Abu Dhabi Economic Report 2021

Abu Dhabi Economic Report 2021

Abu Dhabi is considered the wealthiest emirate in UAE, in terms of per capita income and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The estimated GDP for the year 2020 was approximately AED 1.47 trillion (USD 401 billion) which contracted by 7.5% compared to the previous year, because of the low oil production and COVID19 outbreak. The GDP Per Capita for the same period accounted for AED 160,000 (USD 43,005). The economy is expected to grow at a rate of 2.2% between 2021-2023. The oil and gas sector is the primary source of Abu Dhabi’s GDP contributing to more than 40% of the overall value. However, with the economic diversification strategies of the UAE government and its initiatives to boost the development of the Emirate’s non-oil and gas sector, is gradually lowering the dependency on oil & gas.

Abu Dhabi injected approximately AED 50 billion (USD 14 billion) to support small local businesses, research and development, tourism and entertainment industries to increase the GDP contribution of the non-oil & gas sector. The government aims to boost the private sector’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s GDP from 32% in 2019 to 37% in 2021. In 2030, the emirate aims to have a sustainable economy that is not dependent on the oil and gas sector.

Abu Dhabi – COVID19 Implications 

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, 2020 was an extremely challenging year for Abu Dhabi. Experts forecasted a decrease in GDP by 3-4% in the forthcoming years. Despite this, the economy of Abu Dhabi has already started to recover from the pandemic thanks to an economic stimulus package launched by the government to ensure that Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification goals are achieved and the impact of the corona-virus outbreak on citizens and businesses were substantially lowered.

Investment Opportunities in Abu Dhabi

This Abu Dhabi government is quite optimistic about its economic growth in the forthcoming years. They predict that Abu Dhabi’s economy will grow at the level of 6-8% in 2021 and 2022, as a result of foreign investment, government spending, the oil price rebound and activities within the financial services. Furthermore, the emirate is planning to invest in advanced technology, such as e-commerce and artificial intelligence, since Abu Dhabi is positioning itself as a tech hub and attracting companies in healthcare, agricultural technology, and renewable energy sectors which are considered to be crucial for the emirate’s economic growth.

Abu Dhabi provides excellent opportunities for foreign investors and multinational companies across healthcare, renewable energy and agricultural technology companies to enter and establish their business in the Emirate.


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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com

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