DIFC grows to account for 3.6% of Dubai’s GDP

DUBAI – Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) continues its contribution to Dubai’s GDP that accounted for 3.6 per cent in 2010 and one per cent in the country’s economy last year.

The tax-free park on Monday issued its fourth annual Economic Activity Survey Report, updating the market on the growth, sectorial contribution and level of economic performance of the DIFC sub-economy during 2010 and its contribution to Dubai’s GDP.

The survey, places the total GDP of the centre’s sub-economy at $2.92 billion, up 5.2 per cent from $2.77 billion in 2009. This puts DIFC’s contribution to the whole Dubai GDP ($81.96 billion) at approximately 3.6 per cent and its contribution to the UAE economy at 0.97 per cent.

“With the growing role and confidence in Dubai as a safe haven, the Emirate has confirmed its position as the financial, logistic, tourism and business hub of the Middle East, with DIFC as the central component of the banking financial sector,” DIFC Authority Chief Executive Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar said.

The economic survey, undertaken by the DIFC Economics department, is based on international best practices in national accounting, and measures output, intermediate consumption and ultimately the gross value added produced within the DIFC district by entities registered in the Centre. DIFC had 477 respondents for the survey which represents nearly 62 per cent of its client base.

Dr Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist and Head of External Relations, DIFC Authority, said: “The year 2010, coming out of the Great Recession of 2009, was a better-performing year globally and regionally, which was reflected in the performance of the DIFC sub-economy. With more companies joining DIFC, particularly from the emerging economies which made up around 45 per cent of our client base in 2010, it is no surprise that DIFC’s GDP reached $2.92 billion in 2010.”

The breakdown of DIFC’s GDP by sector shows that the financial activities accounted for 72 per cent of the total, while business services accounted for 26.5 per cent, with the rest attributed to public administration. This sectorial share was similar to what DIFC saw in 2009.

This year’s data also included the results of a detailed labour force survey, to track not only employment growth in DIFC but also the quality, distribution and average pay for the diverse workforce. In 2010, DIFC had about 11,331 full time employees, of which men represented 65.5 per cent (7,427), with an international, diverse and highly skilled workforce of whom 86 per cent where university graduates and post-graduates. The percentage of UAE nationals working in the DIFC was 2.2 per cent.

The third survey of Economic Activity at the DIFC for the year 2009, conducted by the DIFC Economics Unit, had placed the total value added of the DIFC sub-economy at $2.77 billion or approximately 1.1 per cent of the UAE GDP (Dh914 billion) and approximately 3.8 per cent of Dubai’s estimated 2009 GDP.

 abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com