Introduction

UAE Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi (Photo: Shutterstock)


The United Arab Emirates is located in the middle of the Arabian Gulf, north of the equator, between latitudes 22, 26.30, and longitudes 51, 56.30 east of Greenwich. It is bordered from the north by the Arabian Gulf and from the west by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and from the south by the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and from the east by the Gulf of Oman.


The total population of UAE is 9.47 million (2017) GDP per capita is estimated of $38,050(2017).

History

Dubai Museum Dubai Museum (Photo: Shutterstock)

The strategic geographical location of UAE to the east of the Arab world is very important for the security and stability of the Arab world as a whole. The total area of the country is 83,600 sq km. This includes an archipelago with an area about 5,900 sq km. The total population in 1995 was 2,411,041. The city of Abu Dhabi is the capital.

 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), is a federation of seven independent states located in the south-eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Arabian Gulf to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Oman and the Gulf of Oman to the east. Its seven member states are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, and Umm al Quwain. The UAE has Qatar and Bahrain to its west and the Sultanate of Oman to its east.

Challenges

The UAE HDI ranks among the highest in the Arab region, second place after Qatar according to the 2013 global HDR, and the country is on track to achieve its Millennium Development goals by 2015. The United Arab Emirates has undoubtedly made significant gains in development, though the construction of modern infrastructures and services, it has accomplished its targets more quickly through  economic, social and political development and institutional reform.

According to the International Monetary Fund, growth in the UAE is estimated to have reached 4.3 percent by 2012 as oil production levels have peaked and expanded by 5.2 percent and non-oil growth, mainly driven by the service sectors, has accelerated to 3.8%. Economic recovery in the UAE is gaining strength and has been slowly recovering from the 2009 property market crisis, and Inflation has remained subdued at 0.7 percent on average.

The trend of rapid population growth, averaging 7% over the last decade, has slowed in recent years as expatriate jobs have been cut in the construction, real estate, tourism and financial services sectors, but it is starting to pick up since 2012, with a slow economic recovery.

While oil revenue continues to be the mainstay of the UAE economy, the country is pressing ahead with efforts to accelerate diversification and economic reforms, and continues to attract significant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report, FDI inflows reached US$13.5B in 2011, which amounts to 27.4% of gross fixed capital formation in the UAE, and according to UNCTAD investment global prospects for 2011-2014, the UAE is in the top ten destinations in the world to attract foreign investments.

The banking sector has been strengthened through significant capital injections, and some progress has been made in restructuring the debt of government-related entities (GRE). The ailing real estate sector is beginning to find bottom but, given the ongoing oversupply, an early and broad-based recovery of the sector remains unlikely.

According to the Arab Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, the UAE ranks among the top ten countries in more than 20 global competitiveness indicators, and is in an advanced position among the 142 countries that the report covers: The UAE ranks 3rd globally in business costs of crime and violence; 4th in quality of air infrastructure; 5th in wastefulness of government spending; 5th in government procurement of advanced tech products; 5th in flexibility of wage determination; 6th in quality of port infrastructure; 7th in quality of road infrastructure; 7th in the burden of customs procedures, and 10th in buyer sophistication sub-indicators.

The impressive economic growth in recent years in the UAE before the recession hit left acute needs for strong institutional and policy support to achieve balanced and sustainable development, and for comprehensive and updated statistics to inform policy analysis and formulation. According to the UAE Prime Minister 'the UAE has achieved unprecedented economic growth over the past few years. However, these achievements have brought along enormous challenges, which make it imperative upon us to develop an integrated strategy that meets our needs and is consistent with international practice of governance.'

Successes

Alt text for sample imageUAE IS AIMING TO RAISE THE STANDARD OF LIVING AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE (Photo: Shutterstock)

The UAE is well on its way to achieve its MDGs by 2015. Enrolment rates in primary education is 98%, and the literacy rate among 15 - 24 year olds is 99%. The number of females in tertiary education is double the number of males. Child mortality is 10.6 per 1,000 births and HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is less than 0.2%. The country is a WTO member and is engaged currently in bilateral trade negotiations with a number of countries that include the USA, China and the EU.

The UAE, however, is under growing pressure to maintain its competitive position and achieve advanced international standards in areas such as public management, legislation, corporate governance, and social welfare.