UAE: Country Profile
UAE is a Federation established in 1971 between seven Emirates namely
Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaima, Sharjah and Umm
Al Quwain in the area previously known as the Trucial Coast in the
Gulf which were, until W.W.I, under Ottoman rule and becoming later
British protectorates. The UAE is also a member of the GCC.
UAE is one of the relatively larger countries in the Gulf with a
land area of over 83,000 square Kilometres with a population of
2.6 million. During the comparatively short period since its foundation
the UAE managed to create a stable country with a thriving economy
based on free trade. The reputation of the Emirates as a free trade
area was enhanced with rapidly developing free zones especially
the Jebel Ali free zone in Dubai. Oil production which started in
the early sixties mainly from fields in Abu Dhabi and to a lesser
extent Dubai and Sharjah helped to maintain the development momentum.
The average production in 1998 was 2.26 million bpd with over $10
billion in revenues. The UAE is also a member of OPEC.
UAE similar to other countries in the Gulf adopts a free market
economy with a thriving private sector. However, the State ownes
or has majority shares in public utilities and important trades.
Their privatisation programme was recently started with the privatisation
of the water and electricity department (WED) in Abu Dhabi.