Abu Dhabi ranks among top states in human development
Abu Dhabi, October 9, 2012
Abu Dhabi is ranked among states with the highest standard of human development, according to the first human development report of the emirate, released today.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is ranked 29 globally, along with the Republic of Slovenia, according to the UNDP Human Development Index. The whole of UAE comes at 32 in the ranking. The UAE capital is ranked at 36 when the human development of the total population (including non-citizens) is taken into account, a statement said.
The report for 2011/12 was unveiled by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economy and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by high level governmental representatives and officials including Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; Maryam Al Roomi, Minister of social affairs; Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED), Paolo Lembo, UAE United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.
The report reflects the human development achieved during the past 40 years covering education, health and standard of living.
Paolo Lembo said: “At the core of Abu Dhabi cultural heritage is a moral commitment to value human life and respect individual freedoms, as best expressed by the ancient tales of early inhabitants of the area: a spirit that bears little record in academic texts but is firmly recorded in the memories of the ancient members of the community. It is this spirit that the first Abu Dhabi Human Development report wishes to celebrate and transmit to the new generation, to firmly anchor the vision of the future on the most noble values of their past.”
“We hope that the Human Development Report for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi would be part of a series of regular reports, intended to widen its spread and frequently partake in the government and media circles, universities, schools, research centers and NGOs discussions and decisions.” he said.
The education index showed that the average years of schooling for groups of citizens and non-citizens in the emirate was within the first 42 countries that have been classified with very high human development.
The education sector saw significant developments during the last 40 years - the number of schools increased to 489 public and private schools in 2010, up from a 146 schools in 1980. There were 305 schools in 2010 compared to 184 private schools.
Economic and social changes and the growth of population have led to an increase in the numbers of both employed and unemployed citizens. The number of working citizens rose from 12,000 in 1975 (96% of the national labour force), to about 93,000 (88% of the national labour force) in 2010. The number of unemployed increased from about 450 in 1975 (4% of the national labor force) to about 12,700 in 2010 (12% of the national labor force).
Overall, the rate of employed non-citizens forms about 98% of the labour force - up from about 110,000 in 1975 to more than one million in 2010.
The gross domestic product at current prices increased by about 24 times between 1975 and 2010 in Abu Dhabi – rising from Dh26 billion in 1975 to Dh620 billion in 2010, with an average annual growth rate of about 9 per cent. Excluding oil, non-oil GDP at current prices rose from around Dh6 billion in 1975 to more than Dh312 billion in 2010, where it doubled more than 55 times, or had an average annual growth rate of around 11.5 per cent.
However, the cost of living in the emirate increased by about four times during the period, which means that a family which required around Dh1,000 per month to buy goods and services in 1975, required about Dh4,000 per month in 2010 to consume the same goods and services.
The report pointed out that the annual average rate of growth in real GDP between 2008 and 2010 was negative (-1.6%), mainly due to the declining oil revenues in 2009. Although the oil revenues rose again in 2010, it did not reach the level that prevailed in 2007. Therefore, it is necessary to achieve economy real growth of 12.2 per cent on average between 2011 and 2015 in order to compensate for this growth slowdown, it said. The average growth target between 2010 and 2015 is 7 per cent. – TradeArabia News Service