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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 10/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu Dhabi has to grow at an average growth rate of 12 per cent between 2011 and 2015, in order to compensate negative growth it recorded during global financial meltdown, when oil prices plummeted.

"Comparing the adopted Abu Dhabi 2030 vision for growth, the annual average rate of growth in real GDP between 2008 and 2010 was negative, -1.6 per cent due to declining oil revenues in 2009," the UNDP said in its first Human Development Report 2011-12 that reviews progress Abu Dhabi has made in social sector in past 40 years.

The first Human Development Report of Abu Dhabi 2011/2012 was unveiled in Abu Dhabi jointly by Abu Dhabi Department of Economy and the United Nations Development Programme.

The event was attended by high level governmental representatives and officials including Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Maryam Al Roumi, Minister of social affairs, Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED), Dr Saeed Al Shamsi, Assistant Foreign Minister for International Organisations, Paolo Lembo, UAE United Nations Resident Coordinator, United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary, Department of Economic Development (DED) Abu Dhabi, Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of ADEC, Fahad Saeed Al Raqabani, director general of ADCED, Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson EEG and President, UN Global Compact GCC Network in addition to a large number of ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic Corps in the UAE.

"Although the oil revenues reversed in 2010, it did not reach the previous level and to achieve the missed growth Abu Dhabi has to grow at 12.2 per cent on average between 2011 and 2015. The average growth target between 2010 and 2015 is seven per cent," the report said.

As for the growth in non-oil GDP, it stood at 3.2 per cent a year between 2008 and 2010; about six per cent less than expected.

However, lower oil sales and the continued growth in non- oil sectors raised its contribution to the GDP to 48 per cent on average in this period, which is close to the ratio target in 2015.

Abu Dhabi has made tremendous progress in the social sector due to sound policies and strong oil output.

The gross domestic product at current prices doubled between 1975 and 2010 about 24 times; increasing from Dh26 billion in 1975 to Dh620 billion in 2010, with an average annual growth rate of about nine per cent.

Non-oil GDP at current prices rose from around Dh6 billion in 1975 to more than Dh312 billion in 2010, where it doubled more than 55 times, or had an average annual growth rate of around 11.5 per cent on average, the UNDP report on Abu Dhabi said.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is rated globally amongst the countries amongst the highest stage of human development according to the UNDP classification. With this classification, Abu Dhabi is ranked 29 globally, along with the Republic of Slovenia, according to the Human Development Index.

Abu Dhabi capital outshines the classification of the UAE (32 worldwide), ranking 36 globally by according to the human development of the total population four times. The report estimates the rate unemployment among local citizens in the emirate in 2011 at about 11.6 per cent, where it is at its highest in Al Ain area, 16 per cent, followed by the area of Abu Dhabi, nine per cent, and West Abu Dhabi, eight per cent.

The education index showed that the average years of schooling for groups of citizens and non-citizens and the emirate of Abu Dhabi's total population fall within the average of first 42 countries that have been classified according to the Human Development Report 2010 with very high human development. This reflects the world sophisticated position of the emirate. Still, this is evidence of the learning regression compared to other countries' human development due to the presence of large numbers of non-citizens with low levels of literacy.


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