Abu Dhabi’s economy is poised to grow by 6 per cent to 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by the oil sector, government spending, financial services and foreign direct investment.
The emirate plans to focus on specific sectors in which government entities can partner with private companies "to enhance their growth and increase their contribution to the emirate’s gross domestic product”, said Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of the emirate's Department of Economic Development.
He was speaking at an event titled Abu Dhabi The Future that was held online on Tuesday.
“This will be bolstered by new investment and the implementation of development projects that enhance the emirate’s competitiveness regionally and internationally.”
Abu Dhabi was quick to introduce a number of measures to bolster its private sector after the coronavirus pandemic struck last year.
It allocated Dh5 billion ($1.36bn) to subsidise water and electricity for citizens and commercial and industrial sectors, as well as Dh3bn for a credit-guarantee programme to stimulate funding for small and medium enterprises and Dh1bn to support financial markets.
“When faced with the significant challenge of the pandemic, we have been striving to turn adversity into opportunity and advance our efforts to drive up investment and drive a wholescale shift towards a sustainable knowledge-based economy,” said Mr Al Shorafa.
Abu Dhabi is also supporting innovation and research activity “by upskilling our workforce to embrace the economy of the future and by strengthening the role of the private sector”, he said.
The emirate launched a campaign this year to attract more talented students and convince professionals to settle in Abu Dhabi.
Long-term visas are also being offered to investors and entrepreneurs as part of the Thrive in Abu Dhabi campaign.
“Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted uncertainty on economies around the world, Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general are blessed with the vision to use this opportunity to create more high-value investment opportunities and generate growth in targeted strategic economic sectors,” said Mr Al Shorafa.
Last month, the UAE's leadership announced announced a new strategy called Operation 300bn to more than double the industrial sector's contribution to the country's economic output from Dh133bn to Dh300bn by 2031.
Emirates Development Bank will provide Dh30bn in financing over the next five years to support the strategy.