Economic Trends/Outlook in the U.A.E.
The GDP growth rate was very high during the last decade, as it tripled in 5 years, from 87 to 275 billion USD. The UAE have the fourth highest per capita GDP in the world.
The GDP is dominated by the economic power Abu Dhabi (60%), especially by its hydrocarbon production (this emirate hold 9% of the world oil reserves and 5% of the planet’s natural gas reserves) and by its control of nearly all the country’s savings. Dubai contributes to up to 26% of the GDP and constitutes the Emirates’ commercial platform, mostly due to its port and airport infrastructures. The government is trying to develop new sectors, such as tourism, financial services and real estate. In this perspective, the Emirate of Dubai has multiplied the creation of free zones and is becoming a platform for re-export in the region. There is also a number of great cultural projects (museums, especially an annex of the Louvre museum) and sport projects (Formule 1). Moreover, the country has decided to diversify its energy sources by building a fleet of nuclear power plants by 2017 and massively investing in renewable energies, with 22 billion USD for the “Masdar” project.
UAE was nevertheless hit hard by the global economic crisis, which has caused a felt slowdown of the country’s growth. Different factors are at cause: falling oil prices, a contraction of private sector activity, the bursting of the housing bubble in Dubai because of overinvestment, the scarcity of supply of bank credit. Moreover, Dubai was the hardest hit, due to its position of a highly globalized platform and very high borrowing rates. However, the authorities have reacted. The banking sector was consolidated through state guarantees on deposits, introduction of liquidity, recapitalization of banks, and an expansionary fiscal policy (to preserve investments and enhance competitiveness).
|GDP (billions USD)||270.33||301.88e||363.82e||384.20e||402.61e|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-3.2||3.2e||3.3e||3.8e||4.0e|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||55,081e||59,717e||69,872e||71,638e||72,884e|
|General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)||22.5||21.0e||16.4e||14.5e||13.7e|
|Inflation Rate (%)||1.6||0.9e||4.5e||3.0e||2.5e|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-3.1e||7.8e||7.7e||10.5e||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
Agriculture contributes to less than 3% of the GDP. Raw material exploration accounts for nearly 36% of the GDP. United Arab Emirates is the 3rd largest oil producer in the world, with large reserves. Presently, their oil and gas reserves are estimated for 100 years of exploitation.
Manufacturing activities have witneesed an unprecedented growth in the last five years, particularly in sectors such as metal processing, furniture, industrial preparation of food stuffs, aluminum production, cement and construction materials, fertilisers, petrochemical industry, fiberglass and finally real estate.
As for tertiary sector, it contributes around 40% of the GDP and is dominated by international trade, air transport, tourism and financial activities.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||4.9||39.8||54.4|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||1.8||60.6||37.6|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||5.0||10.3||7.6|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- Moderately free
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Sources of General Economic Information
Website of the Ministry of Economy
Website of the Ministry of Finance
- Statistical Office
Office of Statistics-Dubai Municipality
- Central Bank
Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates
- Stock Exchange
Dubai International Financial Exchange
Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange
- Other Useful Resources
Ministry of Communication.
- Main Online Newspapers
Al Khaleej Times
- Economic Portals
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With the oil and gas sector accounting for over 31% of the country’s GDP, higher oil and gas prices as well as the increasing oil production capacity will continue to support the UAE’s economic growth
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on 1 Jul 2012 related to Economic Trends/Outlook in the United Arab Emirates
Driven by increasing local consumer confidence and fast-growing demand from neighbouring emerging markets, the UAE’s demand for imported products is assuredly strong.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on 12 Sep 2011 related to Economic Trends/Outlook in the United Arab Emirates
2012 Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies for doing business in the United Arab Emirates.
U.S. Commercial Service United Arab Emirates on 23 Sep 2012 related to Economic Trends/Outlook in the United Arab Emirates
U.S.Department of Commerce, the United Arab Emirates
Government Trade Promotion, Hong Kong SAR