Abu Dhabi’s real GDP grew by around 5.6 per cent in 2012 due to strong performance of the non-hydrocarbon sector, but it was below the 9.3 per cent growth achieved in 2011, official data showed on Sunday.
The emirate’s GDP, which accounts for more than two thirds of the UAE economy, also swelled by 7.7 per cent in current prices in 2012, less than a fourth of the growth rate recorded in 2011 when it stood at 32 per cent, showed the figures by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
In its annual report for 2012, the Department attributed the slower growth in 2012 to the slight rise in the oil sector in both production and prices compared with 2011.
It showed Abu Dhabi’s real GDP stood at Dh678 billion in 2012 and said that despite the slackening growth in 2012, Abu Dhabi's economy maintained its recovered and returned to its healthy pace, taking advantage of the robust diversification strategy adopted by the emirate’s government in recent years.
The report showed the oil sector achieved a 3.8 per cent real growth in 2012, which was lower than previous rates realised by the activity during 2010 and 2011.
In contrast, non-oil activities bolster the gains achieved over the past few years, and turned into a strong pillar of economic performance in the emirate, it said.
Non-oil economic activities recorded real growth of 7.7 per cent in 2012, compared to 6.7 per cent and 6.1 per cent in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
This reflected positively on the contribution of non-oil activities to the real GDP of the Emirate, which rose to 48 per cent in 2012 compared to 44 per cent in 2007.
A breakdown showed the real estate sector grew by 16.7 per cent in 2012, as a direct result of the significant recovery of sales activities in the real estate sector in the Emirate. The manufacturing sector expanded by 9.7 per cent to a record Dh41.5 billion, the report showed.
In current prices, Abu Dhabi's GDP rose by 7.7 per cent to reach Dh 911.6 billion in 2012, compared to Dh846.7 billion in 2011 far below the 32 per cent growth in 2011.
The report attributed the slower growth to the sharp slowdown in the oil sector, which grew by only around 6.2 per cent in 2012 after rocketing by 52.8 per cent in 2011.
The report said the low growth in 2012 was due to the small rise in oil output and prices in 2012 compared to 2011. It showed Abu Dhabi's oil exports registered a growth rate of 6.9 per cent during 2012 compared to 5.4 per cent in 2011.
It showed that the contribution of hydrocarbon industries to Abu Dhabi's GDP in 2012 dropped to 56.48 per cent compared to 57.3 per cent in 2011.
"Abu Dhabi's economy continued to achieve distinct quantitative and qualitative developments in various in all areas, thanks to the far-sighted leadership and the sincere efforts to efficiently and sensibly invest oil revenues, taking into consideration the attainment of sustainability and empowerment of community members; as these goals are the focus of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030,” DED’s Chairman Nassir Al Suwaidi said in a forward to the report.
He said that the path of economic development in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in recent years has been characterised by focusing on directing huge investments towards non-oil activities, to expedite diversification of the economic base and income sources.
This approach coincided with government efforts to encourage the private sector to participate actively in the development process.
DED’s undersecretary Mohammed Omar Abdullah said the non-oil activities have witnessed a steady growth since 2007, ranging between 5per cent and 9per cent until 2012. He said this raised the contribution of non-oil economic activities to real GDP from less than 44 per cent in 2007 to 48 per cent in 2012.
He said the significant development in non-oil activities emphasises the enormous efforts exerted by the emirate of Abu Dhabi in its bid to support the diversification process which turned non-oil activities into an “important pillar and an essential component of the structure of gross domestic product.”
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