Quick Facts about UAE Economy

by Zaara 15, Jul 2015

Quick Facts about UAE Economy

UAE is an open economy that provides its nationals and investors with a high standard of living thanks to higher per capita income, sizable annual trade surplus, tax incentives, and economic diversification policies. Apart from being a promising commercial and trading hub, United Arab Emirates is a popular tourist destination that has one of the best and strategically located ports in the world and bountiful UAE free trade zones. Here are a few facts about UAE that you should know:

Key Facts to Know 

Country and Population OverviewGlobal Finance Rankings and Awards

  • Total Area – 83,600 SQ KM
  • Capital – Abu Dhabi
  • Official Languages – Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
  • Currency – Emirati dirhams (AED)
  • Total Population –
    • 2014* – 9.302 million
    • 2019** – 10.749 million
  • Largest companies in the United Arab Emirates (top 5) –
    • Etisalat
    • National Bank of Abu Dhabi
    • First Gulf Bank
    • Emirates NBD
    • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  • Owing to its efficient trade policy, UAE hosts up to 50% of Fortune 500 Companies
  • UAE symbolizes efficient trade policy and has competitive import duty at 5%
  • Ranked as the World’s Best Emerging Markets Banks in the Middle East consecutively for three years in a row, 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • Ranked as the World’s Best Islamic Financial Institutions for 6 years in a row; from 2008 to 2013
  • UAE has the World’s Safest Banks, World’s Best Internet Banks, World’s Best Sub-custodian banks, World’s Best Investment Banks
  • UAE banks are the World’s Best Foreign Exchange Providers
  • UAE banks are the World’s Best Treasury & Cash Management Providers

UAE Economy in Numbers – 22 Quick Facts and Figures

1. Gross Domestic Product

GDPUS$ 412 billion (2014 estimate)

2. GDP – real growth rate 2012

4.4%2013 – 4.8%2014* – 4.4% (estimate)

3. GDP (purchasing power parity) 

$288 billion US Dollars (2014 estimate)

4. GDP – per capita (PPP) 

$30,985 International Dollars (2014 estimate)

5. GDP per capita

Current prices US$ 44,330 (2014 estimate)

6. GDP (PPP)

Total share of world 2000 – 0.2%2010 – 0.32%2014* – 0.32% (estimate)

7. GDP composition by sector 

Agriculture: 0.7%

Industry: 61.1%

Services: 38.2% (2013 estimate)

8. Market value of publically traded shares 

2012 – US$67.95 billion

9. Inflation 2014

2.2% (estimate)

10. Budget

Revenues: $130.3 billion
Expenditures: $113.8 billion (2012 est.)

11. Industries

Petroleum and Petrochemicals Fishing Aluminum Cement Fertilizers

Commercial Ship Repair

Construction Material

Some Boat Building



12. Industrial production growth rate

3.2% (2010 estimate)

13. Total Exports

US$368.9 billion (2013 estimate)US $300.6 billion (2012 estimate)
US $281.6 billion (2011 estimate)

14. Exports – commodities

Crude oil- 45%

Natural gas

Re-export Dried Fish Dates

15. Exports – partners

Japan 15.4%India 13.5%Iran 10.7%Thailand 5.5%Singapore 5.5%

South Korea 5.3% (2012)

16.Total Imports

US$249.6 billion (2013 estimate)US $220.3 billion (2012 estimate)
US$202.1 billion (2011 estimate)

17. Imports – commodities

Machinery and transport equipmentChemicalsFood

18. Imports – partners

India 17%China 13.7%US 10.4%Germany 5.1%Japan 4.2% (2012)

19. Exchange rates

Emirati dirhams (AED) per US dollar –
3.673 (2012 est.)
3.673 (2011 est.)
3.6725 (2010 est.)

20. Fiscal year

The calendar year

21. FDI Inflows

US$ 10,488 million – 2013

22. FDI Outflows

US$ 2,905 million – 2013

*Note – Facts are taken from IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2014

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What is the UAE economic system consists of?

A free market-based economy.

What is the UAE’s GDP per capita?

3.8% worth of DH 1.489 trillion in 2021.

What are the export commodities that boost UAE economy?

Crude oil (45%), natural gas, re-exports and fish.

How much oil contributes to the UAE’s total GDP?

30% of the total GDP.

Which rank the does UAE hold in the world of business?

The UAE ranked 1st in the following sectors:

  • Low inflation

  • Mobile broadband subscription

  • Debt dynamics

  • Credit gap

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