Abu Dhabi earns Dh393b from oil exports in 2011

Abu Dhabi’s GDP grew 6.8 per cent in 2011 on constant prices due to robust growth in crude oil and natural gas, financial and insurance, and manufacturing sectors.
Oil, gas and oil products exports rose to Dh393.439 billion, while non-oil exports climbed to Dh11.478 billion in the year.

The growth was led by the hydrocarbon sector, which expanded 9.4 per cent. The financial and insurance sector grew 10.5 per cent, while manufacturing jumped 9.8 per cent in the year marred by the global economic crisis.

In 2010, the economy grew three per cent, Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi said in its Statistical Year Book 2012, which was posted on its website on Monday afternoon. GDP in constant prices shows how much goods and services were produced in volume terms and is measured by holding prices constant.

Per capita GDP rose to Dh286,000 ($77,929) in the year, the fourth highest after Qatar, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. The UAE’s national per capita GDP estimated in 2010 was $40,200, ranking 21st in the world, according to the CIA Fact Book 2011.

Higher growth means higher revenues for the Abu Dhabi government, which increased 41.3 per cent year-on-year, showing the impact of petroleum sales that soared 55 per cent. The daily average production of crude oil increased from 2.3 million barrels per day in 2010 to 2.5 million bpd in 2011, or by 10.7 per cent; it also increased the average exports of crude oil by 12.3 per cent to 2.3 million bpd from two million bpd in the period a year ago.

Current expenditure, as a percentage of total public expenditure, increased from 48.5 per cent in 2010 to 49.1 per cent in 2011. Capital expenditure, as a percentage of total public expenditure, dropped marginally from 51.5 per cent in 2010 to 50.9 per cent in 2011.

The Abu Dhabi government is taking steps to establish favourable conditions that will enhance investor confidence in the economy.

A transparent tax structure, with a supporting judicial system, investment encouraging business legislation and industrial zones will enhance international investor perception about business opportunities in the emirate.

Foreign direct investment, or FDI, at the end of 2009 was at Dh43.171 billion, up from Dh38.855 billion at the end of 2008, most of which went into real estate and business, attracting Dh16.965 billion at the end of 2009, compared with Dh12.620 billion at the end of 2008.

Financial institutions and insurance accounted for the second largest share of total FDI, with 24.6 per cent at the end of 2008 and 14.9 per cent at the end of 2009. European countries accounted for the largest proportion of FDI that increased from Dh9.459 billion at the end of 2008 to Dh9.877 billion at the end of 2009, or by 4.4 per cent.

Total portfolio investment in Abu Dhabi, consisting of equity securities but excluding debt securities, amounted to Dh7.609 billion at the end of 2009, up from Dh6.012 billion at the end of 2008.

Real estate and business services contributed the biggest chunk amounting to Dh5.529 billion at the end of 2009 and Dh4.136 billion at the end of 2008.

The role of the tourism industry strengthened in the year as the total number of hotel establishments totalled 129 in 2011, an increase of 11.2 per cent compared with 2010.

Over the same period, the number of guests increased by 16.6 per cent, number of rooms by 12.8 per cent and occupancy rate by 6.5 per cent, while the average length of stay reached three nights in 2011.

The reforms process in the recent years have made the emirate a favourite business destination in the region backed by strong economic growth and the business friendly policies, the number of new firms registered in Abu Dhabi climbed 9.9 per cent to 106,943 firms.

Higher oil prices have increased the role of oil sector to the economy. The petrochemical sector has shown strong growth in the year. Total production of petrochemical products increased 38.5 per cent to 2.789 million metric tonnes in 2011 from 2.014 million metric tonnes in 2010.

Exports of petrochemicals rose 62.2 per cent in the year, comparing with 2010.

Haseeb Haider, 6 November 2012