Economy of the United Arab Emirates
|Economy of United Arab Emirates|
|Currency||United Arab Emirates dirham|
|Trade organisations||OPEC and WTO|
|GDP||$377 billion (2012)|
|GDP growth||4% (2012 est.)|
|GDP per capita||$48,158 (2012) (7th)|
|GDP by sector||Agriculture (0.8%), industry (56.1%), services (43.1%) (2012 est.)|
|Inflation (CPI)||1.4% (2012 est.)|
below poverty line
|19.5% (2003 est.)|
|Labour force||4.34 million (2010 est.)|
|Agriculture (7%), industry (15%), services (78%) (2000 est.)|
|Main industries||Petroleum and petrochemicals, fishing, aluminium, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, some plane building, handicrafts, textiles.|
|Ease of doing business rank||26th|
|Export goods||Crude oil, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates|
|Main export partners|| Japan 15.4%
South Korea 5.3% (2012 est.)
|Import goods||Machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food|
|Main import partners|| India 17.0%
United States 10.5%
Japan 4.2% (2012 est.)
|Gross external debt||$151.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)|
|Public debt||40.4% of GDP (2012 est.)|
|Expenses||$99 billion (2012 est.)|
The economy of the United Arab Emirates is the second largest in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $377 billion (AED1.38 trillion) in 2012. The United Arab Emirates has been successfully diversifying the economy. 71% of UAE's total GDP comes from non-oil sectors. Oil accounts for only 2% of Dubai's GDP.
The economy was expected to grow between 4-4.5% in 2013, compared to 2.3-3.5% over the past five years. Since independence in 1971, United Arab Emirates's (UAE) economy has grown by nearly 231 times to AED1.45 trillion in 2013. The non-oil trade has grown to AED1.2 trillion, a growth by around 28 times from 1981 to 2012.
Tourism is one of the main sources of revenue in the UAE. Although the UAE is less dependent on natural resources as a source of revenue, petroleum and natural gas exports still play an important role in the economy, especially in Abu Dhabi. A massive construction boom, an expanding manufacturing base, and a thriving services sector are helping the UAE diversify its economy. Nationwide, there is currently $350 billion worth of active construction projects.
UAE has the second largest economy in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $377 billion (AED1.38 trillion) in 2012. A third of the GDP is from oil revenues. The economy was expected to grow between 4-4.5% in 2013, compared to 2.3-3.5% over the past five years. Since the independence in 1971, UAE's economy has grown by nearly 231 times to AED1.45 trillion in 2013. The non-oil trade has grown to AED1.2 trillion, a growth by around 28 times from 1981 to 2012.
With imports totaling $273.5 billion in 2012, UAE passed Saudi Arabia as the largest consumer market in the region. Exports totaled $314 billion, which makes UAE the second largest exporter in the region.
Recently, the Emirate of Dubai has started to look for other sources of revenue. High-class tourism and international finance are the new sectors starting to be developed. In line with this initiative, the Dubai International Financial Centre was announced, offering 55.5% foreign ownership, no withholding tax, freehold land and office space and a tailor-made financial regulatory system with laws taken from best practice in other leading financial centres like New York, London, Zürich and Singapore. A new stock market for regional companies and other initiatives were announced in DIFC. Dubai has also developed Internet and Media free zones, offering 100% foreign ownership, no tax office space for the worlds leading ICT and media companies, with the latest communications infrastructure to service them. Many of the world's leading companies have now set up branch offices, and even changed headquarters to, there. Recent liberalisation in the property market allowing non citizens to buy freehold land has resulted in a major boom in the construction and real estate sectors, with several signature developments such as the 2 Palm Islands, the World (archipelago), Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and a number of other developments, offering villas and high rise apartments and office space.
Mean wages were $45.61 per manhour in 2009.
While the program has been in place for more than a decade and results can be seen in the public sector, the private sector is still lagging behind with citizens only representing 0.34% of the private sector workforce.
While there is general agreement over the importance of Emiratisation for social, economic and political reasons, there is also some contention as to the impact of localization on organizational efficiency. It is yet unknown whether, and the extent to which, employment of nationals generates returns for MNEs operating in the Middle East. Recent research cautions that localization is not always advantageous for firms operating in the region, and its effectiveness depends on a number of contingent factors.
In December 2009 however, a positive impact of UAE citizens in the workplace was identified in a newspaper article citing a yet unpublished study, this advantage being the use of networks within the evolving power structures.
Overall, however, uptake in the private sector remains low regardless of significant investments in education, which have reached record levels with education now accounting for 22.5% – or $ 2.6 billion – of the overall budget planned for 2010. Multiple governmental initiatives are actively promoting Emiratisation by training anyone from highschool dropouts to graduates in a multitude of skills needed for the - essentially Western - work environment of the UAE, these initiatives include Tawteen UAE, ENDP or the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council.
Beyond directly sponsoring educational initiatives, the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy is funding major research initiatives into Emiratisation through competitive research grants, allowing universities such as United Arab Emirates University or Dubai School of Government to build and disseminate expertise on the topic.
Academics working on various aspects of Emiratisation include Paul Dyer and Natasha Ridge from Dubai School of Government, Ingo Forstenlechner from United Arab Emirates University, Kasim Randaree from the British University of Dubai and Paul Knoglinger from the FHWien.
The UAE rulers are striving to make their country's economy free from dependence on oil exports by 2030.
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