High growth over the past decades has turned Abu Dhabi into the 44th largest economy in the world and the emirate is expected to move ahead to the 41st rank in 2015, according to a local economist.
In 1973, just two years after the UAE was created, Abu Dhabi was ranked 71st largest global economy and it accounted for nearly five per cent of the combed GDP of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said Giyas Gokkent, chief economist at the government-controlled National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
“In 2010, Abu Dhabi became the 44th largest economy and accounted for 17 per cent of the GCC’s GDP,” he told an investment seminar in Abu Dhabi.
“In 2015, Abu Dhabi will account for 18-19 per cent of the GCC economy…it will become the 41st largest economy in the world and account for nearly 40 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP (the largest Arab economy).”
Gokkent expected the UAE economy to grow by around 4-5.1 per cent during 2011-2012 due to higher growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector and an increase in crude prices and the country’s output.
Higher oil prices will also boost the UAE’s current account surplus to around 9.2 per cent of GDP in 2011 and 11.4 per cent in 2012 from about 4.2 per cent or around Dh42 billion in 2010.
“According to the International Monetary Fund, the UAE could become the 30th largest global economy in 2016 after it was ranked 37th in 1980,” he said.
The UAE is already the second largest Arab economy, with its nominal GDP exceeding Dhone trillion in 2010.
Abu Dhabi is the largest economy in the UAE given its high oil and gas production. Its real GDP was estimated at around Dh546 billion and is projected to swell to nearly Dh567 billion, according to the Abu Dhabi chamber of commerce and industry.