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United Arab Emirates Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      The UAE has an open economy with one of the world's highest incomes per capita and with a sizable annual trade surplus. Its wealth is based on oil and gas output (about 40% of GDP), and the fortunes of the economy fluctuate with the prices of those commodities. Since 1973, 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. At present levels of production, crude oil reserves should last for over 100 years. Although much stronger economically than most Gulf states, the UAE faces similar problems with weak international oil prices and the pressures for cuts in OPEC oil production quotas. The UAE government is encouraging increased privatization within the economy.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $62.7 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      -0.5% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $22,480 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      5.1% (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      NEGL% (1988)

    • Budget:

        $4.3 billion

        $4.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1993 est)

    • Exports:
      $24 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)

        crude oil 66%, natural gas, re-exports, dried fish, dates

        Japan 35%, South Korea 5%, Iran 4%, Oman 4%, Singapore 4% (1993)

    • Imports:
      $20 billion (f.o.b., 1994)

        manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, food

        Japan 12%, UK 10%, US 9%, Germany 7%, South Korea 5% (1993)

    • External debt:
      $11.6 billion (1994 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 1.7% (1992 est.); accounts for 50% of GDP, including petroleum

    • Electricity:

        4,760,000 kW

        16.5 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        5,796 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      petroleum, fishing, petrochemicals, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, pearling

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 2% of GDP and 5% of labor force; cash crop - dates; food products - vegetables, watermelons, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish; only 25% self-sufficient in food

    • Illicit drugs:
      growing role as heroin transshipment and money-laundering center

    • Economic aid:

        pledged in bilateral aid to less developed countries (1979-89) $9.1 billion

    • Currency:
      1 Emirian dirham (Dh) = 100 fils

    • Exchange rates:
      Emirian dirhams (Dh) per US$1 - 3.6710 (fixed rate)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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