The real non-oil GDP grew by some 7.8% in Q4 2021, the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) announced.
It attributed this increase to the easing of lockdown measures and restrictions on international travel.
It also pointed to a 9.3% annual increase in UAE oil production during the same period, in line with a related OPEC+ agreement.
According to the Central Bank’s quarterly economic report, the occupancy rate of hotels in Dubai in Q1 2021 was 82%, compared to 63% and 80.6% during the same period in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
The CBUAE’s estimates indicated that the seasonally adjusted average Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in the UAE increased by 11.3% year-on-year in Q4 2021, making progress in the expansion area to 55.6 in December 2021.
This reading is the highest since mid-2019, supported by Expo 2020 and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions that boosted travel and tourism activity, as well as the rise in exports and the restoration of domestic demand.
The enhanced private and public investment also led to higher employment rates, which increased by 3.1% year-on-year in December 2021, and the average salary rose by 7.8%, data from the CBUAE’s Wage Protection System showed.
The Bank estimated a total real GDP growth of 2.3% in 2021. As for 2022, it is maintaining its forecast for an aggregate real GDP growth of 4.2%, with non-oil real GDP increasing by 3.9% and real oil GDP by five percent.
Banking developments included a 10% quarterly increase in lending as a result of domestic credit to government-affiliated companies in the fourth quarter, about 10.1% quarterly increase in lending to government-affiliated companies, and about a 7.3% quarter-on-quarter increase in credit to manufacturing industries as a result of improved supply chains and restored demand.
Despite the moderate tightening of credit standards, people’s request for credit and loans, especially business loans, has increased.
In addition, the demand for personal loans reached its peak in seven years.
The availability of credit has increased due to the lenders’ moderate easing of credit standards, according to the Credit Sentiment Survey conducted by the Central Bank for the fourth quarter of 2021.