The UAE accounted for nearly 17 per cent of the combined Arab GDP in 2010 and controlled around a third of the total economy of Gulf hydrocarbon producers, according to official data.
The Abu Dhabi chamber of commerce and industry gave no figures for 2011 but the UAE is expected to have maintained that share following a surge of at least 20 per cent in its GDP in current prices.
The chamber, citing government statistics, estimated the combined Arab GDP at around $1,750 billion in current prices in 2010.
Its figures showed the collective GDP of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stood at about $980 billion, nearly 56 per cent of the Arab economy.
“The UAE alone accounted for around 17 per cent of the total Arab GDP and nearly 29 per cent of the GCC’s GDP,” the chamber said in a report.
It did not mention the UAE’s GDP but government data showed it stood at around Dh1,093 billion in current prices in 2010, an increase of 10.1 per cent over the 2009 GDP of about Dh992.8 billion.
Strong oil prices allied with higher crude output and steady growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector have catapulted the UAE to the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, allowing it to overtake Egypt five years ago.
Regional data showed the country’s nominal GDP will climb to its highest level of around $385 billion in 2012 to maintain its second rank in the Arab GDP.
The figures by the Saudi-based Federation of GCC chambers of commerce and industry (FGCCI) showed Saudi Arabia’s GDP will reach $622 billion while it was estimated at $197 billion in Qatar, which overtook Kuwait two years ago because of a surge in its LNG exports from its offshore North Field, the world’s largest single reservoir of non-associated gas.
The report put the nominal GDP at $181 billion in Kuwait, $77 billion in Oman and around $26 billion in Bahrain.