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About UAE

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Established on 2nd December 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven Emirates, namely: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. The Federal Supreme Council is the highest legislative and governing body of the UAE. The Federal Supreme Council consists of the Rulers of each Emirate. The parliament is known as the Federal National Council (FNC).

It was established on 13th February 1972 and is considered a landmark in the country’s constitutional and legislative process. The FNC advises the Cabinet and the Federal Supreme Council but cannot over rule them. The council carries out the country’s main consultative duties and has both a legislative and supervisory role provided by the constitution.

Any responsibility not granted to the national government are reserved to the Government of the respective Emirate. A percentage of revenues from each emirate is allocated to the UAE’s central budget. The current Vice President and Prime Minister is the current ruler of Dubai, H. H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The UAE is the founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). GCC was created at a summit conference in Abu Dhabi in 1981. The other members of the GCC comprise of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman. The country is also a member of the League of Arab States, the Islamic Conference Organization and the United Nations.

GEOGRAPHY

The United Arab Emirates is situated in the south-west of Asia. It overlooks the Gulf of Oman to the East and the Arabian Gulf to the North. The Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman are linked by the Straits of Hormuz. The UAE shares its land boundaries with Oman and Saudi Arabia. The UAE covers an area of approximately 83,600 square kilometers (32,654 square miles), including numerous islands. The coastal area consists primarily of salt marshes. Inland, the topography is predominantly desert, sand dunes and gravel plains with isolated oases, the largest of which are located at Al Ain and Liwa. The Hajar Mountains lie close to the sea on the East Coast. The largest of the Emirates is Abu Dhabi, with an area of approximately 67,300 square kilometers (26,290 square miles), followed by Dubai with an area of approximately 3,900 square kilometers (1,520 square miles), and Sharjah with an area of approximately 2,600 square kilometers (1,015 square miles). The areas of the other Emirates range from 260 to 1,700 square kilometers (102 to 664 square miles).

DEMOGRAPHICS

The UAE has earned a world- wide reputation for its exemplary and harmonious multicultural society, which is undoubtedly the envy of ever y civil society in the world today. UAE i s a popular migration destination accommodating 7. 3 million migrants making up 88% of the total UAE population of 8. 26 million (approximately). Emiratis have a rich tradition in welcoming all other nationalities since the early 1900’s. The largest group of non- UAE nationals are South Asian (58%), followed by other Asians (17%) and Western expatriates (8.5%). Dubai is the largest city with a population of 1. 78 million.

Tolerance, security, job opportunities, attractive environment for investment, advanced infrastructure and tax- free income are the main factors attracting more than 200 nationalities to live and work in the UAE.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

UAE has the second largest economy in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia) with a GDP of $390 billion in 2012. A third of the GDP is from oil revenues. The economy was expected to grow between 4% and 4.5% in 2014. Since its establishment in 1971, UAE’s economy has grown by nearly 231 times to $390 billion. in 2013. The non- oil trade has grown to $326 billion, a growth of around 28 times from 1981 to 2012.  Prior to the unification in 1971, each emirate was responsible for its own economy. At the time, pearl diving, sea faring and fishing were together the mainstay of the economy. H. H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is credited with bringing the country forward in to the 20th century and using the revenue from oil exports to fund all the necessary development. Likewise, H. H. vice-president Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum had a bold vision for the Emirate of Dubai and foresaw the future in not petroleum al one, but also other industries.

The UAE is richly endowed with oil resources and is home to around 10% of the world’s total proven oil reserves. Abu Dhabi is the largest and most powerful, oil-based traditional emirate. Dubai, which lacks oil resources, has a more modern atmosphere and depends on international retail, tourism and financial services. The other five emirates have always played a minor role. For almost four decades, oil and global finance have driven the UAE’s economy. The UAE has accumulated substantial wealth, and the country’s per capita GDP is now on a par with those of leading Western European nations.

With imports totaling to USD 269.6 billion in 2012, UAE surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest consumer market in the region while the total exports of USD 368.9 billion makes UAE the second largest exporter of the region.

UAE and are each other’s main trading partners India with total trade over USD 75 billion. The UAE also has significant economic ties with the USA, UK and other European countries.

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