UAE Real GDP growth seen at 4.2 pct in 2011

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The United Arab Emirates’ economy is expected to grow by 4.2 percent in real terms this year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Real gross domestic product of the country expanded by 1.4 percent in 2010, after a 1.6 percent contraction in the previous year due to the global financial crisis, which slashed oil output and burst a local property market bubble.

In 2011, the property sector has remained weak because of an inflow of new developments to the market, and bank lending has stayed slow following the announcement of a $25 billion debt restructuring at Dubai World conglomerate in 2010.

Since then, UAE has benefited from strong trade flows, thanks to fast growth in Asia, and a rise in tourism as the country avoided a wave of regional social unrest in Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. The government is promoting non-oil industries such as tourism, financial services and even aerospace.

Reuters poll of analysts forecast in September predicted UAE’s growth would expand by 3.8 percent this year.

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