No individual sector accounts for more than 20 percent of the emirate's economy
Sharjah’s efforts to diversify its economy and attract foreign direct investment are bearing fruit, with AED 5.97 billion ($1.63 billion) in FDI being attracted in 2017, according to a new study from Oxford Business Group.
In its report, OBG said Sharjah is highly diversified by regional standards, with oil and gas contributing less than 6 percent to GDP. No individual sector accounts for more than 20 percent.
Notably, the report found that the AED 5.97 billion in FDI registered in 2017 was significantly higher than 2016, when the Sharjah FDI Office recorded AED 912 million ($242.2 million) worth of foreign investment.
According to the report, the largest component of Sharjah’s GDP in 2017 was manufacturing, which was worth AED 15.7 billion ($4.3 billion), or 16.9 percent of the emirate’s total GDP. Sharjah officials estimate that manufacturing will play an increasingly important role in its economy, and estimate that will account for around 25 percent of GDP by 2025.
Additionally, the financial and insurance sector’s contribution to Sharjah’s GDP was AED 9.5 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2017, accounting 10.3 percent of the total and 11 percent of non-oil GDP, according to preliminary data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.
“In the last few years, Sharjah has underwent a substantial transformation in its economy to servicing the growing investment opportunities and demands made by local and international markets,” said Shurooq executive chairman Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal.
Oliver Cornock, OBG’s editor-in-chief and managing editor for the Middle East, said that the report “shows tthat Sharjah has taken steps to capitalise on its prime regional position and central location in the UAE, with ports on both the Gulf and Gulf of Oman, while also strengthening the appeal of its commercial, educational and cultural institutions.”
“With rising international oil prices likely to provide an added economic boost, all indications point to a bright outlook,” he added.