UAE non-oil sector's contribution to GDP exceeds 72% in 2021

Hotels and restaurants, wholesale and retail, as well as health and social services spur growth of the country's non-oil economy

The UAE's non-oil economy has rebounded strongly from the pandemic. AP

The contribution of the UAE’s non-oil sector to the country's total economic output rose to 72.3 per cent last year, as the Arab world's second-biggest economy recovered strongly from the pandemic-induced slowdown.

The non-oil sector accounted for 71.3 per cent of the UAE's gross domestic product in 2020, state-news agency Wam reported, quoting the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre's data.

The country's economy grew 3.8 per cent last year, beating the World Bank's forecast of 2.1 per cent, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said earlier this month.

"At current prices, the output was Dh1.49 trillion ($405.71 billion),” Sheikh Mohammed said.

The growth of the non-oil sector last year was spurred by hotels and restaurants, wholesale and retail, and health and social services sectors, accounting for 21.3 per cent, 14.1 per cent and 13.8 per cent of GDP in 2021, respectively.

The UAE's non-oil economy has rebounded strongly from the pandemic, expanding an annual 3.8 per cent last year, driven by a 7.8 per cent rise in the fourth quarter, as Covid-related restrictions and travel curbs eased, according to data from the Central Bank of the UAE.

Dubai alone hosted 7.28 million international overnight visitors between January and December 2021. International visitors to the emirate crossed 3.4 million in the fourth quarter of last year, representing 74 per cent of the total pre-pandemic tourist arrivals in the same period in 2019.

Dubai International Airport, the world's top airport in terms of passenger traffic, last year recorded its busiest fourth quarter since the outbreak of the pandemic, with the number of passengers rising to 11.8 million, driven by Expo 2020 Dubai.

Abu Dhabi's economy has also recovered strongly from the pandemic-driven slowdown. The emirate's non-oil economy rose an annual 4.1 per cent in 2021, driven by robust government policies.

The growth was led by the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors, which surged by more than 23 per cent on a yearly basis, data from the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi showed.

Overall, the UAE's economy is expected to grow 4.9 per cent this year, Japan's largest lender MUFG said, while Emirates NBD forecasts growth of 5.7 per cent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank estimates a 5.4 per cent expansion, supported by a sharp rise in the oil sector.

The country's non-oil economy is projected to grow 3.9 per cent this year, according to the Central Bank, while Emirates NBD estimates a rise of 4 per cent and ADCB forecasts an expansion of 3.4 per cent.

Updated: April 19, 2022, 6:39 AM