Sharjah’s economy grew 4.8% in 2021 as non-oil sector rebounded

Emirate’s wholesale and retail trade recorded the highest annual growth rate of 10% last year


Sunset and Sharjah's skyline on Khalid's lagoon.

(Photo by Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Sharjah’s gross domestic product grew 4.8 per cent in 2021 as the emirate’s non-oil sector drove its recovery from coronavirus-induced headwinds.

The emirate registered Dh130.5 billion ($35.5bn) in GDP earnings last year compared with Dh124.6bn in 2020, Sharjah's Department of Statistics and Community Development said on Monday.

DSCD's data is based on a survey of independent agencies and the government sector.

“The exceptional growth Sharjah witnessed in 2021 indicates the success of the emirate’s strategies for sustainable growth and development,” said Sheikh Mohammed Al Qasimi, chairman of DSCD.

“These are based on diversity of market sectors and incomes, balanced growth and the strategic distribution of development capital.”

Sharjah has been experiencing strong growth after its government took several measures to support businesses and residents to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The emirate introduced Dh1bn of economic stimulus measures in 2020 in response to the economic challenges caused by the global crisis, which included the waiving, reduction or cancellation of certain government fees and charges.

In December, Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi approved a Dh34.42bn budget for 2022, a rise of 2 per cent on 2021, prioritising spending on infrastructure as well as social and economic development projects.

About 44 per cent of the budget expenditure has been allocated to the development and improvement of the emirate’s infrastructure, 27 per cent to economic development with a focus on stimulus processes and 21 per cent for social development. About 8 per cent has been allotted for government administration.

The government also pledged to continue supporting capital projects with 30 per cent of the budget allocated to the segment.

Meanwhile, government revenue is expected to increase 49 per cent this year, compared with 2021.

Sharjah’s trading sector was the most significant contributor to GDP last year at 23.8 per cent, the DSCD study found. This was followed by transformative industries at 17 per cent, construction at 9.3 per cent and property at 9 per cent, while the government sector contributed 7.3 per cent to the emirate's GDP in 2021, the research revealed.

The emirate’s wholesale and retail trade recorded the highest annual growth rate of 10 per cent last year. The transport and storage sector registered growth of 9.5 per cent, followed by the accommodation, hospitality and food services industry at 9.1 per cent, extractive industries at 9 per cent, while health and social services rose 7.6 per cent, the DSCD study found.

“Sharjah’s economy has proved its agility in adapting to far-reaching local and global changes,” DSCD's Mr Al Qasimi said.

“The numbers highlight the success of the emirate’s integrative strategies guiding both developmental and economic entities in public and private sectors.”

Updated: April 25, 2022, 2:56 PM