1.1 Key Economic Indicators of UAE

Country NameUnited Arab Emirates (UAE)
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Population5,628,805 (July 2014 est.)
Ethnic GroupsEmirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8%
CapitalAbu Dhabi
GDP$399.4 billion (2014 est.)
GDP Growth4.6 % (2014 est.)
GDP Per Capita (PPP)$66,300 (2014 est.)
GDP – Sectorial CompositionAgriculture: 0.7%
Industry: 55.1%
Services: 44.3% (2014 est.)
Main AgricultureDates, Vegetables, Watermelons; Poultry, Eggs, Dairy Products, Fish
Main IndustriesPetroleum and petrochemicals, Fishing, Aluminum, Cement, Fertilizers, Commercial ship repair, Construction materials, Some boat building, Handicrafts, Textiles

1.2 Economic Overview

  • The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus.
  • Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the country has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living.
  • The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement.
  • In April 2004, the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Washington and in November 2004 agreed to undertake negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement with the US; however, those talks have not moved forward.
  • The country’s Free Trade Zones – offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes – are helping to attract foreign investors.

1.3 External Sector

Exports$370.6 billion (2014 est.)Imports$239.8 billion (2014 est.)
Export goodsCrude Oil 45%, Natural Gas, Re Exports, Dried Fish, DatesImport goodsMachinery and Transport Equipment, Chemicals, Food
Main export partnersJapan 14.8%, Iran 11.4%, India 9.6%, South Korea 5.7%, China 5.5%, Singapore 5.4%, Thailand 4.5% (2014)Main import partnersChina 15.7%, India 13.4%, US 8.9%, Germany 5.3% (2014)
Source: CIA World factbook