Economic Analysis of The United Arab Emirates 1. Introduction
A. General Information
The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) is a federation of seven Emirates that was formed on December 2 1971. It is located between the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and it is bordered by Saudi Arabia and Oman. The country has a total population of 3,740,000 as of 2004. Approximately 85% of those resideing the in UAE are not native to the country. Arabic is the official language, however, English is widely considered the official "business" language. Communication should not be a problem for English speaking people. The Muslim faith is practiced by the majority of people, but there are a significant number of Christians and Hindus. Islam does not play an important role in business practices. The business culture more closely resembles the culture found in America or Great Britain.
The UAE has a well developed infrastructure. The capital city of Abu Dubai and the city of Dubai are both very modern cities. They have a modern and extensive public transportation system including buses, highways, commercial seaports and an international airport. The country also has a number of government run hospitals. The country is primarily known for their petroleum production, like most of the countries in the region. Their extensive petroleum reserves have allowed them to achieve tremendous economic and social development. Most of the UAE's petroleum reserves are located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Currently, the country is working hard to try and diversify into other sectors of the economy.
The UAE has a federal constitution that divides power between the federal government (based in Abu Dhabi) and the governments of the constituent Emirates. However, throughout the Emirates, if a foreign company or investor wishes to establish a presence in the UAE they will be required to have a UAE national. A UAE national is another term for an agent, partner or sponsor who will counsel and guide them in while in the country. The UAE is an active member of the United Nations, the Organizations of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Arab League, and the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC).
The UAE constitution also provides for a federal court system. It also allows for each Emirate to maintain an independent court system. There are three divisions to the federal court system. They are civil, criminal and Sharia (Islamic). The Sharia division has jurisdiction over matters of personal status (marriage, divorce and inheritance) and in cases of non-Muslims; it is required to apply the religious or civil law of the parties. Recently the Sharia has also taken jurisdiction over certain...