GDP from construction rose by 3.3%, real estate by 8.1% in 2016 ABU DHABI, 14th May, 2017 (WAM) -- GDP from the construction sector rose in Abu Dhabi by 3.3 percent last year, while the real estate sector grew by 8.1 percent based upon current prices, according to data issued by the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

Production values from construction and real estate activities exceeded AED 266 billion last year, which was one-quarter of the production value of non-oil sectors in Abu Dhabi.

The real estate market in Abu Dhabi registered a significant growth last year thanks to the ongoing diversification of real estate, construction and infrastructure projects, as well as improvements in bank loans targeting the sector. Direct foreign investments have also surged, with the real estate sector law coming into effect and constituting an important legislative development.

Data from SCAD also indicated that the construction sector is the most important non-oil sector, in terms of economic activities in Abu Dhabi. The emirate is implementing an economic diversification policy based on reducing dependence on oil and achieving rapid positive developments in this field.

Construction in Abu Dhabi has increased over the last few years with the launch of numerous infrastructure, housing and entertainment projects, and the flow of large investments into advanced infrastructure in new islands, especially Yas, Reem and Saadiyat. Most of these islands have become attractive destinations for real estate investments of all kinds, whether housing, hotels or entertainment.

The areas are still receiving interest from real estate developers, both inside and outside Abu Dhabi. Several real estate development projects worth billions were announced in the last few weeks in Abu Dhabi. The announcements came before and during the Cityscape Forum 2017 in Abu Dhabi, which reflected the increase in real estate activities that the emirate is witnessing. This included housing, entertainment and commercial projects.

Furthermore, the real estate sector received AED 24 billion last year, out of AED 95 billion in FDI in Abu Dhabi, recording a slight increase from 2015. The real estate sector maintained its lead among attractive sectors for FDI.

This increase in FDI in the real estate sector was in line with expectations from the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Real Estate Law at the start of 2016. The legislation fostered a real estate investment environment with transparency and accountability, as its provisions clarify the basis of selling off plan projects and setting a clear mechanism for linking purchase payments to the developers progress in completing the project.

Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.