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The Abu Dhabi Business Activity Report for 2023 reported annual growth of major indicators reflecting the business’s ability to attract investments. Image Credit: Afra Mubarak Alnofeli/Gulf News

Dubai: New economic data revealed business activity in Abu Dhabi surging in 2023, with 25,647 new economic licenses issued worth over Dh210 billion in the year, and active licences growing 10.9 per cent from last year.

The Abu Dhabi Business Activity Report for 2023 reported annual growth of major indicators reflecting the business’s ability to attract investments and its commitment to comply with local and international regulations, and standards of transparency and governance.

The report was issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and shows strong economic growth particularly within the non-oil sectors, which contributed to 52.8 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s GDP.

The report further noted that 75,778 licenses were renewed in 2023, recording growth of 3.5 per cent. Growth in the professional, tourism, industrial, agricultural, fishery, and livestock sectors was seen, with the number of new industrial licenses reaching 363, which is an increase of 51.25 per cent compared to 2022.

New tourism licences

In the tourism industry, new licenses reached 219, a growth of 22.35 per cent compared to 2022, while new licenses in the agriculture, fishery, and livestock grew by 288.46 per cent compared to 2022.

24,143 commercial sector licenses, 411 occupational licenses, and 410 professional licenses were issued, making the total capital of new economic licenses during 2023 exceed Dh210 billion.

“These indicators also confirm the effectiveness of the initiatives launched by the Abu Dhabi Business Centre to ensure the best possible conditions to achieve growth and prosperity for investors, while preserving consumer rights, intellectual property, and the quality of goods and services,” said Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Business Centre in a press release.

The report proves the effectiveness of the various initiatives launched by ADDED resulting in a highly competitive economy. This is reflected in the rise of the ‘Real Beneficiary’ requests, which saw a 201.9 per cent increase during the past year.

“We will continue to develop partnerships between the public and private sectors, meet the requirements of investors, ensure ease of doing business, and increase Abu Dhabi’s global competitiveness to consolidate the Emirate’s position as preferred destination for talents, investments, and businesses,” said Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, in a statement.

Non-oil economic growth

In a substantial growth of real non-oil GDP of Abu Dhabi, the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) reported that the non-oil economy expanded by 7.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2023, data showed last month.

In the first nine months of 2023, the emirate recorded 8.6 per cent growth in the non-oil sector, led by manufacturing, construction, transport and storage sector, and financial and insurance activities.

Manufacturing activities reached a value of Dh26.3 billion, contributing over 17 per cent to the non-oil GDP and 9 per cent to the overall GDP in the third quarter of 2023. The value of construction activity reached Dh25 billion, contributing more than 16.3 per cent to the non-oil GDP and 8.6 per cent to the total economy during the third quarter of 2023.

Travel also boosted the non-oil revenue with a remarkable growth rate of 20 per cent in the third quarter of this year. The sector has seen major growth with the substantial expansion of the shipping container market and the increased volume of flights and passengers.

All of this has also boosted a 9.7 per cent increase in foreign investment, surpassing an impressive value of Dh831 billion.