Imports and exports
Government and Legal System
The UAE is the 36th largest economy in the world and No.2 in the GCC. The UAE ranks 40th out of 183 countries for the overall ‘Ease of Doing Business’. The existence of free trade zones with 100% ownership, zero taxes, excellent infrastructure, a relatively stable outlook on country risks, and very a convenient geographical location almost midway between east and west are attractive aspects for foreign investments. Some 80% of Fortune 500 companies (including all of the top 10) have established a presence in UAE according to The Economist, and the UAE’s 25 plus free zones are now host to numerous multinational and regional companies – including over 6,400 companies from over 120 different countries located in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven different emirates which together comprise the third largest economy in the Middle East behind Saudi Arabia and Iran. Its per capita GDP is second only to Qatar. The UAE is an important producer of natural gas and oil, ranking seventh globally in total proven reserves of both. Abu Dhabi possesses the majority of oil and natural gas reserves followed by Dubai, with small amounts in Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah. The country is also a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Despite having the most diversified economy in the Middle East, the UAE remains largely dependent upon the hydrocarbons sector for economic growth. The government’s hydrocarbon policy will continue to focus on oil, however natural gas projects are gaining significance and investment. Rising domestic demand for subsidized energy and electricity has caused the UAE to become a net importer of natural gas and strained volumes of liquids available for export.The UAE government is pursuing economic diversification through investment in infrastructure in transport, trade and tourism. Abu Dhabi has made a concerted effort to increase its industrialization through projects such as the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), which will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of companies. This infrastructure project will be one of the largest integrated industrial zones in the world and will further serve the aims of economic diversification held by the government. Dubai has burgeoning financial, real estate, and tourism sectors. Although the economic crisis necessitated Abu Dhabi to bail out the most prominent of Dubai's state-run firms, Dubai World, these financial difficulties have not precipitated a flight of foreign capital. The UAE has returned to positive and increasing growth once again, with a real GDP growth forecast of 3.1 percent for 2011. Consumption of total primary energy reached 3.257 quadrillion BTUs in 2008. Of that total, approximately 70 percent came from natural gas for electricity generation, consuming 2.198 quadrillion BTUs, while 1.06 quadrillion BTUs of petroleum products were consumed.
1. Historical Background
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was formed from the group of tribally organized Arabian Peninsula sheikhdoms along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf and the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Oman. This area was converted to Islam in the seventh century and centuries afterward was embroiled in dynastic disputes. Most UAE nationals are descended from two tribal groupings, * The Qawasim
* The Bani Yas,
The Qawasim, mainly land and sea traders, dominated what are today the emirates of Ras al Khaymah and Sharjah. The Bani Yas, who were agricultural and pastoral, lived in what are today the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, the area became known as the...
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