Value of Abu Dhabi's non-oil economy grows to a 9-year high in Q1 2023

Value of Abu Dhabi's non-oil economy grows to a 9-year high in Q1 2023

By Press Release, 02 July 2023
  • Construction sector achieves the highest quarterly growth rate in nine years
  • Wholesale and retail, along with transport and storage sectors show significant growth
  • Q1 2023 GDP growth of almost 4% is driven by a strong performance of non-oil activities

Abu Dhabi: Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) has published statistical estimates that show growth of Abu Dhabi's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2023 by 3.9% compared to the first quarter in 2022, driven by the robust performance of non-oil economic activities in the emirate.

The statistical estimates indicate a remarkable 6.1% 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 AED 146 billion in the first quarter of 2023 compared to AED 137.7 billion in the first quarter of 2022, as the total GDP reached AED 276.6 billion. This outstanding growth brought the contribution of non-oil activities to the total GDP to its highest level in eight years at 52.8%.

His Excellency 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%, despite mounting challenges in the global landscape.”

H.E. Al Zaabi further 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.”

H.E. Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, stated, "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."

His Excellency further added, "The first quarter of 2023 witnessed a strong performance of non-oil activities, characterized 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 Growth Rates in the Construction Sector

According to the recent data published by the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, the 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% and 14.5% 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% in the number of newly completed buildings. As a result, the construction sector contributes 8.5% to the gross domestic product of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2023.

Expansion of Accommodation and Food Services

Statistical estimates reveal that accommodation and food services experienced a remarkable growth of 14.5% 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% during this timeframe. These figures highlight the successful implementation of the visions and strategic plans established by the Emirate, aiming to attract over 24 million visitors in 2023.

Financial and Insurance Activities

Statistical estimates reveal a remarkable growth of 11.5% 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% during this quarter. Statistical data indicates that the financial and insurance sector contributes 6.3% to the GDP of the Emirate 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 over two years, recording a growth rate of 13.6% 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 five billion dirhams. The active movement of passengers and goods through land, air, and sea transportation means, along with associated storage activities, explains this growth.

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% 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% 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. During this period, the GDP recorded an impressive growth of 9.3%, showcasing consistent growth, and reaffirming the leading position of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, due to its competitiveness and favourable investment climate, which continues to attract businesses and investors.

About the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD)

Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) was established by Law No. (7) of 2008 to organise and develop statistical work in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Centre was reorganised by Law No. (5) of 2021, which placed SCAD under the Abu Dhabi Executive Office. In April 2023, in accordance with The Executive Council Decree No. (39) of 2023, SCAD's affiliation was transferred to the Department of Government Support (DGS).

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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