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Beyond EE
Country Information
flag
Country:
Beyond EE
Capital:
SAMPLE Abu Dhabi in UAE
Currency:
Emirati dirham (AED)

Population: 4,621,399
Government Type: Federation with specified powers delegated to the UAE federal government and other powers reserved to member emirates
Riedel Research Coverage by Region

Background

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a trade blocking involving the six Arab states of the Persian Gulf: United Arab, EmiratesQatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia. The Trucial States of the Persian Gulf coast granted the UK control of their defense and foreign affairs in 19th century treaties. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The UAE's per capita GDP is on par with those of leading West European nations. Its generosity with oil revenues and its moderate foreign policy stance have allowed the UAE to play a vital role in the affairs of the region.

Economy

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has an open economy with a high per capita income and a sizable annual trade surplus. Despite largely successful efforts at economic diversification, nearly 40% of GDP is still directly based on oil and gas output. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up utilities to greater private sector involvement. In April 2004, the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with Washington and in November 2004 agreed to undertake negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement with the US. The country's Free Trade Zones - offering 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes - are helping to attract foreign investors. Higher oil revenue, strong liquidity, housing shortages, and cheap credit in 2005-07 led to a surge in asset prices (shares and real estate) and consumer inflation. Rising prices are increasing the operating costs for businesses in the UAE and adversely impacting government employees and others on fixed incomes. Dependence on oil and a large expatriate workforce are significant long-term challenges. The UAE's strategic plan for the next few years focuses on diversification and creating more opportunities for nationals through improved education and increased private sector employment.

Links

Source: Central Intelligence Agency
The World Factbook