United Arab Emirates Economy

Is United Arab Emirates a rich country?

The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Successful efforts at economic diversification have reduced the portion of GDP from the oil and gas sector to 30%.

Since the discovery of oil in the UAE nearly 60 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. The country's free trade zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors.

The global financial crisis of 2008-09, tight international credit, and deflated asset prices constricted the economy in 2009. UAE authorities tried to blunt the crisis by increasing spending and boosting liquidity in the banking sector. The crisis hit Dubai hardest, as it was heavily exposed to depressed real estate prices. Dubai lacked sufficient cash to meet its debt obligations, prompting global concern about its solvency and ultimately a $20 billion bailout from the UAE Central Bank and Abu Dhabi Government that was refinanced in March 2014.

The UAE’s dependence on oil is a significant long-term challenge, although the UAE is one of the most diversified countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Low oil prices have prompted the UAE to cut expenditures, including on some social programs, but the UAE has sufficient assets in its sovereign investment funds to cover its deficits. The government reduced fuel subsidies in August 2015, and introduced excise taxes (50% on sweetened carbonated beverages and 100% on energy drinks and tobacco) in October 2017. A five-percent value-added tax was introduced in January 2018. The UAE's strategic plan for the next few years focuses on economic diversification, promoting the UAE as a global trade and tourism hub, developing industry, and creating more job opportunities for nationals through improved education and increased private sector employment.

United Arab Emirates Economy Data

What is the GDP of United Arab Emirates?

Currency Name and Code UAE Dirham (AED)
GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $617,100,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $339,100,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 3%
GDP Per Capita $67,000.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 0.7%
GDP by Sector- Industry 49.4%
GDP by Sector- services 49.8%
GDP - composition, by end use household consumption: 55.4%

government consumption: 8.7%

investment in fixed capital: 27.4%

investment in inventories: 0.8%

exports of goods and services: 94.5%

imports of goods and services: -86.8%
Population Below Poverty Line 19.5%
Inflation Rate 2.2%
Labor Force 3,908,000
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 7%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 15%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 78%
Unemployment Rate 2.4%
Fiscal Year calendar year
Annual Budget $34,930,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP 5%
Public Debt (% of GDP) 17.5%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 35.4%
Major Industries petroleum, fishing, petrochemicals, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, pearling
Industrial Growth Rate 3.2%
Agriculture Products dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish
Exchange Rate per US Dollar Emirati dirham (AED)

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by United Arab Emirates

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