DIFC is 166th richest 'country' on Earth
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is now worth more than 45 countries on Earth.
This is according to figures released yesterday that show the economy of the main money hub in the Middle East has soared to a figure of $3.13 billion.
That figure represents an impressive 1.4 per cent of the oil-rich UAE’s non-hydrocarbon Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
And if the DIFC were a country, it would make it the 166th richest on Earth, wealthier than the likes of Fiji, Eritrea, San Marino, Bhutan and a host of other nations, according to United Nations stats.
With 817 of the world’s top international
companies doing business at the DIFC, the money hub’s chief economist, Dr Nasser Saidi, says the latest numbers are music to his ears.
“It’s a substantial amount - especially since it’s only been around for eight years,” he beamed.
The rise above $3 billion for the 2011 financial year is up seven per cent from the $2.92 billion figure posted in 2010.
And that rate of growth for the DIFC in GDP contribution is far higher than that of the key financial centres in both the US and the UK - although slightly behind the established hubs in Hong Kong and Singapore.
“By and large, emerging markets are doing much better than advanced economies,” said Dr Saidi, who added the tax free Dubai haven is increasingly attracting major companies from the likes of China and India.
“China is the biggest investor in Africa - and much of that is being done out of Dubai,” the economic guru said.
There was another boost as well for the DIFC and its firms - with Dr Saidi revealing initial estimates for 2012 figures are looking rosy.
“2012 looks better than 2011,” he said. And, here’s an interesting statistic to dine out on if you’re one of the near 13,000 workers who earns a crust at the DIFC - you are worth the princely sum of $241,586 to them.
...and there’s more good news for the UAE
Investment from overseas into the UAE surged nearly 40 per cent last year compared to 2010 – helping to rack up a total of $7.7 billion coming in from abroad.
The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade grew by nearly 23 per cent to $253 billion during 2011 - with Dubai accounting for the major share with 76 per cent, according to the latest figures collated by the firm CB Richard Ellis.
Some 4.4 million passengers also passed through Dubai airports during the month of May - taking figures above 23 million for the first five months of 2012. The rise takes passenger numbers up 13 per cent on the same period last year.
Describing the investment news as a “huge increase”, Mat Green, head of research and consulting for the UAE at the company, added the overall numbers were “very positive” for the UAE. Green added the firm’s Dubai MarketView stats also showed the emirate’s real estate sector is “coming back strongly”.
Popular areas such as The Greens, Downtown Dubai and Tecom witnessed an average increase in the range of five to eight per cent over the previous quarter - though newer areas such as Jumeirah Village were proving less desirable. “We’re not yet at a stage where the whole market has rebounded,” said Green.