Economy of United Arab Emirates

Economy - overview:The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Despite largely successful efforts at economic diversification, about 30% of GDP is still directly based on oil and gas output, and the fortunes of the economy fluctuate with the prices of those commodities. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE 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 its utilities to greater private sector involvement. In April 2004, the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with Washington and in November 2004 agreed to undertake negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US. Higher oil revenue, strong liquidity, and cheap credit in 2005-06 led to a surge in asset prices (shares and real estate) and consumer inflation. Rising prices are increasing the operating costs for businesses in the UAE and degrading the UAE's allure to foreign investors. Dependence on a large expatriate workforce and oil are significant long-term challenges to the UAE's economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$129.5 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$164 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:8.9% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):$49,700 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 2.3%
industry: 61.9%
services: 35.8% (2006 est.)
Labor force:2.968 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 7%
industry: 15%
services: 78% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:2.4% (2001)
Population below poverty line:NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):10% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):24.3% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:revenues: $60.3 billion
expenditures: $35.2 billion; including capital expenditures of $5.9 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt:9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish
Industries:petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, textiles
Industrial production growth rate:4% (2000)
Electricity - production:49.52 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:46.05 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:2.54 million bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption:400,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:2.54 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports:137,200 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:97.8 billion bbl (1 January 2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:46.29 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:40.31 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:7.18 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:1.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:6.006 trillion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:$26.89 billion (2006 est.)
Exports:$137.1 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:crude oil 45%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates
Exports - partners:Japan 25.9%, South Korea 10.3%, Thailand 5.9%, India 4.5% (2006)
Imports:$88.89 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
Imports - partners:US 11.4%, China 11%, India 9.8%, Germany 6.2%, Japan 5.8%, UK 5.5%, France 4.1%, Italy 4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$25.51 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:$39.1 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - donor:since its founding in 1971, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has given about $5.2 billion in aid to 56 countries (2004)
Currency (code):Emirati dirham (AED)
Currency code:AED
Exchange rates:Emirati dirhams per US dollar - 3.673 (2006), 3.6725 (2005), 3.6725 (2004), 3.6725 (2003), 3.6725 (2002)
note: officially pegged to the US dollar since February 2002
Fiscal year:calendar year

United Arab Emirates Quickstats

  • Population: 4,444,011
  • Area: 83,600 sq km
  • Density: 64 /km² (143rd)
  • GDP (total): $129.3 billion (55th)
  • GDP (per capita): $29,142 (24th)
  • Literacy: 77.9%

Languages of United Arab Emirates

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  • Currency: UAE dirham (AED)
  • Dial code: +971

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