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The UAE economy expanded by 3.7 per cent annually in the first half of the year, driven by strong non-oil sector growth as the country continues to pursue its diversification goals, Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq has said.

While the first-half rate of economic growth “may seem modest” compared with last year, it is still “robust growth against the backdrop of global and regional uncertainty”, Mr bin Touq told the AIM summit in Dubai on Monday.

The non-oil sector's “staggering” 5.9 per cent growth in the first six months of the year is “even better news”, as it accounts for about 71 per cent of gross domestic product, illustrating the success of the UAE’s diversification initiatives, he said.