Abu Dhabi’s GDP rises 7.7%, population reaches 2.3m

Updated 12 January 2014

Abu Dhabi’s GDP rises 7.7%, population reaches 2.3m

Abu Dhabi’s GDP at current prices rose by 7.7 percent to mark AED911.6 billion at the end of 2012, compared to AED846.7 billion in 2011, albeit relatively a better economic performance during 2011 as the GDP achieved a nominal growth rate of 32 percent, state news agency Wam reported.
The Economic Report of Abu Dhabi 2013 issued by the Studies Directorate of the Department of Economic Development has interpreted this relative growth through low growth rate achieved by the extractive industry activity in 2012, which amounted to about 6.2 percent, compared to 52.8 percent in 2011, due to the limited increases in quantities of oil production, and the limited rise in oil prices in global markets during 2012 compared to 2011.
Abu Dhabi’s oil exports registered a growth rate of 6.9 percent during 2012 compared to approximately 5.4 percent in 2011.
The report emphasized that the continuation of nonoil activities to achieving high rates of growth in recent years is substantiates the soundness and efficiency of the economic diversification policy followed by the government, especially in the last three years, which witnessed continuous improvement in the performance of this group of activities, after the sharp slowdown experienced in 2009.
The report said 2012 witnessed the continuation of the leading role of the group of nonoil activities in support of the overall economic performance, which achieved a combined positive growth rate of 9.6 percent at current prices in 2012.
In general, the report said contribution of extractive industries activities to Abu Dhabi’s GDP in 2012 dropped to 56.48 percent compared to 57.3 percent in 2011.
Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said: “Abu Dhabi’s economy continued to achieve distinct quantitative and qualitative developments in all areas.”
Mohammed Omar Abdullah, undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development, said the report shows that the real GDP of Abu Dhabi has achieved a growth rate of 5.6 percent in 2012, and that the nonoil activities witnessed a steady growth since 2007, which ranged between 5 percent and 9 percent until 2012. He added that this raised the contribution of nonoil economic activities to real GDP from less than 44 percent in 2007 to 48 percent in 2012.
Abu Dhabi’s population, meanwhile, increased from 2.2 million in 2011 to 2.3 million in 2012, registering a growth rate of 8 percent, which exceeded the growth rate of GDP at current and constant prices, which stood at 7.7 percent and 5.6 percent respectively during the same year. However, the average GDP per capita in Abu Dhabi still ranks among the highest in the world.
On the other hand, non-citizens captured 97.6% of the emirate’s total population in 2012, with the continuing imbalance between males and females in this category, where males dominated with 76.2 percent of the total population of non-citizens, while females accounted for about 23.8 percent, due to the high number of expatriates who work in the emirate; their families live in their countries of origin.
In view of the recovery and boom experienced by Abu Dhabi, many economic activities continued to attract and absorb more citizens and expatriates in labor force in the emirate.
The number of employed persons was projected to increase from 1.4 million people in 2011 to 1.6 million people in 2012, up by approximately 12 percent.
At the same time, the total size of the work force in the emirate went up from 1.4 million in 2011 to 1.6 million people in 2012, registering approximately a 13 percent increase, which raised the percentage of the labor force to 70 percent of the total population of the emirate in 2012 compared to 66.8 percent in 2011.
In the same vein, estimates indicate a slight increase in unemployment rate to reach 3.2 percent in 2012 compared to 2.8 percent in 2011.
The emirate’s economy maintained relative stability in the prices of most goods and services over the past few years, as the general consumer prices index rose from 121.6 points in 2011 to122.9 points in 2012.
The average annual inflation rate in the emirate dropped to 1.1 percent by 2012 compared to 1.9 percent in 2011 and 3.1 percent at the end of 2010.


Electric luxury vehicles, SUVs ‘more likely to cause accidents’

Updated 23 August 2019

Electric luxury vehicles, SUVs ‘more likely to cause accidents’

  • As EV sales rise, French insurer AXA warns that drivers are struggling to adapt to cars’ rapid acceleration

LONDON: Electric luxury cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) may be 40 percent more likely to cause accidents than their standard engine counterparts, possibly because drivers are still getting used to their quick acceleration, French insurer AXA said.

The numbers, based on initial trends from claims data and not statistically significant, also suggest small and micro electric cars are slightly less likely to cause accidents than their combustion engine counterparts, AXA said at a crash test demonstration on Thursday.

AXA regularly carries out crash tests for vehicles. This year’s tests, which took place at a disused airport, focused on electric cars.

Overall accident rates for electric vehicles are about the same as for regular cars, according to liability insurance claims data for “7,000 year risks” — on 1,000 autos on the road for seven years — said Bettina Zahnd, head of accident research and prevention at AXA Switzerland.

“We saw that in the micro and small-car classes slightly fewer accidents are caused by electric autos. If you look at the luxury and SUV classes, however, we see 40 percent more accidents with electric vehicles,” Zahnd said.

“We, of course, have thought about what causes this and acceleration is certainly a topic.”

Electric cars accelerate not only quickly, but also equally strongly no matter how high the revolutions per minute, which means drivers can find themselves going faster than they intended.

FASTFACT

Accident rates among luxury and SUV electric vehicles are 40 percent higher than for their combustion engine counterparts.

Half of electric car drivers in a survey this year by AXA had to adjust their driving to reflect the new acceleration and braking characteristics.

“Maximum acceleration is available immediately, while it takes a moment for internal combustion engines with even strong horsepower to reach maximum acceleration. That places new demands on drivers,” Zahnd said.

Sales of electric cars are on the rise as charging infrastructure improves and prices come down.

Electric vehicles accounted for less than 1 percent of cars on the road in Switzerland and Germany last year, but made up 1.8 percent of Swiss new car sales, or 6.6 percent including hybrids, AXA said.

Accidents with electric cars are just about as dangerous for people inside as with standard vehicles, AXA said. The cars are subject to the same tests and have the same passive safety features such as airbags and seatbelts.

But another AXA survey showed most people do not know how to react if they come across an electric vehicle crash scene.

While most factors are the same — securing the scene, alerting rescue teams and providing first aid — it said helpers should also try to ensure the electric motor is turned off. This is particularly important because unlike an internal combustion engine the motor makes no noise. In serious crashes, electric autos’ high-voltage power plants automatically shut down, AXA noted, but damaged batteries can catch fire up to 48 hours after a crash, making it more difficult to deal with the aftermath of
an accident.

For one head-on crash test on Thursday, AXA teams removed an electric car’s batteries to reduce the risk of them catching fire, which could create intense heat and toxic fumes.

Zahnd said that studies in Europe had not replicated US findings that silent electric vehicles are as much as two-thirds more likely to cause accidents with pedestrians or cyclists.

She said the jury was still out on how crash data would affect the cost of insuring electric versus standard vehicles, noting this always reflected factors around both driver and car.

“If I look around Switzerland, there are lots of insurers that even give discounts for electric autos because one would like to promote electric cars,” she said.