Abu Dhabi’s GDP grew by 3.9 percent during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022, supported by the strong performance of non-oil activities.
Abu Dhabi Statistics Centre (SCAD) estimates that non-oil GDP grew by 6.1 percent during the first quarter of 2023, driven by the outstanding performance of construction and building activities, wholesale and retail trade, transport and storage, financial services, and insurance, which reflects the diversity and integration between the various economic sectors as a result of the tireless and continuous efforts made by the government of the emirate in terms of economic diversification.
According to estimates, non-oil GDP (at constant prices) exceeded the highest quarterly value during the past nine years, recording AED 146 billion ($39.7 billion) during the first quarter of 2023 compared to AED 137.7 billion during the first quarter of 2022, bringing the value of GDP (oil and non-oil) to AED 276.6 billion during this period, and the contribution of non-oil GDP to its highest level in eight years at 52.8 percent.
Ahmed Jassim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, said that the non-oil sectors have been able to achieve strong growth rates and increase their contribution to GDP to 52.8 percent despite the increasing challenges at the global level.
“We will continue to focus on building a diversified and more resilient economy over the coming decades while growing human capital and attracting the best talent, investments, and partners. The latest statistics show that Abu Dhabi continues to open its doors to the world, which increases the emirate’s attractiveness as the ideal destination for foreign investors, businesses, startups and successful entrepreneurs from around the world.”
H.E. Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director General of Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, said: “The quarterly estimates of GDP statistics show that Abu Dhabi’s economy continues to grow at remarkable rates that increase opportunities to attract investment and capital, and reflect the success of the ambitious vision adopted by the wise leadership to enhance the emirate’s leadership at the local, regional and international levels.”
“The strong performance of non-oil activities during the first quarter of 2023 reflects exceptional growth rates, which led to unprecedented rates of non-oil sectors contributing to the emirate’s GDP. This demonstrates the emirate’s success in providing an investment climate that enhances economic awareness among the current and future investor community.”
Unprecedented growth rates for the construction sector
The results published by SCAD indicate an outstanding performance of construction activities, which recorded the highest quarterly growth rates in nine years during the first quarters of 2023 and the fourth of 2022, by 14.4% and 14.5%, respectively, compared to the same period of the previous year.
The strong growth in the sector’s attractiveness is due to local and foreign investments and its ability to achieve high completion rates, with the number of new buildings completed increasing by 7.3% and the construction sector contributing 8.5% to Abu Dhabi’s GDP during the first quarter of 2023.
The growth of accommodation and catering services
According to statistical estimates published by the Centre, accommodation and dining services grew by 14.5% during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of last year, with hotel occupancy rates rising to more than 40% during the same period, according to data from the Department of Culture and Tourism, which reflects the success of the visions and strategic plans set by the Abu Dhabi government to attract more than 24 million visitors in 2023.
Financial and insurance activities
Statistical estimates indicate a remarkable growth in the finance and insurance sector by 11.5% during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of last year, which illustrates the strong performance of the banking system, where some banks achieved net profits of more than 50% during the first quarter of 2023. Statistics indicate that the finance and insurance sector contributed 6.3% to the emirate’s GDP during the first quarter of 2023, reflecting the great confidence in the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Transportation and storage
The transport and storage activity maintained the significant growth rates achieved during the two years, recording 13.6% during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same quarter last year, which is evidenced by the significant increase in the value of this activity over the past two years, as the quarterly added value of this sector approached five billion dirhams, which is explained by the active movement of passenger and cargo transport via land, air and sea transport, in addition to related storage activities.
Wholesale and retail trade.
According to the statistical results published by the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, the wholesale and retail trade activity in Abu Dhabi continued to expand, recording a growth of 13.9% during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022, as the value added of this activity reached its highest quarterly value added in nine years and a contribution of 6% to the GDP, reflecting the significant growth witnessed by local markets in the emirate. Abu Dhabi’s economy recorded the highest growth rates in the MENA region in 2022, with GDP growth of 9.3%, and the continued growth confirms Abu Dhabi’s distinguished position due to its competitiveness and attractive climate for investment.
For more on the economy, click here.