UAE Economic Overview
UAE is the second largest economy in the Arab World after Saudi Arabia. UAE also has an excellent infrastructure and evolving healthcare and education system, which have elevated the status of the country among the best emerging country globally. Oil & gas, real estate, trade, manufacturing, business services and tourism sectors are core contributors to the UAE economy.
Since UAE formation in 1971, the country has gradually become a major economic powerhouse in the Middle East region. Located on the cross roads of East and West, UAE is the second populous Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) country after Saudi Arabia.
As the name suggests, UAE comprises of seven individual Emirates; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, all individual monarchy but bound by a federal state. Abu Dhabi is the capital city and is the biggest economy (thanks to its oil-rich resources) followed by Dubai, which is touted as the focal point of commerce, retail, trade and tourism in the MENA region.
Political & Economic Stability
UAE is a politically stable country in the Gulf region, has a strong economic outlook and one of the lowest crime rate in the world. Like other GCC countries UAE’s economy in the 1970s and 1980s were largely based on oil exports. Nevertheless the leadership in UAE where prudent to understand the inherent risk involved with a solely petroleum based economy and hence strong initiatives towards economic diversification was introduced in the 1990s that continues till date.
Dubai was the first Emirate to start the initiative, which was followed by other emirates as well. Presently, UAE has effectively diversified and transformed its economy into numerous key sectors such as trade and commerce, real estate and construction, tourism and hospitality, logistics and retail etc.
UAE’s strategic location and geographical proximity to other major emerging markets in Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Caucasus adds further to its attractiveness, as the country could be favorable partner for international ventures to tap into new markets.
Population & Diversity
With a population of over 9.4 million (UAE Population 2017), the country largely consists of expats, while locals comprises of 10-12% of the overall population. By 2020, UAE population is expected to reach 10.4 Million. UAE has a more liberal outlook compared to other Gulf countries and higher tolerance levels towards other cultures and beliefs, housing over 200 nationalities.
Ease of Doing Business in UAE
UAE tops the chart in ease of doing business among the Middle East and North Africa region. The country provides favorable business policies, which has attracted foreign investors and companies to establish their business in UAE. Events such as EXPO 2020 and future economic plans of Dubai and Abu Dhabi will act as a natural pull for foreign investors to make their presence in UAE
UAE – The Next Investment Destination
UAE is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and is highly competitive country offering business opportunities for foreign investors and companies. Furthermore, the country has a strong appetite to embrace new and niche concepts, products and services. Likewise, initiatives such as free zone establishments for complete ownership infrastructure development and the growing population has placed the country among the leading business hubs globally.
UAE Major & Upcoming Sectors
In more recent times, UAE is striving to develop and strengthen following sectors and industries:
- E-Commerce (Online Stores)
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Healthcare (Medical Tourism)
- Logistics (Free Zones, Airports)
- IT & Innovation (SMART Technologies)
- Small & Mid-Scale Manufacturing
- Business Services
- Sustainable Energy
- Startups & Incubation Centers
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