Economic conditions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi have improved considerably during the first quarter of 2013, under strong government role to stimulate domestic demand and provide best investment prospects for investors and business to tap various opportunities in commercial, industrial, services and construction activities, with the aim of promoting business sectors and increasing their contribution to the development process, to achieve a high level of well-being and stability for citizens.
The Business Cycle General Index for the first quarter for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi which was released by and the Studies Directorate of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development indicated that Abu Dhabi economy achieved high levels of growth in 2012, exceeding expectations. The Emirate experienced an increase in the number of new commercial licenses issued for business and professional activities and, and rising rates of employment compared to 2011.
The result of the Business Cycle index revealed that the government spending had increased and that the implementation of several major projects was completed. Most markets have reached advanced stages of debugging after the global financial crisis, which resulted in accelerating of the performance of the Emirate's economy, increasing the number of commercial licenses and reviving Abu Dhabi Securities Market index, due to the positive results banks and real estate companies. The index reflected the effects of Abu Dhabi Government announcement at the beginning of this year, of major financial allocations with a total of AED 330 billion to be pumped in various capital projects in various sectors, during the period (2013-2017) so as to boost partnership with the private sector in the process of development; and to stimulate economic activity, contribute effectively to the development and improvement of services for businessmen and investors and improve the investment environment to help place Abu Dhabi on the list of top investment attracting countries in the World.
A quick review of the most important economic developments during the first quarter, shows that the real estate sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, experienced a revival in demand for new housing units in the nearby cities of Abu Dhabi Island, which attracted newcomers as preferred accommodation in Abu Dhabi, according to Asteco Q1 2013 Property Report
According to data released by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, the tourism sector experienced a revival at the beginning of 2013. The total number of guests in hotels during January 2013 was 203,925 increasing from 198,183 guests in January 2012, growing by 3%, due to the number activities held during the month, most importantly were the Liwa international Festival, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week2013 and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship 2013.The total of number of hotel guest nights, increased by 19% in January 2013 compared to January to 2012. Hotels revenues increased by 4% to reach AED 427 million, while room proceeds and food and beverage proceeds went up by 6% and 3% respectively. Hotels occupancy rate for the same period stood at 70% during the month of January 2013 rising 5% compared to January 2012. Length of stay during the month of January 2013 increased by 16% compared to the same month of 2012.As for capital market, ADX topped MENA stock markets in the first quarter of 2013 with the Abu Dhabi exchange's general index increasing by 15 % at the end of March 2013, to close at 3,025.33 points. March 2013 witnessed profit reaping for transactions of January and February 2013. This improvement came in the shadow of the most important merger between Al Dar and Sorouh real estate companies, which is the third largest real estate merger in the Middle East, with assets of more than AED47 billion.The banking sector saw a strong recovery and activity in 2012 which reflected positively on the growth of banks profits, and contributed significantly to the rise of local stock markets during the first quarter of 2013. The banking sector is expected to see more revival during the coming period.Abu Dhabi in the current period endeavors to support the industrial sector at the level of its geographic regions, particularly the Western Region where the Government is seeking to create two industrial towns in Al Ruwais and Madinat Zayed. The first will specialized in petrochemical and building materials; and other in oil and gas industries and logistics services; and are expected to provide about 43 000 jobs.The year 2014 is expected to mark the setting of the first industrial project; in addition, the Government is working to build a specialized auto city close to Musafah. According to the data issued by the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp), the volume of industrial investment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at the end of 2012 rose to more than AED22 billion. The industrial sector achieved a growth rates between (15-20%) during 2012 and this is expected to rise during the year 2013 under the industrial strategy announced by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which will attract more new foreign industrial investments.In November 2012 ZonesCorp estimated that the construction of nearly 400 factories will begin in the coming period; and stated that corporation planned to create an industrial city for small and medium-sized industries in coordination with the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.In the trade sector, the value of total merchandise trade in January 2013 dropped by AED 1,425 million, representing approximately (-12.5%) compared to December, 2012, while imports fell by AED 1,337 million, representing around (-14.6%). Re-exports also fell by AED 125 million, representing approximately (-8.9%), whereas non-oil exports increased by AED 37 million, representing approximately (4.4%).