Published March 2, 2023

2 minute read

Abu Dhabi: Rising as a Leading Global City

Abu Dhabi Chairman H.E Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi shares how AD is emerging as a leading city with economic diversification, growth in non-oil sectors, and a focus on sustainability.

Session Speakers: 
H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi

H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi

Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

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Key Takeaways

  • Abu Dhabi's economy is experiencing rapid growth, focusing on non-oil sectors and collaboration between the public and private sectors.
  • The city is becoming a destination of choice for living, investing, and thriving due to its strategic location, supportive local government, and excellent infrastructure.
  • The UAE is committed to energy transition and sustainability, with plans to create a clean energy powerhouse and achieve net zero targets.
  • Abu Dhabi is securing investments from multinationals and has seen strong growth in the real estate, tourism, and aviation sectors.
  • The city is positioning itself in the global markets and has one of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds, making it an attractive option for investors.
  • Abu Dhabi is currently working on a clear roadmap toward COP28 and is committed to becoming a leading clean energy powerhouse for the future. A total of $15bn will be invested towards achieving our net zero targets locally and globally.

Abu Dhabi has emerged as a leading city in the past few years, experiencing a "golden era" of transformation and economic diversification, according to H.E Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi. In an "Abu Dhabi on the Global Map" session at Investopia 2023, Al Zaabi discussed the city's rapid economic growth and its emergence as a destination of choice for living, investing, and thriving.

Al Zaabi credited AD's economic growth to a clear vision, agile policies, and regulations the city's leadership set. The city's focus on non-oil sectors and collaboration between the public and private sectors has led to more than half of its GDP coming from non-oil sectors, demonstrating the most robust growth in the region. Additionally, AD has experienced remarkable growth of 20% in the real estate sector, with booming tourism and high hotel occupancy rates.

The city's airports and airlines have also seen significant growth, with a 250% increase from the same period in 2021. Al Zaabi highlighted AD's robust industrial strategy, a $10bn program, as a critical economic growth and development driver. The city also secures multinational investments, with incentive programs driving investment growth.

AD is making strides in innovation and sustainability as well. The city's Smart Manufacturing Index provides knowledge for 4.0 tech and innovation-driven enterprises. Regarding energy transition and sustainability, Al Zaabi mentioned that the city is developing a clear mandate for the road to COP28 and is creating a clean energy powerhouse for the future. AD is investing $15bn towards net zero targets locally and globally.

The city also stretches its positioning in global markets, with a vast international appetite and a daily trading volume of 1.7m dirhams. Additionally, AD is home to the most prominent sovereign wealth funds, and ADGM has experienced one of its best growth periods. AD G42 has launched a $10bn dollars expansion fund to help the next generation of private enterprises.

Al Zaabi emphasized that companies choose AD due to its supportive local government, robust policies and regulations, and direct application of common law. The city offers the best schools, hospitals, and excellent visa programs, making it the happiest place in the region.

In conclusion, Al Zaabi stated that AD's journey of success has just begun and will continue to flourish in the region. He encouraged attendees to join AD and the falcon economy, stating that it is just the beginning and they will double down on their efforts. The session provided valuable insights into AD's economic growth and development, positioning the city as a destination for investors and entrepreneurs looking to thrive in a rapidly transforming global market.

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