United Arab Emirates Economy and Culture

United Arab Emirates Economy


Dependence on oil

The economy of the United Arab Emirates depends primarily on the income from oil and gas production. If the prices for these raw materials fall, so will government revenues. This is always a big risk for a state, especially when the majority of the budget comes from these revenues.

Most of the oil is stored in Abu Dhabi, which accounts for 90 percent, i.e. the majority of the UAE’s production. Overall, only three of the emirates, namely Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, own oil. However, the income will be distributed to all the emirates so that all parts of the country will benefit from the oil wealth.

But there are also other risks. In Dubai, property trading is an especially important factor for the economy. If prices fall here, losses can also be expected here. The UAE has huge construction projects in the pipeline. But these too have to be paid for somehow.

Hope for Expo 2020

One hope especially for Dubai lies in the world exhibition Expo, which is to take place there in 2020. It is hoped that many tourists will then come to the emirate. But first of all, a lot of money has to be invested here.

Income from tourism

A mild climate in winter, a well-developed transport network and major events, especially in the field of sport, keep attracting tourists to the country, especially to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Gigantic construction projects should continue to attract tourists into the country. However, it is questionable whether projects such as indoor skiing in the desert are particularly sustainable for nature.

Agriculture in the desert

There is also land in the United Arab Emirates that is used for agriculture. But most of the country is desert, so the desert has to be converted into usable area through irrigation projects. It’s not that easy, because the groundwater is often very salty, which is not good for the plants. Still, it is possible to grow vegetables, citrus fruits and tobacco. Then there are the dates, which, like in Oman, are among the most important cultivated products. On the coast there is also fishing.

United Arab Emirates Economy

Typical United Arab Emirates

The guest workers

Many people from other countries live in the United Arab Emirates. These foreigners are called “expatriates” or “expats” for short. Only a quarter of the inhabitants originally come from there. Many foreigners who come from the west and work for a company in Dubai or Abu Dhabi lead a comfortable life, at least in terms of their livelihood.

The guest workers, who earn little money, usually come without their families. These stay in their countries of origin such as India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. Mostly it is family fathers who come to the UAE. They send a large part of their wages to their families, who often would not be able to survive without these payments. Although they usually earn little here, they still earn more than in their countries of origin.

Your rights are severely restricted and you can only change your job with the consent of your employer. Enforcing labor rights is difficult or impossible. Most of them work on construction sites, in hotels, at home or in sales.

Standing in a traffic jam

Many people do not live in the middle of the city, but look for an apartment on the outskirts because it is cheaper. All of these people then have to drive their cars towards the city in the morning. The result is a lot of traffic during peak hours in the morning and then again in the evening.

The road network is well developed, but work still needs to be done on the expansion of a public transport network. Two metro lines have opened in Dubai in recent years. But you can only reach a fraction of the big city. The rest can only be reached by car or bus.

It is being built!

Most people in the UAE live in one city, 85 out of 100, mostly in the capital cities of each of the Emirates. Then there is the oasis city of Al-Ain, which is located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. But if you look at the country, only one percent of the United Arab Emirates is actually inhabited. Most of the country is desert.

In the cities one builds high and there are hotels and office buildings, but also residential buildings at gigantic heights. The city of Dubai is growing and growing. No wonder that the tallest building in the world was built here. Nowhere else in the world will you find so many construction cranes as in Dubai. Allegedly every third construction crane worldwide is said to be in Dubai.

Good medical care

Medical care is very good in the UAE. A visit to a doctor costs nothing for the Emiratis, i.e. the nationals of the UAE. Many diseases that previously plagued the region, such as polio or malaria, no longer exist here thanks to medicine. For more information about United Arab Emirates and Asia, please visit aristmarketing.


Are All Emiratis Rich?

If you read something about the United Arab Emirates, the question arises as to whether everyone in this country is rich. Sports cars, sedans, jewelry, expensive luxury villas, huge yachts, and private planes, all of these can be found in the United Arab Emirates. This is particularly true of the emirate of Dubai. But even in Dubai not all are millionaires. About five out of 100 people call such a fortune their own. However, the Sheikh of Dubai is considered one of the richest people in the world.

But it is actually the case that a lot of rich people live here. There are also rich children and young people who get a yacht as a gift at the age of 14. Luxury goods can be found in the country’s shopping malls.

Anyone who earns a lot of money here, and there are quite a few, has the opportunity to afford an expensive apartment with their family. And the apartments, which are often luxuriously furnished, are expensive.

You can buy almost anything, provided you can pay for it. The Arabs’ enthusiasm for shiny shopping malls – huge shopping malls – is limitless. The supermarkets are also often large, but there are also smaller shops and markets in the country.