ABU DHABI, UAE, June 12, 2024 -- According to Abu Dhabi Census 2023 data, the population of Abu Dhabi has reached 3.8 million people, nearly doubling (an increase of 83 per cent) since 2011. This sustained upwards trajectory reflects the economic growth of the emirate. 

Abu Dhabi Census 2023 shows that the number of skilled workers has never been higher among the total workforce, signaling a shift towards a high-value, knowledge-based economy. The number of white-collar workers in Abu Dhabi has increased twice as fast as that of blue-collar workers (109 per cent compared to 65 per cent growth) since 2011. This is the result of a determined policy drive over the past decade to transition to a knowledge-based economy, leveraging the emirate's diverse talent pool.   

Data also indicates that the emirate has experienced significant changes in its economic landscape, with its non-oil GDP increasing by 59 per cent since 2011. This transformation has elevated non-oil GDP to a majority of the economy at 53 per cent in 2023, up from 46 per cent in 2011 when the last census took place.   

According to official data, Abu Dhabi has seen a 300 per cent increase in foreign investment since 2011. With a GDP of $310bn achieved in 2023, Abu Dhabi accounts for 60 per cent of the UAE's economy. The UAE ranks 16th in the world for ease of doing business, in part due to its Golden Visa scheme encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, introduced in 2019. Other factors driving growth include a world-leading investment environment, a surging technology sector, and the safety and stability of the country. The ADX stock exchange, whose market capitalisation reached $806bn in 2023, has skyrocketed 10-fold since 2011.   

In recent years, a number of leading hedge funds and global investment banks have set up offices in the UAE capital, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, among others. According to the Abu Dhabi Global Market, over 125 leading global firms, including hedge funds and asset managers, are expected to move to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the near future.   

In May 2024, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its AA/A-1+ sovereign credit ratings on Abu Dhabi, which reflects the expectation that the emirate's economy will remain strong over the next period. The latest Moody's and Fitch ratings have also affirmed a stable outlook for Abu Dhabi.   

His Excellency Ahmed Tamim Hisham Al Kuttab, Chairman of Department of Government Enablement – Abu Dhabi, and Chairman of the Higher Census Committee, said: "This census is the first to rely entirely on government registers rather than field surveys, representing an innovative new way to obtain up-to-date data on the population. This new methodology, made possible by exceptionally high levels of coordination and integration between the relevant government entities, will enable Abu Dhabi policy to be highly responsive to real-time data over the coming years.  

"It is an important step towards strengthening national efforts to improve the quality of services and support comprehensive development plans in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The census' output supports the decision-making process and will help monitor variables and trends that entities rely on in formulating economic and social programmes and policies. The private sector also relies on this accurate data to make investment decisions."   

The census figures show that the UAE capital has become a thriving metropolis and global hub for innovation and economic growth. Supported by ambitious plans to expand key sectors and underpinned by its status as the safest city in the world, with an unparalleled quality of life, Abu Dhabi is poised for continued growth and expected to exceed 6 million residents by 2040.   

About SCAD

Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) was established by Law No. (7) of 2008 to organise and develop statistical work in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Centre was reorganised by Law No. (5) of 2021, which placed SCAD under the Abu Dhabi Executive Office. In April 2023, in accordance with The Executive Council Decree No. (39) of 2023, SCAD's affiliation was transferred to the Department of Government Enablement – Abu Dhabi. 

For more information, please visit https://scad.gov.ae/ 

The Abu Dhabi Census portal can be accessed through this link: https://census.scad.gov.ae/home?lang=en 


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