Dubai’s economy is expected to grow by 3.1 per cent in real terms in 2017, an increase on the growth of 2.7 per cent achieved in 2016.

The growth numbers were revealed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation, chief executive of the Emirates Group and chairman of the Economic Development Committee in Dubai, speaking at the UAE Economic Outlook 2017 event on 17 January in Dubai.

Sheikh Ahmed said that the growth last year was achieved despite declining oil prices, sluggish growth in developed as well as many emerging economies, and a mere 1.7 per cent growth in global trade – its lowest since 2008-2009.

Engaging with the private sector is a key part of Dubai’s economic strategy. “We continue to work closely with the private sector to boost productivity growth and improve the quality of public services. This is the strategic goal that inspired Dubai’s Public-Private Partnership Law where we seek a continuous model for exchange of knowledge and experience between the two sectors,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

Dubai has approved an expansionary budget for 2017 with expenditure of AED47.3bn ($12.9bn) – a 3 per cent increase on the AED46.1bn budget expenditure for 2016.

The key highlight of the budget is a 27 per cent increase in budgeted infrastructure spending. In 2016 infrastructure spending was budgeted to be AED6.4bn, which implies budgeted spending for 2017 is AED8.1bn – or about 17 per cent of the 2017 budget.