October 2018

Gulf Industry Magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.


Abu Dhabi non-oil foreign trade hits $21.8bn

ABU DHABI’S non-oil foreign trade during the first half (H1) of the year amounted to Dh80.1 billion ($21.8 billion), with the month of June recording a growth of 30 per cent, a media report said.

The emirate’s non-oil exports stood at around Dh11.08 billion during H1, up 10.5 per cent from Dh10.9 billion in the corresponding period of 2017, with re-exports significantly increasing by 10.5 per cent from Dh11.12 billion to Dh12.3 billion during the same monitored period, reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing figures recently released by the Statistics Centre- Abu Dhabi. In the meantime, imports dropped to Dh56.7 billion in June against Dh58.4 billion on the same month last year, corroborating a rationalised consumption trend across the emirate. The statistics cover the emirate’s non-oil trade conducted through its land, sea and air ports, and do not include all the emirate’s trade with the outer world, nor do they include Abu Dhabi›s trade with the country’s other emirates.


Saudi AC market set for 3.1pc growth by 2024

SAUDI Arabia’s air-conditioner market is poised for solid growth over the next six years registering a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3.1 per cent during the 2018-24 period, said a report by 6Wresearch.

  The kingdom is one of the biggest and most promising markets for air-conditioners in the GCC region, predominantly due to its geography, climate, high per capita income as well as rapid growth in population, stated the research company in its “Saudi Arabia Air Conditioner Market (2018-2024)” report.

  The country had experienced a decline in the air conditioner market primarily due to slump in oil prices over the past few years. Saudi Arabia has been an oil-based economy for over two decades. However, the country’s drive to reduce dependence on oil sector is a major step towards transforming the economy. Moreover, the GDP of Saudi Arabia declined by 0.7 per cent last year but is expected to grow by 1.7 per cent in 2018, majorly due to government reforms like Saudi Vision 2030, it stated.


Dubai non-oil private sector growth ticks up

DUBAI’S non-oil private sector witnessed a flat growth last month compared with July, with both the travel & tourism and construction sectors recording softer growth, said Emirates NBD in its latest Dubai Economy Tracker.

While the wholesale and retail trade index was fractionally higher, overall inflows of new business increased at the slowest pace since April, the report said.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index – a composite indicator designed to give an accurate overview of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy – was at 55.2 in August, up from 54.9 in July. The figure remained above the neutral 50.0 mark, thereby indicating an improvement in business conditions. The headline index was in line with historical average. At the sector level, wholesale & retail was the strongest performer at 56.5 in August, followed by construction (55.3) and travel & tourism (52.9).


UAE-Saudi non-oil trade surges to $196bn

THE total non-oil intra-trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia amounted to Dh720 billion ($196 billion) since the establishment of the GCC Customs Union in 2003 until the end of the first half (H1) of 2018, marking a growth of 1,230 per cent, a media report said.

UAE imports from the Kingdom reached Dh244.2 billion ($67 billion) during the monitored period and exports to Dh144.8 billion ($39.7), reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing statistics of the UAE Federal Customs Authority (FCA).

UAE re-exports totalled Dh330.9 billion ($90.6 billion) during the same period.

“Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner of the UAE which in the same time constitutes a major trade gateway for the Kingdom, a country that continues to be among the key partners of the UAE across the Arab world and Middle East region,” said Ali bin Sobeih Al Kaabi, chairman of the FCA.

“Bilateral relations have been so buoyant and steadily growing over the years, leveraged by the robust historical relations binding that two sisterly countries, whose partnerships across various domains have fructified into tremendous achievements in areas of sustainable development, economic growth and economic diversification,” he added.


Saudi non-oil exports rise 26.7pc in June

SAUDI ARABIA’S non-oil exports rose for the 9th month in a row, up by 26.7 per cent year-on-year in June 2018 (+14.3 per cent y-o-y in May 2018), whereas the non-oil imports dropped 3.2 per cent y-o-y in June (-6.4 per cent y-o-y in May 2018), said a report.

Meanwhile, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) climbed 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2018, supported by the rise in ‘Manufacturing Industry’ sector (constituting ~23 per cent of the total index). However, the remaining sectors ‘Mining and Quarrying’ and ‘Electricity Supply’ witnessed a drop, said the Al-Rajhi Capital research report, quoting from a Saudi Monetary Agency (Sama) report.

 Saudi Arabia’s oil revenue is expected to reach SR605 billion ($161.36 billion) against budgeted SR492 billion this year as the kingdom witnesses a continuous improvement in the economy, the Al-Rajhi Capital report said. With budgeted non-oil revenue of SR291 billion, the fiscal deficit is expected to be SR82 billion for 2018 (~58 per cent lower than government budget deficit estimate of SR194.7 billion), it said.UAE-Ghana trade exchange hits $1.2bn

THE trade exchange between the UAE and Ghana amounted to over $1.2 billion by the end of 2017, a media report said, quoting a senior Ministry of Economy official.

“Afro-UAE relations are significantly evolving and we are attaching growing importance to strengthening business ties with the Republic of Ghana,” Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs was quoted as saying in a Wam report.

Al Saleh was delivering his inaugural speech of the UAE - Ghana Investment and Business Forum in Accra in the presence of a number of government officials and businessmen from the two countries.

Describing the national economy of Ghana as one of the fastest growing in West Africa, Al Saleh pointed to the presence of several Emirati companies investing in the infrastructure, telecommunications, and tourism domains in Ghana in a way that is constructively contributing to the African country’s economy and goes in line with the government of Ghana’s plans to draw FDIs and cultivate robust partnerships with the private sector.

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