Abu Dhabi's non-oil economy grew 8.6% in first nine months of the year

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Abu Dhabi’s non-oil gross domestic product expanded 8.6 per cent in the first nine months of the year, supporting overall economic growth as the UAE capital continues with its diversification strategy.

The emirate's total GDP for the January-September period grew by 2.8 per cent on an annual basis, despite fluctuations in the world's oil and gas markets, the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi said on Friday.

In the third quarter, the emirate's economy "reached its highest quarterly value" at Dh290.5 billion ($79.1 billion), up 1 per cent annually "despite the decline in oil prices".

The non-oil economy grew by an annual 7.7 per cent in the July to September period, driven by Abu Dhabi’s "comprehensive strategy aimed at fortifying its standing as a prominent economic powerhouse", the centre said.

The strong growth of non-oil activities pushed the sector's contribution to GDP to 52.8 per cent, SCAD said, citing preliminary data.

“The consistent stellar growth of Abu Dhabi’s economy is a solid proof of its resilience and the effectiveness of our approach to turn headwinds into tailwinds during this challenging time as the global economy is witnessing major shifts that impact different markets and industries around the world,” Ahmed Al Zaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said.

The latest statistics pave "the way for the falcon economy to soar further and farther".

Abu Dhabi’s economy grew by 9.3 per cent annually in 2022 to record the highest growth rate in the Mena region last year, with its GDP exceeding Dh1.1 trillion.

The robust economic growth had a notable effect on foreign investment, which rose 9.7 per cent last year, surpassing Dh831 billion in value, SCAD said.

The emirate is increasing its efforts to diversify its economy and attract investments across sectors including industry, tourism, aviation and technology, among others.

Manufacturing activities hit Dh26.3 billion in the third quarter, contributing more than 17 per cent to the non-oil GDP and 9 per cent to the overall GDP in the period.

The growth is in line with the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy launched last year – part of which involves the emirate investing Dh10 billion in six industrial programmes to more than double the size of its manufacturing sector to Dh172 billion by 2031.

The strategy also seeks to create more than 13,000 new jobs and increase the emirate’s non-oil exports to Dh178.8 billion.

In 2022, Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector grew by 9.7 per cent a year to Dh90.8 billion, contributing 8 per cent to the emirate’s total GDP and 16 per cent to its non-oil economy.

The emirate's tourism sector, too, is recording strong growth. Abu Dhabi is on track to meet its target of attracting 24 million visitors this year, up from 18 million last year, the Department of Culture and Tourism said in September.

The city also opened its new airport terminal last month – Abu Dhabi International Airport's Terminal A – that will increase its capacity, driving further growth in international visitors and trade flows.

Estimates released by the SCAD also highlighted a 20 per cent annual growth in the emirate's transport and storage sector in the third quarter of 2023, driven by a substantial expansion of the shipping container market and the increased volume of flights and passengers.

Construction activity also continues to maintain a positive momentum, clocking 14.3 per cent annual growth during the third quarter to reach Dh25 billion, contributing more than 16.3 per cent to Abu Dhabi's non-oil GDP and 8.6 per cent to the total economy during the period.

Financial and insurance activities grew 14.4 per cent year on year during the three-month period, boosting the sector's value to Dh18.7 billion and contributing 6.4 per cent to Abu Dhabi's GDP in the quarter.

As part of its diversification strategy, Abu Dhabi is investing heavily in new economic sectors and emerging industries.

Last month, Abu Dhabi launched a new company focused on artificial intelligence, AI71, in a push to become a global centre for the emerging technology.

"Backed by ongoing diversification strategic programmes, growing engagement of the private sector, and initiatives to attract more quality FDIs [foreign direct investments] and DDIs [diaspora direct investments], Abu Dhabi is cementing its status as preferred destination for talents, investments and businesses," Mr Al Zaabi said. 
Source: https://www.thenationalnews.com

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