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The UAE was probably the fastest growing economy in the GCC last year, according to a recent tweet by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The country's gross domestic product grew 3.8 per cent in real terms in 2021, a better outcome than most analysts had anticipated, and faster than the 3.2 per cent growth seen in Saudi Arabia.

Abu Dhabi's economy grew 1.9 per cent last year, as a modest contraction in the oil and gas sector offset non-oil sector growth of 4.1 per cent, data from the Statistics Centre of Abu Dhabi showed.

The recovery was most evident in the manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade sectors as Covid-19 restrictions were eased.

The Dubai Statistics Centre has yet to release full year 2021 GDP data, but based on the figures for Abu Dhabi and the whole of the UAE, we estimate Dubai’s economy grew about 6.5 per cent in 2021.

GCC economies have seen a relatively strong start to 2022. The hydrocarbons sector has benefitted from increased oil production so far this year, with crude production in the first quarter up 12 per cent annually for the UAE and 19 per cent for Saudi Arabia.

Survey data for the first quarter of the year point to a solid expansion in non-oil sectors as well, with strong growth in business activity and new work in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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