The financial sector makes up 14.3 percent of the non-oil gross domestic product (GDP) of Abu Dhabi, a senior UAE official said on Wednesday.

Speaking at Fintech Abu Dhabi forum, Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Acting Undersecretary - Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) said that the government’s financial reforms boosted the sector’s growth.

“Banks operating in the UAE, for instance, recorded an eight percent increase in customer deposits in 2018, leading to improved cash level within the sector,” he said.

“The domestic credit in 2018 scored a 3.9 per cent growth. The offered credit to the government and the private sector during the period stood at 9.4 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively. Also, the average fixed capital formation of both the financial and insurance segments witnessed an 8 per cent increase last year,” he added.

In 2018, the financial services sector was the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) among the non-oil sectors in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, according to Al Balooshi, and the combined FDI inflows to the sector increased by 3 percent.

The UAE capital is positioning itself as a key Middle East hub for financial technology firms through its international financial centre, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) that has drawn global players in the industry. Read more here.

The emirate has also launched key incentives to draw innovative fintech start-ups that would re-shape the financial services industry.

(Writing by Nada Al Rifai, edited by Seban Scaria)

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