Dubai’s economy, the second largest in the UAE and one of the most diversified economies in the Gulf, gained around Dh10 billion in 2011 as the emirate continued to recover from the 2008 global fiscal crisis. Most non-oil sectors recorded positive growth while trade remained a key growth driver as it expanded by nearly 5.8 per cent last year. From around Dh296.1 billion in 2010, the emirate’s real GDP swelled to about Dh306.2 billion in 2011, Dubai’s Statistics Centre said. The GDP rise was accompanied by sharp growth in the emirate’s exports, which leaped by nearly 44.3 per cent in 2011, the Centre’s executive director Aref Al Muhairi said, quoted by the Dubai-based Albayan daily. “Our estimates show that trade remains a key driver in Dubai’s growth as it contributed by 30.7 per cent of the overall GDP and grew by 5.8 per cent…it contributed to GDP growth by 1.7 per cent,” he said. He said the manufacturing sector, which a share of 14.1 per cent of GDP, soared by a round 11.7 per cent, contributing to GDP growth by 1.5 per cent. Transport and communications grew by 2.7 per cent while the hotels and restaurants sector increased by nearly 13.9 per cent, he said. He said this was shown in a large increase in Dubai’s hotels to 387, with a total 53,828 rooms, nearly 2,713 rooms above the 2010 level. “This was coupled with a surge in demand as the number of hotel guests increased by nearly 10 per cent to 7.26 million in 2011 compared with 6.56 million in 2010,” he said. Muhairi said growth in trade was mainly due to a surge in exports, which jumped by 44.3 per cent to Dh98.1 billion in 2011 from Dh68 billion in 2011. Industrial exports alone shot up by 44.8 per cent. His figures also showed imports expanded by 21.4 per cent , widening the emirate’s trade deficit by 20.6 per cent despite the surge in exports.