The GDP of Abu Dhabi at current prices grew to AED 931 billion in 2018, up 14.4% up from AED 814 billion in 2017, according to a report released by Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD).
A breakdown of this figure reveals an increase in the emirate's oil-GDP by 35.7%, or AED 376 billion last year, making up 40.4% of Abu Dhabi's GDP at current prices. On the other hand, non-oil GDP at current prices grew 3.5% from AED 537 billion in 2017 to AED 555 billion in 2018 contributing 59.6% of the GDP in 2018.
As SCAD's estimates indicate, non-oil activities have experienced remarkable growth over the last five years since 2013. Some of these changes have been instrumental for the recent developments in the GDP. Prominent among these was manufacturing, which grew by 13.8% in 2018.
Public administration and defense and compulsory social security' increased by 6.4% in 2018; transportation and storage' by 4.0%, bouncing back from a decrease by 6.4% in 2017.
Workers' compensations in economic activities reached AED 251 billion in 2018, up 3.7% from AED 241 billion in 2017. Total production (gross output) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi grew 11.4% to AED 1,420 billion in 2018, compared with AED 1,275 billion in 2017.
Fixed capital formation (i.e. net acquisitions in producers' fixed assets) increased by 6.8% to AED 157 billion in 2018. The value of fixed capital formation for non-oil activities increased from AED 114 billion in 2017 to AED 121 billion in 2018.
For his part, Mr. Abdulla Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Director General of Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, said that the growth outlook for the emirate's economy is positive for the years to come, thanks to the wisdom and prudence that the Abu Dhabi government has exercised in investing its oil revenues to support economic development growth. This helped the emirate build a strong economic structure, vibrant and promising economic sectors, and a world-class infrastructure with a high standard of efficiency and sophistication, enabling the emirate to emerge as a global economic player.
He pointed out that the impact of this structure is clearly seen in the positive growth shown by all economic indicators of the emirate and the vast strides it continues to make, thanks to the wise economic policies pursued, the diversification programmes implemented and the focus on promising economic sectors such as industry, tourism, trade, transport, storage, communications, energy, finance, etc., in addition to the comprehensive body of legislation in place and the advanced infrastructure, to maximize appeal for local and foreign investments.
As Al Suwaidi remarks: "A glimpse at the estimates presented in the 2018 national accounts leaves no doubt that Abu Dhabi economy is robust enough to maintain its current levels of growth and competitiveness, thanks to the leadership's ambitious and well defined vision, especially true after the launch of the Abu Dhabi Program for Development Rises "Ghadan 21", a three-year development programme that center's on four main tenets, namely boosting business and investment in Abu Dhabi by creating an attractive environment; society development through the employment of citizens, launching of housing projects and provision of quality education; development of knowledge and innovation in the emirate by encouraging new companies in the field of technology; and development of lifestyle in Abu Dhabi through upgrading all services that improve the residents' quality of life.
HE Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED), pointed out to the marked development shown by the report in the performance of the economy of Abu Dhabi in 2018 compared with 2017:"In real terms Abu Dhabi economy grew by 1.9%, driven largely by the remarkable growth in mining and quarrying, which achieved a real growth of 3.4% in 2018" he said.
"This growth", he added "represents a positive response to the economic and development initiatives and related stimulus programs launched by the emirate's government during the past year to stimulate the economy, enhance the business environment and support the development process in the emirate".
He said that the implementation of the economic and development initiatives announced on top of the high of the levels of confidence and optimism prevailing among consumers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi continues to enhance the attractiveness of the business environment and in the emirate and stimulate internal demand for the goods and services produced by the business sector, thereby raising levels of confidence and optimism amongst all partners in the economic process and ensuring their continued positive interaction with the rest of economic enablers".
H.E the DED Undersecretary noted that most non-oil activities achieved positive growth during 2018, which enabled them to remain the largest contributor to the GDP, accounting for 51% against 49% for oil activities".
"As for the performance of non-oil activities, manufacturing industries continued their upward for third straight year, achieving a real growth of approximately 6% in 2018, second only to agricultural activity".
HE Al Balooshi said that the remarkable improvement in the manufacturing activities reflected in a record contribution of over 6% to Abu Dhabi's total GDP in 2018. Meanwhile the contribution of manufacturing industries to non-oil GDP increased by more than 12% in 2018 compared with 11.5% in 2017, noting also a 24% increase in Abu Dhabi 's non-oil exports in 2018 to AED 27.7 billion up from AED 22.3 billion in 2017.