By Ben Flanagan
The gross domestic product of the UAE capital is projected to reach $159bn by 2010.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of Abu Dhabi is projected to reach AED584bn ($159bn) by 2010, according to a senior official in the UAE capital.
GDP in the emirate is expected to rise by 8.2 per cent in 2007, according to Salah Salim bin Omeir Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI), quoted by the Emirates News Agency.
Al Shamsi also predicts that growth will rise to around around 13 per cent over in the next few years.
The ADCCI chief added: "The 2006 GDP stood at AED367 billion [and] was driven by high average price of oil at $64.50 a barrel. These prices are expected to continue in 2007".
Asked for his forecast on the oil output in the emirate, Al Shamsi predicted huge development in the oil sector, a move which will increase current production capacity to meet the growing global demand for crude oil and gas.
"Abu Dhabi will pump about AED80 billion into the energy sector as future price movements indicate that average prices for 2007-2010 will range between $65-75 a barrel," he said.
On non-oil sectors, he expected the sector to make a steady growth of not less than 18 per cent a year. "Share of non-oil sectors in the GDP is estimated to rise to AED163 billion in 2007 from AED138 billion in 2006, and will post a phenomenal jump to AED263 billion in 2010," he said.
He attributed the projected growth in these sectors to the large flow of investments that will be ploughed back into various economic sectors in the years ahead. Contribution of non-oil sector to the emirate's GDP is projected to go up to 45 per cent in 2007 from 37 per cent in 2006.
Al Shamsi indicated that a series of “mega development” projects were launched in Abu Dhabi covering all sectors with an outlay estimated at AED923 billion. The years ahead are expected to see new projects with record investments of AED500 billion in the construction and building sector, AED200 billion in tourism, AED35 billion in water and electricity, AED80 billion in oil and gas and AED120 billion in industry.
On private sector, he explained that its share in the GDP was estimated to reach 17 per cent in 2006 and would hit 20 per cent in the years to come. "Abu Dhabi took the first place in terms of average GDP per capita which stood at AED193,000 in 2006. The figure is expected to jump to AED200,000 next year," he said.