UAE's GDP doubled, foreign trade jumped 5 times in 17 years: Sheikh Mohammed

Economic expansion in the country swiftly picked up after His Highness took over, with digital development and adoption simultaneously accelerating in the nation


Waheed Abbas

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


File photo
File photo

Published: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 4:38 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 11:44 PM

The UAE economy has seen remarkable growth in the past 17 years ever since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took the reins of the government – with the real GDP more than doubling since – and also successfully navigated through the global financial crisis of 2008-09, as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed took to Twitter to share the country's achievements since he took over in early 2006.

Under his leadership, the economic expansion picked up swiftly, with digital development and adoption simultaneously accelerating in the country.

The UAE has introduced a number of e-services for residents and visitors over the past 17 years, and has also aggressively embraced new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, digital currencies and others. Among some of the most fascinating technologies were the introduction of the UAE Pass, facial recognition at airports for UAE residents, and the unification of digital services in Dubai Now.

Below is the list of the major accomplishments the UAE has achieved in the past 17 years, in the economy sector, under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed – as well as its plans to achieve new milestones.


  • Size more than doubled from Dh815 billion to Dh1.86 trillion
  • Foreign trade jumped from Dh415 billion to Dh2.2 trillion
  • Attracted over Dh734 billion worth of investments
  • Government increased more than 140 per cent
  • Topped the world in 186 international indicators
  • Topped the region in 430 regional indexes
  • First in region in attracting and ease of doing business
  • Signed CEPA deals with a number of countries
  • Planned dozens of CEPAs in coming years
  • Target to increase size of economy to Dh3 trillion by 2030
  • Increased Dubai bourse market cap to Dh3 trillion
  • Successful IPOs of Dubai government entities
  • Lead in over 186 global indices
  • Lead in more than 430 regional indices

Economic performance:

  • Most effective government in public spending globally
  • Most financially-efficient government in the world
  • Highest sovereign financial rating in the region
  • Successful merger of Central Bank, Insurance Authority

Digital services:

  • 1,500-plus smart services
  • 99 per cent of smart e-transformation
  • Facial recognition to open bank account
  • Facial recognition for residents at airports
  • Single app UAE Pass for government services
  • Dubai went paperless in 2021
  • Doubling of digital economy from 9.7 per cent to 19.4 per cent


More news from UAE