Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has reported robust non-oil gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.7% in the third quarter of 2023, according to a statement from the government media office released on Friday. The figures were based on data provided by the emirate’s Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi (SCAD).
Preliminary estimates revealed an overall economic growth of 1% in the third quarter compared to the same period the previous year, amounting to a total of 290.5 billion dirhams ($79.11 billion). The emirate’s resilience is further demonstrated by a 2.8% growth in real GDP over the first nine months of 2023, compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Notably, non-oil activities experienced remarkable expansion, boasting an 8.6% growth during the same timeframe.
While challenges stemming from lower production and oil prices persist, the Gulf states, including the UAE, are intensifying efforts to diversify their economies. This strategic shift aims to reduce dependency on hydrocarbons, ensuring long-term sustainability and resilience against economic fluctuations.
Abu Dhabi, which holds the majority of the UAE’s oil reserves, has been at the forefront of this economic diversification initiative. The emirate has actively accelerated the development of non-oil sectors, particularly focusing on manufacturing and tourism. The latest data reveals that non-oil activities now contribute over 50% to Abu Dhabi’s overall economy.
Manufacturing, a key component of the diversification strategy, accounted for 17% of the emirate’s non-oil GDP in the third quarter, contributing significantly to the overall GDP at 9%. This strategy of diversification has been crucial, mitigating the effects of reduced oil production and prices on the economic growth of the emirate.
Foreign investment has played a pivotal role in Abu Dhabi’s economic expansion. According to SCAD data, foreign investment in the emirate surged by 9.7% in 2022, reaching an impressive figure of more than 831 billion dirhams. This influx of foreign capital reflects the confidence of international investors in Abu Dhabi’s economic policies and growth prospects.
As Abu Dhabi continues to strengthen its non-oil sectors and attract foreign investment, the emirate’s economic resilience and diversification efforts serve as a model for sustainable growth. The positive trajectory in the non-oil GDP, even in the face of global economic challenges, positions Abu Dhabi as a key player in the region’s transition towards a more diversified and sustainable economic future.