Essay Sample on the Transformation of the UAE in the Last Two Decades

Published: 2019-11-28
Essay Sample on the Transformation of the UAE in the Last Two Decades
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Economics Geography
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1439 words
12 min read

In the recent years, the United Arab Emirates has entered new developmental stages. The UAE is a stable nation known for its excellent ruling arrangements that are not subject to any threat. Moreover, the fact that the United Arab Emirates has shifted its attention towards social and economic development has led to significant changes that propel the global civilization of the state. Recently, the leadership of the UAE has been committed to modernizing the country at all the levels including the strengthening of the market economy and improving the effectiveness of most institutions. About thirty years ago, the UAE was among the least developed countries in the world. However, today, the state has received an income that is comparable to that of the developed nations. Moreover, the country is well known for its oil production whose revenues have spearheaded development in the Arabic countries. Therefore, this paper will seek to determine the transformation of the UAE in the past twenty years.

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Twenty years ago, the United Arab Emirates was one of the least developed countries in the world. However, through hard work and exploitation of their primary natural resources, oil, and gas, the country has achieved an income that is relatively compared to that of the developed countries (Country Reports - United Arab Emirates, 2015). Unlike most nations, the state did not pass through the hypothetical developmental stages, but instead, they exploited their massive oil reserves, discovered in the 1970s, leading to an increase of income generated.

The United Arab Emirates consisted of seven empires. It was established on December 1971. During that period, the state was not expected to survive due to the history of animosity and violence between the southeastern tribes of Arabia (Oil & Gas Industry Profile: United Arab Emirates, 2016). The recent successes of the state may be attributed to the structure of its government. Since the formation of the emirate, the UAE has enjoyed successful years of political stability. According to Country Reports - United Arab Emirates, 2015, the existing political structures favor the tribal society of the UAE and the oil distribution revenues. Moreover, in the past twenty years, the social and economic development, high standard services such as hospitals and the high salaries have raised the living styles and conditions of its citizens (Elbanna & Fadol, 2016). Furthermore, it has also led to a significant reduction in the number of political unrest in the country. Besides, the UAE government has maintained an excellent record with the human rights commission leading to social stability.

The oil and mineral resources found in the UAE have led to a phenomenon growth of the state. UAE is well known for its vast oil reserves both onshore and offshore. In addition to that, the state produces crude oil and the non-associated gas. With the latest technological development, the gas and oil industries are well managed resulting in increased productivity rate. Consequently, UAE is the third largest oil reserves globally after Iraq and Saudi Arabia (Elbanna & Fadol, 2016). Therefore, the revenues accrued by the state after the sale of minerals, oil and gas led to the improvement of the nation leading to technological and industrial development.

The factors mentioned above have played substantial roles in changing the structure of the economy of the UAE in the last twenty years (Oil & Gas Industry Profile: United Arab Emirates, 2016). Moreover, the state has undergone agricultural, transformation, employment, finance, foreign trade and demographic transition. Additionally, the service sector of the UAE that constitutes mainly of trade, hotels, finance, insurance, business services and social services have been seen to rise consistently (Lekhraibani, Rutledge, & Forstenlechner, 2015). As a result, UAE is ranked first in the size of employment. About 67 percent of the labor forces in the UAE are employed in the oil and gas industries. Moreover, the rate of unemployment in the nation is as low as 0.5 percent. Therefore, this shows that the economy of the UAE is efficiently at full employment.

Despite the aridity nature of UAE, the rate of agricultural production has increased in the past twenty years with an annual growth rate of about 12.6 percent. Therefore, this shows that the UAE government has put efforts to promote the development of the agricultural sector (Lekhraibani, Rutledge, & Forstenlechner, 2015). The state has industrialized despite the many constraints faced. It is important to note that the economy of UAE is significantly dependent on the export of one commodity, oil. Therefore, the primary factors inhibiting industrialization in the state are the size of the domestic market and the limited amount of raw materials. However, the availability of finance capital, the abundance of minerals, a flexible labor force, and the employment policy has led to the industrialization of the state in the past twenty years.

In the last two decades, the number of learning institutions present in the UAE has increased considerably showing a positive relationship between the economic growth and education. Education is viewed as a critical element in developing the required skill to modernize the UAE (Lekhraibani, Rutledge, & Forstenlechner, 2015). The government has offered free education to its citizens and employment in the public sectors. Several institutions have been set up in the region to provide easy access to education to its citizens. In the area of health, the UAE government has provided a range of services to advance the health services offered, as well as, the health education among the UAE citizens (United Arab Emirates Oil & Gas Report, 2016). During the last two decades, the number of public hospitals has been established in the state. The facilities have been provided with qualified nurses and doctors, hospitals, theaters, and I.C.U services. Furthermore, the number of private health services has increased substantially. The health services have been evenly distributed to ensure equal access to the hospitals (United Arab Emirates, 2016). According to Elbanna & Fadol, 2016, the growing number of hospitals can be attributed to the increase in the economy of the UAE.

Before the last two decades, UAEs population was relatively small with about 67 inhabitants residing in a square mile (Mina, 2014). However, twenty years ago, the country has experienced a rapid increase in their population due to the discovery of oil and the high employment rate. The main characteristic of the country is the small indigenous population and the wealth generated from the vast oil reserves in the area. Besides that, various forms of diversification have taken place in the UAE for the last two decades (Mina, 2014). The diversification is intended to reduce the over-dependence of oil to add value to the states economic components. As a result, the rate of manufacturing of commodities has increased tremendously forming the largest non-oil sector in the UAE. The area deals with products such as cement, ceramics, textiles, and clothing (Mina, 2014). Moreover, the growth trend in the manufacturing industry is because of the high rate of demand resulting from the significant population increase in the area.

In conclusion, United Arab Emirates is a state that is characterized by a fast economic growth. The growing economic trends are due to the discovery of vast oil reserves in the area, thirty years ago. Moreover, the state has industrialized for the past two decades with significant changes in the service, agricultural, manufacturing and employment sectors noted. The wealthy nature of the UAE is associated with the high population and vast oil reserves. Besides that, the country has the highest rate of employment with an unemployment rate of about 0.5 percent as noticed in the past two decades. Additionally, the number of health facilities in the UAE has increased substantially within the last 20 years. Both the public and private hospitals have been evenly distributed in the nation leading to easy accessibility. The country has been experiencing rapid demographic changes for the last two decades. Before the discovery of oil and gas, the population size of UAE was small. However, exploitation of the vast oil reserves has led to a rapid population growth in the area.


Country Reports - United Arab Emirates. (2015). United Arab Emirates Country Monitor, 1-24.

Elbanna, S., & Fadol, Y. (2016). An Analysis of the Comprehensive Implementation of Strategic Plans in Emerging Economies: The United Arab Emirates as a Case Study. European Management Review, 13(2), 75-89. doi:10.1111/emre.12068

Lekhraibani, R., Rutledge, E., & Forstenlechner, I. (2015). Securing a Dynamic and Open Economy: The UAE's Quest for Stability. Middle East Policy, 22(2), 108-124. doi:10.1111/mepo.12132

Mina, W. (2014). United Arab Emirates FDI Outlook. World Economy, 37(12), 1716-1730. doi:10.1111/twec.12169

Oil & Gas Industry Profile: United Arab Emirates. (2016). Oil & Gas Industry Profile: United Arab Emirates, 1-36.

United Arab Emirates Oil & Gas Report. (2016). UAE Oil & Gas Report, (4), 1-75.

United Arab Emirates. (2016). Political Risk Yearbook: UAE Country Report, 2-16.

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