DUBAI Aug 16 The United Arab Emirates economy
will see strong economic growth in 2010, recovering from a
contraction in 2009, boosted by an expected rally in oil
prices, the central bank governor was quoted as saying on
The UAE's economy was solid and "oil prices rising again
will support expected economic growth next year", Sultan Nasser
al-Suweidi told Al Ittihad newspaper.
Weaker oil prices will affect growth and lead to a
contraction in the UAE economy in 2009, he added, without
giving a figure.
The Gulf region has been hard-hit by a drop in oil prices
to just above $32 per barrel in December after prices peaked at
nearly $150 a barrel in mid-2008.
Suweidi said he expected oil prices to decline 30 percent
in 2009 compared to 2008, adding he estimated the average price
of a barrel of oil in 2009 to reach between $60 to $63.
The price of crude has averaged at around $54.67 per barrel
so far this year, down from an average of $99.75 in 2008.
"It is natural for UAE gross domestic product to decline in
view of these factors," he said.
Suweidi reiterated the dirham would remain pegged to the
U.S. dollar despite fluctuations in the currency.
"The UAE has significant foreign investments and the dollar
remains an important currency," he told the paper.
(Reporting by Tamara Walid; Editing by Bill Tarrant)