The Live Players Leading the United Arab Emirates
The Emirati government is a dynastic alliance between the royal houses of two city-states. Despite hopes to develop manufacturing and technology, the country will remain oil-dependent for now.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are one of the largest producers and exporters of oil worldwide, exporting more oil than the entire United States in 2021.1 With a population of 9.4 million people and a nominal GDP of $507 billion in 2022, the Emirates are also the second-largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia and the second-most affluent Arab country after Qatar, as measured by GDP per capita.2 Of all the Gulf monarchies, the Emirates have perhaps the best prospects for industrialization. The Emirati government is nominally intensifying a long-running strategy to reduce the country’s reliance on oil, including by moving into manufacturing and high technology. While high-profile projects like the Burj Khalifa—the tallest skyscraper in the world—the first Arab probe in Mars orbit, and the first Arab nuclear power plant have caught the world’s attention, the economy has not moved towards high-tech industry, but rather finance, tourism, and shipping.