As a dynamic hub for global commerce, investors view the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a key component in their worldwide operations. The UAE is well established as the prime destination for multinationals to set up their regional base and serve the high growth markets in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. It is also the perfect location for new business setups across diverse sectors.
The main driving force behind this economic and commercial expansion has been the UAE’s shift towards increasingly liberal economic policies, particularly the creation of economic and financial free zones, and diversification. Its success achieved international recognition with the decision to locate the World Expo in Dubai in 2020.
Historically Dubai has been the primary commercial hub of the UAE but over the last few years, Abu Dhabi, the federal capital and the largest of the seven emirates, has also been working hard to increase its global presence as a centre for all commercial activities, not just the oil and gas sector.
The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 outlines the government’s general policy framework for economic development and its plans for economic diversification over the next two decades, through greater investment in knowledge-based industries. Abu Dhabi’s non-oil industries – notably aviation, clean technology, financial services, legal services, travel, tourism and education – currently contribute over 60% of the Emirate’s GDP, with high levels of investment in infrastructure having a multiplier effect on the wider economy.
The Vision calls for greater collaboration between the public and private sectors in implementing the government’s policies and plans. It also identifies the following points as the priorities to achieve an ambitious economic transformation by 2030.