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UAE GDP soars 23% to Dh934 billion in 2008

posted on 28/07/2009: 2146 views

The UAE economy raced by more than 23 per cent in nominal terms to more than Dh934 billion in 2008 and the surge was in both the oil and non-oil sectors, official estimates showed yesterday.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai remained the dominant economies with the UAE, accounting for nearly 87 per cent of the total gross domestic product of the seven emirates, the Ministry of Economy said in a new report.

Revising earlier figures for the GDP, which was previously estimated at Dh927bn, the report put the 2008 nominal GDP at Dh934.2bn, an increase of 23.2 per cent over the 2007 GDP of around Dh758bn.

The surge allowed the UAE to maintain its status as the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, the world's dominant oil power. It was one of the highest nominal GDP growth rates in the UAE's 38-year history and was a result of a sharp rise in oil prices and heavy public investment.

The report showed the oil sector rocketed by around 35.6 per cent last year, while growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector was put at 17 per cent. In real terms, the GDP grew by around 7.4 per cent to Dh535.3bn in 2008 from around Dh498.3bn in 2007.

Oil prices swelled to an historic high average of around US$95 a barrel in 2008, while the UAE's crude output climbed to near capacity of 2.6 million bpd. This allowed the country to net its highest ever income of nearly US$90bn.

The surge in the income boosted the gross capital formation, which covers, public and private investment by a whopping 35 per cent to a record Dh200.4bn last year from about Dh148.5bn in 2007.

A breakdown showed the oil sector remained the dominant component of the GDP, accounting for about Dh345.8bn in 2008.

It was followed by the construction sector, which was valued at nearly Dh148.4bn, and the manufacturing sector, at around Dh113.2bn.

In terms of growth, the oil sector recorded the highest rate of 35.6 per cent because of an increase of around 35 per cent in crude prices.

The construction sector, which was in a state of boom in 2007 and 2008, galloped by around 26.1 per cent while growth was put at 18.7 per cent in the trade and repairing services sector, 17.4 per cent in electricity and water, 17.2 per cent in the manufacturing sector, 15.1 per cent in hotels and restaurants, 14.9 per cent in social services, and 14.3 per cent in real estate.

The report showed the communications sector was the largest beneficiary of the gross capital formation in 2008, receiving about Dh35.2bn.

The investments were estimated at about Dh34.5bn in industry, Dh32.2bn in real estate, Dh20.4bn in the oil sector, and Dh16.3bn in electricity and water.

Emirate-wise, Abu Dhabi had the largest economy of Dh519.9 billion in 2008, accounting for 56.7 per cent of the UAE's total GDP.

Dubai had the second GDP of Dh301.4bn, accounting for around 32.3 per cent. It was followed by Sharjah, with 7.7 per cent, Ras Al Khaimah at 1.7 per cent, Ajman at 1.2 per cent, Fujairah at 1.1 per cent and Umm Al Qaiwain at 0.4 per cent.

In terms of growth, the rate stood at 29.7 per cent in Abu Dhabi, around 14 per cent in Dubai, 20 per cent in Sharjah, 18.5 per cent in Ras Al Khaimah, 21 per cent in Ajman, 20.9 per cent in Fujeirah and 22.3 per cent in Umm Al Quwain.

The report put the UAE's population at around 4.765 million at the end of 2008, with the per capita GDP income climbing to about 196,000 from nearly Dh169,000 in 2007, the second highest in the Arab World after Qatar. – Emirates Business 24|7


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