Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy expands 9.1%, real GDP up 3.1% in 2023

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  • During Q4-2023, Abu Dhabi’s economy grew 4.1% compared to the same period in 2022, with non-oil sector growing by 10.4%.
  • The emirate’s GDP in 2023 achieved its best performance in terms of value in 10 years at AED1.14 trillion ($310.38 billion).

Abu Dhabi, UAE — Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy grew by 9.1 percent and its real GDP by 3.1 percent in 2023, according to the emirate’s Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

SCAD’s preliminary statistical estimates of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) said the results demonstrate the economy’s ability to expand amidst the growth of the non-oil economy at impressive rates, making significant strides in the “construction”, “finance and insurance”, and “transportation and storage” economic activities, and contributing over 53 percent to the total GDP.

During Q4-2023, Abu Dhabi’s economy grew 4.1 percent compared to the same period in 2022, showing continued growth driven by the expansion of non-oil sectors, which achieved 10.4 percent during the same period.

The emirate’s economy achieved robust growth rates, thanks to the strategic frameworks adopted by Abu Dhabi aimed at promoting economic diversification.

This is evident in the development of the industrial, finance, and tourism sectors, the encouragement of foreign investment, and the private sector to provide new job opportunities. This is proven by the strong performance of the non-oil economy, which recorded 9.1 percent and 9.2 percent during 2023 and 2022, respectively.

The emirate’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023 achieved its best performance in terms of value in 10 years at AED1.14 trillion ($310.38 billion), despite challenges and global market fluctuations that affect all sectors and geographies in the world.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said, “The impressive performance of our ‘Falcon Economy’ during the past few years proved the effectiveness of Abu Dhabi’s proactive approach to addressing the ever-changing dynamics of the global economy. The 9.1 percent rise in non-oil sectors and 3.1 percent of real total GDP in 2023 compared to 2022’s growth rate was the highest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.”

Abdulla Gharib Alqemzi, Acting Director-General of the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, stated, “The strong performance of Abu Dhabi’s economy in 2023 demonstrates the success of its strategic efforts towards diversification and innovation, moving with confident steps to enhance this growth by giving priority to talents, investors, and entrepreneurs who recognize the emirate in the global economy as an attractive destination.”

Expansion of Key Sectors

Statistical estimates showed remarkable growth in construction activities by 13.1 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, with the added value of this sector reaching more than AED 97 billion, the highest in ten years, while contributing 8.5 percent to the emirate’s gross domestic product during the same period. Also, the added value of manufacturing activities during 2023 was recorded at AED 101 billion, representing 8.8 percent of the total gross domestic product, marking the largest non-oil contributor to overall GDP during this period compared to 2022.

The financial and insurance activities achieved the highest growth rate of 25.5 percent and their best performance in terms of value, at AED 79 billion, with a contribution to the GDP exceeding 6.9 percent. This reflects the growing confidence of the international community in the emirate’s economy, consolidating its position as a preferred destination for investors and business owners.

This positive performance had an impact on wholesale and retail trade activities, which achieved a growth of 7.9 percent, with their added value reaching approximately AED 63 billion during 2023 compared to 2022, with a contribution rate exceeding 5.5 percent to the emirate’s gross domestic product, according to the preliminary statistical results published by the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi.

Extended Growth

In a related context, transportation and storage activity achieved a remarkable growth of 17.1 percent during 2023 compared to 2022 according to statistical estimates. This activity includes all operations related to the transport of passengers and goods by land, sea, and air, handling and storage activities, and postal and support activities.

Health and education activities grew 5.5 percent during 2023 compared to 2022, while “information and communication” activities and “real estate activities” grew 5.8 percent during the same period. The growth rate of arts and recreation activities reached 7.8 percent during 2023, while accommodation and food services recorded a growth of 3.1 percent during the same period compared to 2022, reflecting Abu Dhabi’s success in attracting visitors and displaying its features as a global business center and a major destination for events such as exhibitions and conferences.

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