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United Arab Emirates

Montag, 13. September 2021 Quelle :

Note: This column mainly includes countries along the Belt and Road and countries that have signed cooperation agreements with China on Belt and Road Initiative.

The United Arab Emirates consists of seven independent city-states: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah,Ajman and Ra’s al-Khaimah. Four-fifths of the UAE is desert but has contrastinglandscapes—from the towering red dunes of the Liwa to the rich palm-filledoases of Al Ain, from the precipitous Al Hajar Mountains to the more fertilestretches of its coastal plains. Though small in size (similar to the State ofMaine), the UAE has become an important player in regional and internationalaffairs.

Strategically located in the Arabian Gulf,and within an eight-hour flight of two-thirds of the world’s population, theUAE is a modern crossroads, connecting East and West. As such, the UAE’s twolargest cities, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have also emerged as regional centers forbusiness, education, culture and tourism.


Under the UAE system of government, thePresident of the Federation is elected by a body known as the Supreme Councilof Rulers. The Supreme Council is the top policy-making body in the UAE, andthe President and Vice President are both elected from its membership forrenewable five-year terms.

The Supreme Council has both legislativeand executive powers. In addition to planning and ratifying federal laws, theSupreme Council approves the President’s nominated Prime Minister and isequipped to accept his resignation, if required.

The Prime Minister is appointed by thePresident. He or she then appoints a Council of Ministers, or Cabinet, tooversee the development and implementation of federal policy across allportfolios of government.

In addition to the Supreme Council and theCouncil of Ministers, a 40-member parliament known as the Federal NationalCouncil (FNC) also examines proposed new legislation and provides advice to theUAE Cabinet, as required. The FNC is empowered to call and question Ministersin regard to their own performance, providing an additional degree ofaccountability to the system. Groundbreaking developments to open updecisionmaking were made in December 2006, with the first indirect election ofFNC members. Previously, all FNC members were appointed by the Rulers of eachEmirate.

The introduction of indirect electionsrepresents the beginning of a process to modernize the UAE’s system ofgovernment. Under these reforms, individual Rulers select an electoral collegewhose members total 100 times the number of FNC members held by that Emirate.The members of each college then elect half of the FNC members, while the otherhalf continue to be appointed by each Ruler.

The most recent elections occurred in 2015.The process resulted in an FNC in which nearly one-quarter of its members arewomen – including the body’s president, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi. Women alsoserve in the federal cabinet and are being appointed to positions in thejudiciary.

Future initiatives are expected to expandthe size of the FNC and strengthen the interaction between it and the Councilof Ministers, to further improve the efficiency, accountability andparticipatory nature of government in the UAE. In November 2008, the terms forFNC members were extended from two to four years, which is more consistent withother parliaments in the world. In addition, the government will report to theFNC about proposed international treaties and agreements, and those agreementswill be discussed by the FNC before their ratification.

Historically, the political environment ofthe UAE has been characterized by great affection for the country’s leadershipand institutions of government. This is largely in response to the rapid growthand development the UAE has experienced under their guidance in recent decades.


The UAE has one of the most open economiesin the world. This tradition of welcoming business and trade goes back to earlyGulf history, when ships sailed to India and along the coast of East Africa asfar south as Mozambique.

The UAE continues to be a strategic hub,with business-friendly free zones and a quickly growing economy. The countryhas experienced significant economic growth. Average GDP growth over 2000 to2006 in the UAE was about 8.4 percent—the highest in the Gulf CooperationCouncil, which averaged 6.5 percent.

The GDP for 2014 was $419 billion. Thisreflects the rich natural resources in the UAE, which has 10 percent of thetotal world supply of oil reserves and the world’s fifth largest natural gasreserves.

As a mainstay to the economy, oil exportsnow account for about 30 percent of total UAE gross domestic product. Inaddition to being an important supplier of energy, the UAE is now becoming anincreasingly relevant consumer of energy. The UAE will continue its longtradition of responsible energy stewardship as it develops and diversifies itseconomy, accelerates the development of additional hydrocarbon reserves andcontributes to the development and implementation of alternative energysources.

Diversification Creates Trade Opportunities

The UAE launched a diversification andliberalization program to reduce reliance on oil and transform its economy froma conventional, labor-intensive economy to one based on knowledge, technologyand skilled labor. The federal and individual Emirate governments have investedheavily in sectors such as aluminum production, tourism, aviation, re-exportcommerce and telecommunications.

Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030(link isexternal) and Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2015(link is external) areleading the drive towards diversification. The strategy is to increaseinvestment in industrial and other export-oriented sectors, including heavyindustry, transport, petrochemicals, tourism, information technology,telecommunications, renewable energy, aviation and space, and oil and gasservices. Much has already been achieved in these fields, especially insatellite and telecommunications, the aviation sector and in renewable energy,and although short-term priorities have been altered to accommodate changingrealities, the long-term strategy remains the same.

At the federal level, the UAE is pursuingits 2021 Vision(link is external), which aims to place innovation,research, science and technology at the centre of a knowledge-based, highlyproductive and competitive economy by the time of the federation’s goldenjubilee in 2021.

Tourism has played a large part in thesuccess of economic diversification. Abu Dhabi's 156 hotels recorded their bestyear ever in terms of visitor numbers in 2014, while Dubai's 634 establishmentshave also experienced a significant increase in guests. Other emirates arefollowing suit. The UAE's two world-class airlines, Etihad and Emirates,as well as constant upgrading of aviation infrastructure, have played a majorrole in the advance of the tourism industry and are key contributors to theeconomy. Dubai, in particular, expects that the aviation industry willcontribute 32 per cent to its GDP by 2020.

Travel & Culture

The United Arab Emirates is one of theworld's fastest growing tourist and business destinations. Traditional Arabhospitality and comfortable winter temperatures are complemented bysophisticated infrastructure and world-class amenities.

The UAE also has become a world-class venuefor conferences, regional and international exhibitions and major global sportsevents such as the Dubai World Cup for horse-racing, the Abu Dhabi Formula OneGrand Prix, the Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament, the FIFA Club World Cup,world class film festivals in Dubai as well as Abu Dhabi, and in conjunctionwith the White House, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The UAE has wonthe bid to host the 2020 World Expo(link is external).

The United Kingdom's largest online travelagent,, selected Abu Dhabi as one of the world's top 10 traveldestinations in 2008. Dubai International Airport won the award for the MiddleEast's leading airport in the 2012 World Travel Awards.

There is much to do in the UAE beyond Dubaiand Abu Dhabi. First settled during the Bronze Age, Sharjah is the culturalcapital of the emirates. The Heritage Area of Sharjah City includes a MaritimeMuseum, an Islamic Museum and museums for traditional and contemporary Arabicart, among many others.

Ajman attracts international visitors withbeautiful beaches, as does Fujairah which also offers snorkeling and diving andexcursions to the Musandam Peninsula, renowned for the unspoiled nature of itssheer cliffs, rocky coves and coral reefs.

Ras Al Khaima, on the border with Oman, isprobably best known among local adventure travelers for the rugged HajjarMountains.