Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE, in terms of both its land mass and economy, and home to the majority of the country’s energy production and reserves. While the emirate is home to the world’s sixth-largest proven oil reserves, financial buffers have helped it diversify and yield steady non-oil revenues.
Near-term sentiment is on the rise among Dubai’s business leaders, with the IMF forecasting a healthy GDP growth rate of 4.2% in 2019 for the emirate. While not as exposed as some of its regional neighbours to the effects of fluctuating commodities prices in recent times, Dubai nevertheless stands to benefit from the knock-on effects of higher prices over the last year.
A number of key developments in the country are expected to support economic growth in the coming years. A rapidly improving business environment and infrastructural base, the gradual liberalisation of the local currency and increased investment into export-oriented industries are all set to raise living standards and drive the emergence of a large national middle class.
Ghana continues to be one of the most stable countries in sub-Saharan Africa and has developed substantially over the years. Now one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, the country is starting to move away from traditional resource dependency. However, it faces the challenge of ensuring the widest benefit from that expansion, given its growing and increasingly urbanised population.
Despite its diversified economy, Bahrain has nonetheless faced pressures in recent years as a result of the 2014-15 drop in global oil prices. However, a multibillion-dollar aid package from other Gulf states and an accompanying fiscal adjustment plan, as well as growth following a partial oil price recovery and a major oil and gas discovery, offer hope for an economic turnaround in 2019.