Abu Dhabi is undergoing a phase of economic expansion firmly grounded on the determined ambitious vision of the Emirate's leadership, which aims at promoting Abu Dhabi as a prominent business hub in the region, by setting off the potential capabilities of the Emirate’s economy, launching a wave of new investments across the economic sectors, and intensifying openness towards foreign investment, in order to speed up its contribution to achieving the goals of the “Economic Vision 2030.
Despite the global economic crisis which has cast its shadow over different countries around the world since late 2008, certain traits, have privileged the emirate's economy in -raison d'être- to be highly flexible in face of crisis repercussions in 2009. The strengthening elements embody, the economic potential, opportunities, and prospect the economy, which placed the emirate in the forefront ahead of leading economies in the region, posing as one of the brightest spots in a world tangled with economic recession.
The government intervention, prompt decisions and actions of the leadership contributed in maintaining the stability of the banking sector, upon the early signs of the effects of the crisis on the sectors of the economy. This has significantly helped non-oil activities to sustain the positive growth rates achieved in recent years.
The growth of non-oil activities by more than 6% in 2009, in addition to the sharp drop in oil prices, raised the contribution of non-oil activities to GDP to more than 50% in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2009, noted that Economic Vision 2030, had set to reach that figure by the year 2015. This confirms the integrity of the balanced approach followed by the emirate, based on the expansion and diversification of domestic production and sources of income, which emphasized the soundness and strength of the economy, against the volatility of oil revenues and precariousness of stock and real estate markets.
May Allah, guide us in serving our beloved country.
Nasser Ahmed Khalifa Al Suwaidi
The economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has rebounded strongly during the past five years, as a result of high oil prices, where the growth rate of nominal GDP, reached 24% on average during the period (2003 2008), despite the decline in GDP by 18% in 2009 compared to 2008. However, it could be argued that the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi had achieved a satisfactory performance during 2009, despite the plummeting oil prices, and the instability in the global economy following the economic crisis.
The drop in oil prices, and oil exports of the emirate, led to a retard in oil GDP growth of 34% in 2009, in the interim, at the same time the non-oil activities achieved reasonable growth rates during the same year, notwithstanding the considerable challenges they faced; where non-oil GDP growth rate marked 6%.
This report factually reflects on the emirate's economy in view of the erratic economic change witnessed in 2009. All non-oil economic activities were able to maintain the positive growth rates achieved in previous years, and although those rates were comparably lower than before, this hailed the emirate's strategy, which laid emphasis on efforts to branch out the economic base and trim down dependence on oil as a main propeller of the economy, paving the way ahead towards sustainable development.
The First Five-Year Economic Plan for Abu Dhabi, marks an important pace as it puts forward real economic reforms, and presents clear and defined programs for diversification of sources of income and the structure of the economy, by raising private sector efficiency, and nurturing sectors of strategic development dimensions, with emphasis on targets far beyond the local market.
May Allah grant us strength and dedication.
Mohammed Omar Abdullah