Abu Dhabi’s Robust Economy Continues to Outpace MENA Region

Abu Dhabi’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Estimates 2022

Abu Dhabi’s Robust Economy Continues to Outpace MENA Region

retaining competitiveness in 2022 with a growth rate of 9.3%

·       Abu Dhabi’s Q4 2022 GDP grows by 5.9%

·       Real GDP exceeds AED 1.1 trillion by end of 2022, as per estimates 

·       Non-oil sectors contribute to the real GDP by 50.0% in 2022

·       Prominent growth in real estate activities, with a 17.1% increase in 2022

Abu Dhabi, 8 May 2023 – The Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) has released the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates report for 2022, unveiling a remarkable 9.3% growth by the end of the year, compared to 2021. The new figures position the Emirate as the fastest-growing economy in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Abu Dhabi’s impressive growth across its diverse sectors during 2022 is attributed to its robust economic framework, coupled with a collaborative approach from both the public and private sectors. The Emirate has solidified its international position and retained its competitive edge, while also maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment.

It also reflects the success of Abu Dhabi’s diversification strategy efforts led by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, (ADDED) which included nurturing a business- supportive environment, a robust regulatory framework, and unparalleled connectivity and infrastructure to enhance its capabilities to achieve a sustainable and smart economic development. The emirate has been taking strategic steps to diversify its economy while maintaining a prudent fiscal policy and progressively responding to the market needs and trends, including initiatives to further enhance legal and regulatory frameworks to encourage foreign direct investment and promote its domestic investments.

Additionally, the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy (ADIS), launched in June 2022, plays a major role in diversifying the emirate’s economy. ADIS aims to strengthen the emirate’s position as the region’s most competitive industrial hub by investing AED10 billion across a number of programmes to more than double the size of the sector to AED172 billion, create 13600 new jobs, and increase the emirate’s non-oil exports by to AED178.8 billion by 2031 by facilitating access to financing, enhancing ease of doing business, attracting foreign direct investments, improving access to quality infrastructure and utilities, and supporting  collaboration with local and international partners.

According to H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), “The continued strong performance of Abu Dhabi’s economy is a testament to the leadership’s farsighted vision and effectiveness of economic diversification strategy which champions public-private partnership and incentivises foreign and domestic investments”.

H.E Al Zaabi further explains: “A forward-looking enabler, ADDED views Abu Dhabi’s achievements that have cemented its position as a preferred destination for business, investment, and talents as a foundation of the next phase of our development; ‘Economic Diversification 2.0’. That is why we are forging ahead with our plans to develop and implement policies and initiatives to address geopolitical, economic, scientific, and technological developments reshaping the economy.

“Abu Dhabi’s ‘Falcon economy’ is characterised by growing, liberalised, and diversified economy, and driven by a strategic vision that places sustainability, social and human development at the top of its priorities, and we will further accelerate and enhance efforts to benefit from digital transformation, innovation, and advanced technology in economic and social plans.”

H.E. Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director General of the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, said: “The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has achieved remarkable growth rates in its non-oil gross domestic product, registering a remarkable 8.4% increase by the end of 2022. This growth is credited to the wise leadership’s strategic policies that prioritise economic diversification, private sector engagement, and human capital investment. These measures have created a resilient economic environment capable of withstanding various challenges, strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a thriving global hub.”

His Excellency added: “In light of GDP 2022 estimates, all economic sectors displayed notable growth, particularly the major economic sectors. This exceptional performance indicates a promising and robust economy, laying a strong foundation for a prosperous future.”

Abu Dhabi’s Q4 2022 GDP grows by 5.9%

According to the estimates issued by the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, Q4 2022 real GDP achieved a growth of 5.9% worth AED 278.3 billion compared to the same period in 2021. The contribution of non-oil sectors to GDP reached 50.2% to record AED 139.6 billion of the GDP total value during Q4 2022.

Significant surge in main economic activities and non-oil sectors’ contribution to GDP 2022

According to 2022 GDP estimates, the non-oil sectors witnessed a notable growth of AED 43 billion, bringing the total to AED 554.6 billion by the end of 2022. This resulted in the non-oil sectors contributing 50.0% to the GDP.

17.1% growth in real estate activities

Real estate activities in Abu Dhabi witnessed a remarkable increase of 17.1% compared to 2021. This growth is due to the increase in real estate projects during 2022, and the interest of international businesses to invest in this strategic sector.

16.6% growth in health and social work activities

Growth rates in health and social work activities in Abu Dhabi increased by 16.6% during 2022 as a clear indication of the serious endeavours to strengthen the health system in accordance with the highest international standards and to enhance the role of the private sector in providing best-in-class health services.

11.6% growth in wholesale and retail trade activities

The wholesale and retail trade activities in Abu Dhabi displayed a growth rate of 11.6% in 2022, reaching AED 58.6 billion. This growth indicates the sector’s significant contribution of 5.3% to Abu Dhabi’s real GDP in 2022, reflecting thriving growth in local markets.

10.9% growth in transportation and storage activities, and 11.9% growth in accommodation and food service activities

The transport and storage activities exceeded AED 18.6 billion in 2022, with a growth of 10.9%. This sector comprises several activities, including passenger and cargo transport by rail, land, air, and sea means and related storage activities.

Accommodation and food service activities in Abu Dhabi witnessed a growth rate of 11.9% during 2022 as a clear sign of the thriving tourism industry in the Emirate, solidifying its position as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

9.7% growth in manufacturing activities

Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing activities showed a growth of 9.7% during 2022, contributing 8.2% to the emirate’s GDP and reaching AED 90.8 billion. The sector’s growth is expected to continue, benefiting from Abu Dhabi’s ambitious industrial strategy, which aims to drive economic growth and contribute significantly to enhancing the emirate’s trade with international markets.

7.6% growth in construction activities

Construction activities in Abu Dhabi displayed a clear growth rate of 7.6% in 2022, with a value of AED 86 billion. This growth indicates the sector’s significant contribution of 7.8% to Abu Dhabi’s real GDP in 2022.

7.4% growth in finance and insurance activities

Abu Dhabi’s finance and insurance activities witnessed a remarkable growth of 7.4%, amounting to AED 62.4 billion in 2022, contributing 5.6% of the emirate’s GDP. The confidence of the global community in Abu Dhabi’s economic potential has established the Emirate as a preferred destination for investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and other professionals from all corners of the world.

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About Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD)

The Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) was established by Law No. (7) of 2008 with the aim of organising and developing statistical work in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. In accordance with the Executive Council Decree No. (39) of 2023, SCAD’s affiliation was transferred to the Department of Government Support (DGS) in April 2023.

SCAD is entrusted with the responsibility of supporting government decision-makers by adopting a decentralised approach to statistical work. The Centre has an independent legal personality, full financial independence, and legal capacity to act in proportion to the emirate’s vision towards sustainable development and strategic planning.

Pursuant to its mandate, SCAD is responsible for establishing and developing an integrated statistical ecosystem in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This is achieved by organising, unifying, and managing all aspects of the emirate’s statistical work, including building and regulating statistical frames for all activities and sectors, and updating them periodically. The Centre provides technical supervision of statistics and statistical data systems for government entities, and collects, classifies, stores, analyses, processes, archives, publishes, and protects Abu Dhabi’s statistical data obtained from data sources.

In addition, the Centre is vested with the responsibility of making, developing, and disseminating estimates, projections, analytics, and forecasts and supporting government entities with reliable statistics. SCAD is authorised to contract with any entity or company within or outside the Emirate to undertake data collection and other statistical activities.

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