Booming Abu Dhabi economy at 9-year high, GDP hits $75.3bn in Q1

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Abu Dhabi has the fastest-growing economy in the Middle East and GDP growth is at a nine-year high

Abu Dhabi’s booming economy hit a nine-year high in the first three months of this year, according to official Statistics Centre statistics.

This growth was driven by the robust performance of non-oil economic activities in the emirate.

Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) released estimates showing that Abu Dhabi’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Abu Dhabi economy

The statistics indicate a remarkable 6.1 per cent growth in non-oil GDP during the first quarter of 2023, propelled by exceptional performances in construction, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, and financial and insurance services.

This growth reflects the successful integration of various economic sectors, as a result of the relentless and continuous efforts to maintain the emirate’s economic diversification.

According to estimates, the non-oil GDP (at constant prices) surpassed the highest quarterly value of the past nine years, reaching AED146bn ($40bn) in the first quarter of 2023 compared to AED137.7bn ($37.5bn) in the first quarter of 2022, as the total GDP reached AED 276.6bn ($75.3bn).

This outstanding growth brought the contribution of non-oil activities to the total GDP to its highest level in eight years at 52.8 per cent.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said: “Abu Dhabi is committed to strengthening its economic scene by achieving a strong, stable, smart and sustainable knowledge-economy.

“The non-oil activities have been experiencing strong growth rates of non-oil sectors and share of its contribution to the total GDP to 52.8 per cent, despite mounting challenges in the global landscape.”

Al Zaabi added: “Fostering Abu Dhabi’s resilient and diversified economy will continue to be the key focus for decades to come while developing human capital, attracting the best talent, investments, and economic partners.

“Building upon the latest statistical data, Abu Dhabi is further opening its economy to the world, strengthening the emirate’s appeal as an ideal market for foreign investors, businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs from around the world.”

Abu Dhabi economy GDP 2023

Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director General of the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, said: “The quarterly estimates of the Gross Domestic Product statistics reveal the continued growth of the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at remarkable rates.

“This growth presents increased opportunities for attracting investments and capital while reflecting the success of the ambitious vision embraced by the wise leadership in enhancing the emirate’s global prominence.”

He added: “The first quarter of 2023 witnessed a strong performance of non-oil activities, characterised by exceptional growth rates. These rates have contributed significantly to the overall percentage of this sector’s contribution to the emirate’s GDP, reaching unprecedented levels.

“This accomplishment showcases the emirate’s success in creating an investment climate that fosters economic awareness among the current and future investor community.”

Unprecedented construction growth

According to the recent data published by the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, construction activities have demonstrated exceptional performance, achieving the highest quarterly growth rates in nine years during the first quarter of 2023 and the fourth quarter of 2022 in a row.

The growth rates stood at 14.4 per cent and 14.5 per cent respectively, compared to the corresponding periods in the previous year.

This impressive growth is attributed to the sector’s appeal to both local and foreign investments, as well as its ability to achieve high completion rates, with a notable increase of 37 per cent in the number of newly completed buildings.

As a result, the construction sector contributes 8.5 per cent to the gross domestic product of Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2023.

abu dhabi economy

Accommodation and food services expansion

Statistical estimates reveal that accommodation and food services experienced a remarkable growth of 14.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year.

Furthermore, data from the Department of Culture and Tourism indicates that hotel occupancy rates exceeded 40 per cent during this timeframe.

These figures highlight the successful implementation of the visions and strategic plans established by the Emirate, aiming to attract over 24m visitors in 2023.

Financial and insurance activities

Statistical estimates reveal a remarkable growth of 11.5 percent in the financial and insurance sector during the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period last year.

This growth reflects the strong performance of the banking sector, with some banks reporting net profits exceeding 50 per cent during this quarter.

Statistical data indicates that the financial and insurance sector contributes 6.3 per cent to the GDP of Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2023, highlighting the significant confidence in the local economy.

Transport and storage

Transport and storage activities have consistently maintained notable growth rates for more than two years, recording a growth rate of 13.6 per cent during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year.

This growth is evident from the substantial increase in the value of this sector over the past two years, with the quarterly added value approaching AED5bn ($1.4bn).

The active movement of passengers and goods through land, air, and sea transportation means, along with associated storage activities, explains this growth.

abu dhabi real estate

Wholesale and retail trade

According to the statistical results published by the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, the wholesale and retail trade sector in Abu Dhabi has sustained expansion, with a notable growth of 13.9 per cent during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

The added value of this sector reached its highest quarterly level in the past nine years, contributing 6 per cent to the gross domestic product, showcasing the remarkable growth witnessed by the local markets in the Emirate.

It is worth noting that Abu Dhabi’s economy achieved the highest growth rates in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2022.

This Article is originally published on: www.arabianbusiness.com

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