Oil was discovered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) just 50 years ago. During that time, UAE has been able to transform itself into a rapidly modernizing country, which is fast becoming a major economic hub and a key player on the international economic landscape. This paper discusses a number of aspects of the development strategy of the UAE that contributed to its phenomenal development: (i) the political system, which has resulted in a perception of stability and minimal political risk, encouraging investment; (ii) oil; (iii) development strategies that have resulted in a very dynamic business environment; (iv) open importation of foreign skills and management; (v) labour policies that have enabled the immigration of vast numbers of foreign lower-skilled workers. There are, of course, also concerns for the future, and indeed each of the five positive attributes listed above has a flip side which is a potential major challenge for the future.
Nyarko, Y. The United Arab Emirates: Some Lessons in Economic Development. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2010) 13 pp. ISBN 978-92-9230-246-7 [WIDER Working Paper No. 2010/11]