The United Arab Emirates was officially formed on 2nd December 1971 as an independent constitutional federation consisting of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman and Umm al-Quwain.
The UAE is strategically located in the Arabian Gulf, at the crossroads of trade and commerce between Europe and the Far East. It is uniquely positioned to service a large and diverse regional market that includes the Middle East, North- and East Africa, the CIA (Commonwealth of Independent States) and the Indian subcontinent.
Abu Dhabi has 94% of the UAE’s oil production (2.3 mill b/d) and 9% of the world’s oil reserves. With today’s production Abu Dhabi has been projected to have enough oil the next 90 years. Abu Dhabi has several sovereign wealth funds and the world’s largest assets that combined exceed USD 1 trillion. It is diversifying the economy, based on a long term sustainable growth in order to withstand global recession.
Abu Dhabi’s target areas and new economic sectors are based on “The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030”:
• High technology and heavy industries:
o Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technology, Computer Microprocessors, Ship building
• Future energy industries:
o Masdar City - a carbon neutral city/free zone, IRENA Headquarters
• High-end real estate
• Luxury and cultural tourism
• High profile sporting and music events
Dubai, the second largest emirate, is diversifying and focusing its economy away from oil and expected to become independent from oil by the year 2015. It aims to become:
• a regional and international banking and finance centre
• a technological distribution and production centre
• a regional hub for international companies
• a major tourist destination, with visitors expected to reach 15 million by 2010
• a freehold property investment hub for foreign investors
Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman and Umm al-Quwain
These Emirates have minor natural resources and are financially dependent on the Federal government.
Sharjah has limited oil and gas reserves and has therefore been developing new industries and established numerous industrial zones. The main activities include food, furniture, gold, jewelry, plastics and building materials. Sharjah was chosen in 1998 as the Cultural Capital of the Arab Region.
Fujairah is located by the Indian Ocean and has the 2nd largest bunkering port in the world.
Ras Al Khaimah has 3 large cement factories, pharmaceutical industry, a large tile and sanitary factory and they are investing in real estate and tourism.
Ajman and Umm Al Quwain have limited natural resources but have been making some investments in the real estate market the recent years.