SCAD releases comprehensive data on economic activities in Abu Dhabi


Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) announced the final results on the Centre’s surveys of economic activities in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, according to which the gross output of economic activities in 2011 amounted to an unprecedented Dhs1068.4bn (approx.), marking a growth of 29.9% y-o-y.

These figures are in conformity with the general trends displayed by the macro-economic indicators and estimates released earlier by the Centre.

The results demonstrate the robustness and stability of the emirate’s economy, attesting to its massive competitive edge over regional and global economies and boosting its appeal to local and foreign investors.

As per the results released, mining and quarrying accounted for 41.7% of the total gross output of economic activities in 2011, followed by manufacturing industries (16.6%) and construction (15.6%), down from 18.8% in 2010.

Number of workers

The final results of SCAD’s economic surveys revealed that the total number of workers in various economic activities climbed 3.5% from 1.413 million in 2010 to 1.463 million in 2011. Number of workers in all economic activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi 2009-2011

Compared with other activities, construction engaged the largest proportion of workers both in 2010 (587 thousand workers) and 2011 (617thousand workers). The highest labour productivity, as measured in terms of gross output per worker, was Dhs17m, recorded in the mining and quarrying activity, up 48.7% compared with the previous year, followed by electricity and gas supply activities in which gross output per worker was approximately Dhs4m. On the other hand, the lowest gross output per worker was Dhs270 thousand recorded in a number of other activities.


The results of SCAD’s economic surveys for 2011 show that total wages grew by 7% during 2011 to Dhs108.369bn, up from Dhs101.265bn in 2010. According to the aforesaid results, the construction activity accounted for the largest proportion (23.4%) of total wages in 2011, followed by manufacturing, which counted for 11.1% of the total wages paid in 2011.

An estimated 60% of the total wages in 2011 came from the combined contribution of five activities, namely: construction; manufacturing; professional and scientific activities; wholesale and retail trade and vehicle repair services; and mining and quarrying.

SCAD explained, “‘wages’ in the survey results refer to the workers’ total compensation, i.e. wages and salaries in cash, benefits in-kind and social benefits paid to employees. Salaries and wages make up three-quarters of employees’ compensations, while benefits in kind are approximately twice as much as the social benefits.”

Fixed capital formation

Recognizing the paramount importance of investment to economic development and productivity, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has charted out several plans and programmes for comprehensive development in order to encourage investment in various fields and attract national savings to invest in the exploitation of national resources.

The Emirate worked on establishing the infrastructure necessary to facilitate economic activity in general and to encourage businessmen to venture into areas of investment that would contribute to economic development and diversification and enhance the competitiveness ‎of local products in the world markets.

Economic development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has been characterized by the investment of huge towards various commodity and service activities, in a manner that is conducive to the diversification of national income sources and the expansion of the role of the private sector in growth and development. Gross fixed capital formation for all economic activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi grew by 10% during 2011 to Dhs123.98bn.

Manufacturing industries accounted for the largest proportion (22.8%) of gross fixed capital formation in 2011, followed by mining and quarrying (19.9%), real estate (16.2%), transportation and storage (15.3%) and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, (10.2%), while the rest of the activities contributed 15.6% of gross fixed capital formation in 2011.

The plans and strategies recently adopted by Abu Dhabi emirate envisage a growing role for local and foreign investment in future development projects. Several factors must combine to create a favourable business environment that can contribute effectively towards building a diversified, broad-based economy. The current progress and prosperity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are, in large part, the product of this environment. Particular attention is therefore being paid to the private sector to empower it play its development role.‎‎‎‎‎‎

As SCAD point out, there are several underlying factors behind the Emirate’s attractive investment climate, including a strategic geographic location, highly developed infrastructure, qualified manpower, the numerous bilateral, regional and international agreements in place that facilitate the flow of capital and merchandise between the emirate and countries party to such agreements, the emirate’s free zones and industrial cities promoting local and foreign investment, very low tax (where applicable), abundant and low priced energy sources, with oil fuelling economic growth, optimal utilization of oil revenues, a highly developed network of financial institutions facilitating the flow of capital and serving domestic and foreign investments.