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The UAE’s Economic Policy and the Current Global Meltdown: An Appraisal

Published on: August 2009​
Genre: Economics/Finance​ Category: Research Report/ Research Paper/ White Paper​
Within a span of less than four decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has undergone an impressive transformation from a small desert economy depending on pearl trading and fishing to an "oasis of opportunity" with booming economic sectors such as real estate and construction, tourism and hospitality, mass communications, shipping and logistics, retail and finance. The UAE’s economic miracle epitomizes the success of an innovative state-led capitalist growth model. The main objective of this paper is to critically assess the economic policies of the UAE from the perspective of the ongoing financial crisis. It is argued that even though the UAE’s dependence on oil has lessened with intense economic diversification and innovative policy regimes that provide new avenues of growth, the main sectors driving growth besides petroleum are highly cyclical in nature. As a result, the economy is bound to fluctuations depending on the business cycle of these sectors, which happened with the current financial crisis. In addition, looking at the comparative strengths of each emirate, this paper makes a strong case for an integrated approach for holistic national economic development.

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