UAE - From a Pirate Coast
to a Zero Tax Haven


Since 1971, the worldwide perfectly developed brand "Dubai" is embedded in a federation of seven United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is often forgotten in the perception. In this respect, this country profile refers not to the (single) Dubai alone, but throughout the UAE. Hardly any other country in the world has undergone in just 25 to 30 years such a tremendous transformation from a developing country to a highly developed modern commerce, finance, tourism and services hub.

MCI CLT and its partners have their headquarters in the UAE - with personal residence for 8 years now. Thus, personal and professional experience resources, have been extensively shaped by the pre-boom, boom, crisis and post-crisis phase, which ran through the country.


| Country Profile

The United Arab Emirates (الإمارات العربيّة المتّحدة, al-Imārāt al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah), often abbreviated as VAE or shortened to The Emirates  (الامارات‎ Al Imārāt), is a country situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran. UAE's capital is Abu Dhabi, which is as second biggest city of the country (following Dubai) also one of the country's centers of political, industrial and cultural activities.

Before 1971, the UAE was known as the "Trucial States" or "Trucial Oman", in reference to a 19th-century truce between the United Kingdom and several Arab Sheikhs. The name "Pirate Coast" was also used in reference to the area's emirates from the 18th to the early 20th century.

The UAE's political system, based on its 1971 Constitution, is composed of several intricately connected governing bodies. Islam is the official religion, and Arabic is the official language.

The UAE consist of the Emirates:

  • Abu Dhabi (Arabic أبو ظبي‎ / Abū Ẓabī, "Gazelle's Father")
  • Ajman / Adschman (Arabic عجمان‎  / ʿAdschmān)
  • Dubai (Arabic دبي‎  / Dubayy)
  • Fujairah / Fudschaira (Arabic جيرة‎الف  / Al-Fuǧayrah, "Little Sunset")
  • Ras al-Khaimah / Ra’s al-Chaima (Arabic رأس الخيمة  / Ra's al-Ḫaymah, "Tip of the Tent")
  • Sharjah (Arabic الشارقة‎  / aš-Šāriqa, "Illuminated by the Sun")
  • Umm al-Qaiwain (Arabic ام القيوين‎  / Umm al-Qaywayn, "Home of the Cormorants")

UAE's oil reserves are ranked as the world's seventh-largest and the country possesses one of the most-developed economies in West Asia. It is the thirty-fifth-largest economy at market exchange rates, and has a high per capita gross domestic product (GDP), with a nominal per capita GDP of US$ 59,717 (IMF Database 04/2011). Rated with actual prices this is rank 5 worldwide. The UAE has a relatively high Human Development Index (HDI) for the Asian continent of 0.815, ranking thirty-second globally (Spring 2011).The UAE is classified as a "High-Income Developing Economy" by the IMF. The UAE is a founding member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), and a member state of the Arab League. It is also a member of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OPEC, and the World Trade Organization.


| Key Facts

  • Official Language: Arabic, English commonly used
  • Capital City: Abu Dhabi
  • Form of Government: Federal constitutional Monarchy
  • Government: Federation of seven autonomous Emirates
    with  Federal Council, share of seats elected
  • Head of State: President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Emir of Abu Dhabi)
  • Prime Minister: Premier Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Emir of Dubai)
  • Territory: 83,600 sq km
  • Population: officially 5.06m (12/2010), in-officially 8.26m approx.
  • Population Growth Rate: 3.56% (2010)
  • Population Density: officially 61 residents per sq km
  • Foreigners Quote: 84% approx.
  • Nominal GDP: $ 254.5bn (2008), $ 231.3bn (2009), $ 301.9bn (2010)
  • GDP per Capita (IMF Statistics): $ 54,607 (2008, rank 8),
    $ 46,857 (2009, rank 8), $ 59,717 (2010, rank 5)
  • Unemployment Rate: 4,3% (2010, pure national quote)
  • GDP Growth Rate: 7.4% (2008), -1.0% (2009), 1.4% (2010),
    4.0% (2011e, most actual Estimate by UAE Ministry of Economy)
  • Inflation rate: 15.8% (2008), 1.0% (2009), 0.6% (2010), 1.9% (2011e)
  • Public Debt Rate: 21.04% of GDP (2010)
  • Road Network 2010: 5,500 km approx.
  • OECD Country Risk Classification: 2
  • Country Ratings: AA stabile (S&P 08/2011 for Abu Dhabi),
    AA stabile (Fitch 07/2007 for Abu Dhabi), Aa2 stabile (Moody's 07/2011),
    BBB negative (Dagong 07/2010)
  • HDI Human Development Index: 0.815 (2010, rank 32)
  • Currency: UAE Dirham (AED), with fixed exchange rate 3,67 pegged to the US$
  • Exports 2010: $ 235bn, mainly to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India
    – Oil and petrochemical products, gas, aluminum, steel products, re-exports
  • Imports 2010: $ 170bn, mainly from China, India, USA, Germany, Japan
    – machines and electronic equipment, vehicles, gemstone and jewelry, garments
  • Time Zone: GMT +4, MEZ +3, MESZ +2
  • ISO 3166 Code: AE
  • Internet TLD: .ae
  • Calling Code: +971

A comprehensive overall presentation is available on Wikipedia

Used Sources:
Wikipedia | EIU Economist Intelligence Unit | IMF International Monetary Fund
CIA World Fact Book | UAE Interact | UAE Year Book 2010


| Announcement

MCI CLT is actually preparing a substantial Investment Guide UAE.
Expected launch date of the E-Book: October 2012.


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