DIFC Grows to Account for 3.6% of Dubai’s GDP in 2010



  • GDP of the DIFC sub-economy grew by 5.2% in 2010 to reach USD 2.92 billion accounting for about 3.6% of Dubai’s GDP
  • The DIFC accounted for about 1% of the UAE’s estimated 2010 GDP
  • The financial sector accounted for 72% of the total value added, with 26.5% contributed by business services, and 1.5% by public administration
  • DIFC working population is estimated at 11,331 full time employees

DIFC, the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with the developed markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, today 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. This year’s report also included a detailed labour force survey, to track employment growth and characteristics in DIFC.

The 2010 instalment of DIFC’s Economic Activity Survey, places the total GDP of the Centre’s sub-economy at USD 2.92 billion, up 5.2% from USD 2.77 billion in 2009. This puts DIFC’s contribution to the whole Dubai GDP (USD 81.96 billion) at approximately 3.6% and its contribution to the UAE economy at 0.97%.

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% of its client base.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIFC Authority, commented: “Today’s report highlights the significant role DIFC plays within Dubai and the UAE which we are very proud of. However, DIFC is not just a cornerstone of the Dubai and UAE economies, but it is also conduit for attracting investment and supporting the growth of economies across the entire region. 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.

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% of our client base in 2010, it is no surprise that DIFC’s GDP reached USD 2.92 billion in 2010.”

The breakdown of DIFC’s GDP by sector shows that the financial activities accounted for 72.0% of the total, while business services accounted for 26.5%, 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% (7,427), with an international, diverse and highly skilled workforce of whom 86% where university graduates and post-graduates. The percentage of UAE nationals working in the DIFC was 2.2%.

The statistical data was compiled using DIFC’s secure, web-based online portal DIFCSTAT, which manages all official and administrative communications between DIFCA and licensed companies.

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DIFC Economic Activity Survey 2010 - Arabic

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DIFC Economic Activity Survey 2010 - English

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