistent economic growth is a testament to the vision and strategic guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. This success is the outcome of the cohesive collaboration between all of Dubai’s economic stakeholders, including both the public and private sectors. It also reflects Dubai’s favorable economic environment, robust and world-class infrastructure, business-friendly regulations, and abundant pool of talent, which consistently attract a diverse range of investors and entrepreneurs from around the world, according to Sheikh Hamdan.

His Highness further emphasized that the latest growth figures vividly depict progress towards the ambitious goals outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. This agenda aims to double the city’s economic growth and position it among the world’s top three urban economies by 2033.

“To maintain this growth trajectory, we are focused on building on our strategic partnerships and further enhancing our frameworks for innovation, investment and enterprise, reinforcing Dubai’s position as a leading global economic hub in the coming decade,” Sheikh Hamdan added. 

Overall economic vitality

According to the most recent data from the Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment, the economic vitality of Dubai was evident in the first nine months of the previous year. The Government of Media Office reported that the real estate sector experienced significant growth, with a 4 percent increase, while financial and insurance activities saw a surge of 2.7 percent. The knowledge economy thrived, exhibiting a noteworthy 2.6 percent rise in the education sector. Furthermore, there was a notable growth of 2.2 percent in electricity, gas, water, and waste management activities. The manufacturing industry also experienced a surge of 2.2 percent, and professional services in the city witnessed a respectable 1.9 percent increase.

Strong policies and business initiatives

In a statement, His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, expressed his views on Dubai’s economic performance. He emphasized that the city’s success is attributed to its strong and sustainable policies, as well as its business-oriented initiatives. These strategies were implemented as part of a long-term development plan established by Dubai’s visionary leadership.

Al Marri further highlighted the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors in achieving this success. He emphasized that both sectors have been working together within a unified framework to accomplish the goals outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. The focus is not only on maintaining the current momentum but also on enhancing the business environment to foster growth. The aim is to create attractive and enduring investment opportunities across key sectors, thereby establishing a solid foundation for the next decade. This strategy will enhance Dubai’s resilience and reinforce its position as a global leader in a rapidly changing and interconnected economic landscape.

GDP infographic 2023 (Photo Credit: Government of Dubai Media Office)

Dubai’s economic system: Exceptional harmony and efficiency

According to His Excellency Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, director general of Digital Dubai, recent data demonstrates that Dubai’s comprehensive economic system operates with exceptional harmony and efficiency. This achievement is attributed to the visionary leadership, a remarkable legacy of accomplishments, and a future-oriented vision with global reach, which positions Dubai among the most dynamic and competitive cities worldwide.

Younus Al Nasser, chief executive of the Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment at Digital Dubai, emphasized the significance of real-time data in reflecting the economic reality of any city or country in today’s world. The data showcasing Dubai’s performance in the first nine months of 2023 plays a vital role in attracting investors who seek a promising future in an economically progressive environment, offering optimal opportunities to transform economic outcomes into inspiring success stories.

Hadi Badri, chief executive officer of the Dubai Economic Development Corporation at the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, stated that Dubai’s economic performance is a direct reflection of the effective policies and initiatives implemented as part of their long-term development roadmap. This strategy, envisioned and set forth by the leadership, is not merely a plan but a reality that is materializing in the emirate.

Moving forward, the aim is to solidify Dubai’s position as a top strategic priority for global business decision-makers in 2024, Badri said. He added, “Our goal is to ensure that Dubai remains at the forefront of economic innovation and a hub for international investment, leveraging our unique position to offer unparalleled opportunities for the global market.” 

Accommodation and food sector grows 11.1 percent

Dubai’s tourism industry demonstrated remarkable strength in the first nine months of 2023, with the accommodation and food services sector experiencing a notable growth rate of 11.1 percent. In terms of value added, these activities generated AED11.1 billion (roughly $3 billion) during that period, compared to AED10 billion in the same timeframe of 2022. Additionally, the contribution of these activities to the GDP rose from 3.1 percent in 2022 to 3.4 percent in 2023. This growth can be attributed to Dubai’s ongoing efforts to establish itself as a premier global destination for events, conferences, and tourist groups from all corners of the globe.

Transportation & storage sector expands 10.9 percent

During the initial three quarters of 2022, the value of Dubai’s transport and storage sector reached AED38.7 billion, rising in the first nine months of 2023 to reach a robust AED42.9 billion, an increase of 10.9 percent. The contribution of transport and storage activities to GDP increased from 12.2 percent in the first nine months of 2022 to 13.1 percent in the same period of 2023. This growth reflects the development of the logistics sector driven by advanced infrastructure and high-performance economic activity.

ICT Activities rise by 4.4 percent

The realm of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) serves as a fundamental pillar for progress across multiple domains and industries. It forms the bedrock for digital transformation endeavors, investments in the knowledge economy, and advancements in various scientific disciplines. During the initial nine months of 2022, the overall value of this sector amounted to AED14.3 billion. However, in the corresponding period of 2023, it witnessed a growth of 4.4 percent, surging to AED15 billion.

4.0 percent increase in Dubai’s real estate market

Dubai’s real estate market continues to thrive, experiencing a substantial 4.0 percent increase in value during the initial nine months of 2023. This impressive growth brings the sector’s overall value to a strong AED26.8 billion, demonstrating persistent demand for residential properties and investment prospects throughout the emirate. The notable expansion underscores Dubai’s enduring appeal as a premier international destination for real estate endeavors.

Finance & insurance sector grows 2.7 percent

Dubai’s financial and insurance sector, a significant contributor to the economy, posted a growth of 2.7 percent, reaching AED37.3 billion in the first nine months of 2023. This momentum reaffirms Dubai’s commitment to building a dynamic and diversified financial ecosystem. With innovation and expansion on the horizon, Dubai’s future as a leading financial hub remains secure.

Education sector expands 2.6 percent

The education sector contributed significantly to social and economic development, with its value added increasing from AED5.7 billion in the first nine months of 2022 to AED5.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2023, reflecting a growth rate of 2.6 percent. Education is recognized as a crucial endeavor that plays a pivotal role in measuring and fostering societal and economic progress.

Manufacturing sector grows 2.2 percent

Amidst a fiercely competitive global environment, Dubai’s manufacturing sector exhibited remarkable resilience, achieving a growth rate of 2.2 percent. This growth propelled its total value to AED27.4 billion during the first nine months of 2023. The consistent advancement of this sector serves as a testament to Dubai’s ability to adapt and its unwavering dedication to nurturing a broad range of industries.


Electricity, water, and waste management activities grow 2.2 percent

The essential industries of electricity, water, and waste management in Dubai experienced a growth of 2.2 percent, reaching a total value of AED10.9 billion during the first nine months of 2023. This expansion is a direct reflection of the increasing demand for services within this sector, highlighting its crucial role in meeting the needs of the community.

Growth of other activities

According to data from the Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment, various sectors exhibited growth, including professional, scientific, and technical activities with a 1.9 percent expansion, construction activities with a 1.6 percent increase, and wholesale and retail trade activities with a 1.5 percent expansion. This diverse and multifaceted progress sets the foundation for Dubai’s ongoing development and sets the stage for future success.

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