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United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

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United Arab Emirates

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EconomicPoliticalStructural

United Arab Emirates – Quick View
ECR score69.7 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank33 (Mar 2011)
Economic
GDP (2010)USD 239.56 billion
GNI per capita, PPP (2010)USD 58,006
FDI inflowUSD 4,003 million
Inflation 20101.73%
Central bank assetsUSD 437.05 billion
Unemployment rate 20094.2%
Government fiscal balanceUSD 0.95 billion
Tax revenueUSD 79.64 billion
Political
Government typeConstitutional Federation
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom score47th
Freedom of information score87th
Corruption perception index28th
Structural
Birth rate14 per ‘000
Population balanceUnder 14 – 19%
Population balanceOver 60 – 2%
Life expectancy yearsMales – 77 years
Life expectancy yearsFemales – 79 years
Mortality rate2 per ‘000
Literacy rate94.7%
Internet access75.9%

[Top] Economic Overview

United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) economy is primarily dependent on oil export. However, in recent years the country has also diversified its economy into various other sectors including tourism and construction.

UAE’s economy grew at a rapid pace of 23.2% till 2008. Howeveer, During the recent global economic recession UAE’s economy Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by 11.99% in 2009, however it then grew by 7.05% in the year 2010.

 

United Arab Emirates GDP and GDP Growth Rate

(Source: UAE Statistics, IMF)

According to IMF estimates, the country’s GDP at current prices is estimated to be AED 880.11 billion, as compared to AED 822.18 billion in 2009.

Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita

The nation’s GDP per capita at current prices in 2010 was estimated at AED 174,100.96, as compared to AED 167,519.41 in 2009.

 

United Arab Emirates GDP per capita

(Source: IMF)

Gross national income (GNI) per capita

UAE’s GNI per capita at PPP in 2010 amounted to USD 58,006, as compared to USD 52,978 in 2005.  

United Arab Emirates GNI per capita, PPP

(Source: UNDP)

Trade balance

 

United Arab Emirates Non Oil Exports

In 2009, the country’s non-oil exports amounted to AED 65.27 billion, while re-exports amounted to AED 147.7 billion. Alternatively, imports by the country were valued at AED 447.4 billion.

(Source: UAE Statistics)

Income tax

The country does not levy income tax or federal corporate tax. However, corporate tax is levied on certain sectors in the country. For instance, corporate tax for foreign banks is 20%, and for oil campanies it is 50% in Dubai and 55% in Abu Dhabi.

 

(Source: heritage.org)

 

Inflation rate

United Arab Emirates has been experiencing high inflation rates since 2001. However, the inflation rates relaxed in 2009.

United Arab Emirates Inflation Rate

 (Source: Trading Economics, UAE Statistics)

FDI inflow

In 2009, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow was USD 4,003 million, whereas in 2008, it was higher at USD 13,700 million.

 

United Arab Emirates Foreign Direct Investment

(Source: UNCTAD)

Banking sector assets

The table below displays the assets of the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates:

Currency Unit: UAE Dirham (AED)

Assets of the Central Bank (AED billion)

End of period

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

Cash & Bank Balances

6.87

4.54

1.90

0.33

0.43

Deposits

44.51

85.64

82.87

184.04

57.32

Held-To-

Maturity

Investments

175.14

106.76

84.58

98.86

43.30

Loans &

Advances

1.42

6.73

23.79

-

0.63

Other Assets

1

0.28

0.60

2.72

1.56

Total Assets

228.94

203.94

193.75

285.95

103.23

(Source: Central Bank of United Arab Emirates)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer price index (CPI)

United Arab Emirates Consumer Price Index

Base, 2007 = 100

(Source: UAE Statistics)

The Consumer Price Index at the end of December 2010 was recorded at 116.38, as compared to 114.41 at the end of December 2009.

Interest rates on saving deposits / time deposits

In January 2009, the central bank reduced interest rates to 1%.

(Source: cbrates.com)

Money supply (currency in circulation)

Total money in circulation at the end of December 2010 amounted to AED 985.2 billion, as compared to AED 947.8 billion at the end of December 2009.

 

Monetary Survey (AED billion)

End of Period

December 2010

December 2009

M0

47.8

45.6

- Currency in Circulation

38.5

37.2

- Monetary Deposits

194.4

186.3

Money Supply (M1)

232.9

223.5

- Quasi Monetary Deposits

553.5

517.1

Broad Money (M2)

786.4

740.6

- Government Deposits

198.8

207.2

Broader Money Supply (M3)

985.2

947.8

(Source: Central Bank of United Arab Emirates)

M0 = Currency in Circulation + Currency at Banks

M1 = Currency in Circulation + Monetary Deposits

M2 = M1 + Quasi Monetary Deposits

M3 = M2 + Government Deposits

Government expenditure

Government expenditure in 2010 is projected to be AED 271 billion.

Expenditure of Government of United Arab Emirates (AED billion)

 

2010 (Projected)

2009 (Estimated)

2008

Total Expenditure and Grants

271

289

254

Current expenditure

200.6

196.7

166.8

- Wages and salaries

35.1

33.6

29

- Goods and services

62.9

61.9

49

- Abu Dhabi federal services

57.2

56.2

45.6

- Subsidies and transfers

43.6

43.2

41.5

- Others

1.8

1.8

1.7

Development expenditure

34

37.9

31.5

Loans and equity

34.5

52.1

51.8

Foreign grants

2.4

2.4

3.6

(Source: IMF)

Official exchange rate

AED per dollar rate in 2009 was registered at 3.67. Furthermore, the exchange rate for 2008 was the same.

United Arab Emirates Exchange Rate

(Source: World Bank)

Government finances

Fiscal balance 

United Arab Emirates Fiscal Balance

(Source: IMF)

Fiscal balance in 2010 was projected to be AED 89.4 billion. Furthermore, the country has recorded surplus in the fiscal balance in the last five years. However, the fiscal surplus in 2009 is estimated at 0.4% of the GDP as compared to 20.5% in 2008.

Total Revenue

The consolidated government revenue for 2010 is projected to be AED 360.9 billion.

Revenues of Government of United Arab Emirates (Billion AED)

 

2010

2009

2008

Total Revenue

360.9

292.6

450.3

Hydrocarbon

281

217.5

362.1

Non-hydrocarbon

79.8

75

88.2

- Customs

5.8

5.9

6.5

- Profit Transfer

18

17.7

17.0

- Income Tax

1

1.0

1.2

- Fees and Charges

13

12.7

12.2

- Investment Income

22.2

18.3

30.2

- Other Revenue

19.8

19.5

21.0

(Source: IMF)

Tax revenue

The tax on profit from foreign banks is projected to remain unchanged from the 2009 revenue of AED 1 billion.

(Source: IMF)

Current account balance - surplus/deficit

United Arab Emirates has registered current account surplus since 2001. The current account surplus for 2009 was AED 28,816 million, as compared to AED 81,817 million in 2008.

 

United Arab Emirates Current Account Balance

(Source: UAE Statistics, Central Bank of United Arab Emirates)

However, as per IMF estimates, the country current account balance in 2009 was recorded at a deficit of USD 6.2 billion. But, the current account balance in 2010 is projected to be a surplus of USD 18.1 billion.

The current account balance as a percentage of GDP in 2009 and 2010 is estimated at -2.7% and 7.3% respectively.

(Source: IMF)

Balance of payments

Balance of Payments (AED million)

 

2009

2008

Current Account Balance

28,816

81,818

Financial Account

8,416

-203,061

Errors and Omissions

-59,752

-50,759

Overall Balance

-22,520

-172,002

Change in Reserve

22,520

172,002

(Source: Central Bank of United Arab Emirates)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

The total labour force in UAE was recorded at 2.81 million people in 2008, increasing 3.7% from the previous year’s 2.73 million. Furthermore, females accounted for about 42% of the total labour force in 2008.

(Source: World Bank)

The unemployment rate in 2009 was 4.2%, as compared to 4% in 2008. The unemployment rate was highest in Fujairah (7.5%) and Ras Al Khaima (5.9%). Additonally, the unemployment rate was higher in the rural areas (7.3%) as compared to urban areas (3.5%)

(Source: UAE Statistics)

United Arab Emirates Unemployment Rate

The total labour force participation rate in UAE was 72.4% in 2009. Furthermore, for females, the participation rate was 42%, while for males it was 89%.

(Source: UAE Statistics)

United Arab Emirates Employed Vs Unemployed

(Source: UAE Statistics)

Of the total working population, 3.4% were employers, 0.9% self employed, and 0.1% were unpaid workers. Furthermore, the private sector in United Arab Emirates was the major contributor to employment with 58.4%, followed by local governments with 15.1% and private households with 13.1%.

(Source: UAE Statistics)

Minimum wage

Distribution of mean wages in United Arab Emirates differs depending on the federation.

 

Federations

Monthly Mean Wage (UAE Dirham)

Abu Dhabi

8,619.7

Dubai

7,429.56

Sharjah

6,797.73

Ajman

5,256.02

Umm Al Quwain

5,514.78

Ras Al Khaima

5,438.59

Fujairah

6,144.5

(Source: UAE Statistics)

The mean wages for males and females in 2009 amounted to AED 7,917.57 and AED 5,550.97 respectively.

 

United Arab Emirates Mean Wage
United Arab Emirates Mean Wage

(Source: UAE Statistics)

Level of unionisation

UAE’s labour law does not allow trade unions in the country.

(Source: ITUC)

[Top] Political Stability

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ra's al-Khaimah and Fujairah. There are no political parties in the country. The government includes both federal and local governments. Furthermore, the federal system includes the Supreme Council, the Council of Ministers, the Federal National Council and the Federal Supreme Court.

The Supreme Council has legislative and executive powers. It includes rulers of the seven emirates, and a president and vice-president, who are chosen from the members.

The Council of Ministers, also known as the Cabinet, is appointed and headed by the prime minister, who is, in turn, appointed by the president.

The Federal National Council, or the Majlis Watani Itihadi, is made up of 40 members, each elected for a term of four years. Of the 40 members, half are indirectly appointed by an electoral college, and the other half are appointed by rulers of the various emirates.

(Source: uaeinteract.com, IPU)

Regulatory environment in United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates Economic Freedom Indices

(Source:Heritage.org)

UAE’s economic freedom score is 67.8, making its economy the 47th freest in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. The country ranks 6th out of the 17 regional countries in the Middle East/North Africa region. Furthermore, the country’s overall score is higher than the global and regional averages.

Corruption perception

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. The United Arab Emirates is ranked 28th on this list, which indicates that the corruption levels in the public departmentsare fairly low, especially as compared to neighbouring nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen.

UAE climbed up on the CPI rankings since 2009, when it was ranked 30th with a score of 6.5, which indicates the perceived levels of corruption have decreased slightly in the country.

(Source:transparency.org)

Freedom of information

Though the constitution of the country provides freedom of speech, media content is highly restricted. Media has to follow official guidelines on reporting, and journalists practise self censorship.

(Source: BBC)

The World Press Freedom Index 2010 ranked the United Arab Emirates at 87th, with a score of 23.75, which indicates that media in United Arab Emirates is restricted.

(Source: rsf.org)

Newspapers

·         Al-Bayan

·         Gulf News

·         Khaleej Times

·         The National

·         7Days

Judicial system

Judiciary in the United Arab Emirates includes the Federal Supreme Court and the Courts of First Instance. The Federal Supreme Court represents the independent judiciary in the country.

(Source: uaeinteract.com)

[Top] Demographic Overview

The total population of the United Arab Emirates for 2009 was 4.59 million, increasing by about 2.5% over the previous year.

(Source: World Bank)

United Arab Emirates Population by Gender

 

Gender balance

The gender ratio in the country is imbalanced as the male population greatly out numbers the female population. Specifically, there are about 205.5 males for every 100 females in the country

(Source: UN, World Bank)

The population below 14 makes up 19% of the total population.  Furthermore, 2.1% women and 1.9% men (% of total population) were aged above 60 years of age.

(Source: World Bank, UN Data)

Infant mortality rate

The mortality rate of infants (per 1,000 live births) was registered at 7 in 2009.

The country recorded a total of 7,789 deaths in 2009. Of the total deaths, 1,940 were female and 5,848 were male.

Life expectancy

The average life expectancy in United Arab Emirates for males is 77 years and for females it is 79 years (2009).

(Source: World Bank, BBC, UAE Statistics)

Migration and urbanisation

International migrant stock is recorded at 3,293,300 individuals, or approximately 70% of the entire population.

(Source: UN)

UAE is amongst the most urbanised countries in the region. 3.58 million people, or 77.9% of total population in 2009 lived in urban areas. The urban population in the country has grown at an annual rate of 2.9% between 2005 and 2010. Furthermore, for the same period, the rural population grew at a considerably slower rate of 2.5% per year.

(Source: World Bank, UN)

Ethnic groups in United Arab Emirates include:

·         Emiri

·         Arabs

·         Iranian

·         South Asian

·         Westerners

·         East Asian

A large proportion of the population follows Islam (96%). Specifically, of the total Islamic population, 80% are Sunni and 16% are Shiite. Additonally, the country also has a minority population of Christians and Hindus.

Human development index (HDI)

The country ranks 32nd out of 169 countries on the HDI conducted by the United Nations. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development - living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).

(Source: UNDP)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure

Education

The country’s literacy rate in 2009 was estimated at 94.7%. While, the illiteracy rate in the country is 5.3%, of which 6.1% are females and 4.8% are males.

The Ministry of Education is responsible for the education system in the country. In 2006, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) was established to develop education and human resources in the country.

United Arab Emirates Education Status

(Source: UAE Statistics)

Healthcare

The Ministry of Health is responsible for the healthcare services in the country. The Health services network includes primary healthcare, secondary healthcare and clinical care. Healthcare services are largely funded by the government. However, the private sector’s healthcare services are developing rapidly.

The country is also working with healthcare institutions worldwide to further develop its healthcare services.

(Source: Ministry of Health, UAE Embassy)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

The mass public transport in the country is mostly by buses, metros and trams. Furthermore, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is responsible for the regulation of transport services.

Ports

Major ports in United Arab Emirates are: Port Zayed at Abu Dhabi, Port Rashid at Dubai, Port of Fujairah in Fujairah, Port of Jebel Ali in Jebel Ali, Khalifa Port in Khalifa, Port of Khalid and Port of Hamriyah in Sharjah.

(Source:world port source)

Airports

 

Town

Airport name

Runway length

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Intl

13,400 ft

Abu Dhabi

Bateen

10,400 ft

Al Ain

Al Ain Intl

13,100 ft

Al Dhafra

Al Dhafra

12,000 ft

Dubai

Dubai Intl

13,100 ft

Fujairah

Fujairah Intl

12,300 ft

Jebel Dhana

Jebel Dhana

7,200 ft

Ras Al Khaimah

Khaimah Intl

12,300 ft

Sharjah

Sharjah Intl

13,300 ft

(Source: Aircraft charter world)

Telecommunications networks

In 2010, 3.7 million people, 75.9% of the total population, used internet services.


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