Dubai economy grows 4.1 pct in H1: data

Dubai's economy grew 4.1 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period last year as tourism boomed in the glitzy city-state, the statistics centre said on Monday.

The expansion was thanks to 16.1 percent growth in the hotel and restaurant sector, with five million guests registered in hotels and hotel apartments -- 9.6 percent more than last year, said the figures carried by WAM state news agency.

Wholesale and retail businesses, making up 29.6 percent of the Gulf emirate's gross domestic product, grew 3.87 percent, while real estate and business services increased by 1.5 percent.

The economy contracted 2.4 percent in 2009 after the global financial crisis dried up finance available to Dubai's then rapidly growing property sector and government-related corporates that almost defaulted on debt, triggering a crisis.

But it has since been recovering, growing 2.8 percent in 2010 and 3.4 percent in 2011.

Dubai has since dusted off plans that had been shelved and announced new projects reminiscent of its boom period when property and tourism developments sprawled across the desert at breakneck speed.

On Saturday, Dubai announced a new development, featuring the world's largest mall and gardens bigger than London's Hyde Park.