The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United Arab Emirates expanded 4.40 percent in 2012 from the previous year. GDP Growth Rate in the United Arab Emirates is reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, UAE. The United Arab Emirates GDP Growth Rate averaged 4.62 Percent from 2000 until 2012, reaching an all time high of 9.80 Percent in December of 2006 and a record low of -4.80 Percent in December of 2009.
It is estimated that the UAE GDP will expanded by 3.8% in 2013 and 3.3% in 2014, in the next two year whereas GDP estimates for other regions such as Europe is significantly lower. United Arab Emirates is one of the most developed countries in the Arab Gulf and has one of world´s highest GDP per capita. The country still has a commodity-based economy, with shipments of oil and natural gas accounting for 40 percent of total exports and for 38 percent of GDP. Yet, in order to diversify the economy and reduce the dependence on oil revenues, UAE has been making huge investments in the tourism, financial and construction sectors.
In 2012, manufacturing activity accounted for 42% of output growth, transport/communication for 23%, wholesale/retail trade for 16.5% and restaurants/hotels for 15.5% while construction and agriculture contracted.
Oil, gas and related industries account for a substantial proportion of the UAE's exports. Other key sectors include utilities, communications, construction, banking and financial services, manufacturing projects and tourism. These sectors tend to be located in or near the major urban centres of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, and certain designated industrial zones.
As one of the seven Emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with a distinctive cultural blend. It is a home to a large expatriate population. Dubai is the commercial hub of the UAE and has traditionally been a trading center, serving as an entry port into the Middle East region and, in recent years, for the markets of the Near and Far East, Europe and the United States as well. It is a bustling place with lots of modern buildings, shopping malls and entertainment facilities. Dubai has relatively small oil reserves, in comparison to Abu Dhabi.
Dubai's non-oil activities now account for a significant proportion of its GDP. Its manufacturing base includes aluminium smelting; the production of copper cables, lubricating oil and cement; and a wide range of medium and small scale industries. With one of the world's largest dry docks, it has facilities to accommodate and repair even the largest vessels.
The government of Dubai has played a key role in promoting Dubai as a commercial, financial, trading and tourist center. Several free zones have been set up to provide excellent facilities for trading, manufacturing, services and other industries. With the creation of 'Dubai Internet City', Dubai became the e-commerce capital of the Middle East with over several hundred IT companies. The ―Dubai International Financial Center‖ - DIFC - was established as a Financial Center in 2004, strengthening Dubai‘s position in the world‘s financial markets.
Dubai's re-export trade is enhanced by the city's role as a major regional shopping center. It acts as a major entry port for the Gulf and beyond, with re-exporting accounting for a major portion of the import sector.
In 1986 Emirates airline was set up in Dubai and has expanded operations to major Middle Eastern, European and Far Eastern centers. In conjunction with the creation of the airline, Dubai, like the other emirates, has established a comprehensive program to develop its tourism industry. Dubai hosts a variety of international conferences, exhibitions and sporting events.
Dubai will welcome their second International Airport in the City of Jebel Ali in October 2013. The Airport City project covers 140 square kilometers and will include, not just an airport, but also several smaller cities which will cater to the financial, industrial, service and tourism industry needs connected to the aviation industry. The core of the city will be one of the world‘s largest airports. The project will cost 120Bn AED.