Country Profile

Abu Dhabi City hosts the UAE government, with the ruler of Abu Dhabi customarily serving as the president, while the ruler of Dubai serves as the country’s prime minister and vice-president. In mid-2013 Abu Dhabi’s population stood at an estimated 2.45m, with Emiratis making up 20.2% of the population and expatriates accounting for the remaining 79.8%. The economy has witnessed rapid expansion over the last 15 years with GDP seeing a five-fold increase since 2001 to reach an estimated $260bn in 2013 at current prices. While oil and gas remain the chief source of government revenues, diversification into other key sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, aerospace, defence and finance is reducing the emirate’s dependence on hydrocarbons. Trade relations between the GCC region and Asia continue to deepen, with trade volumes between China and the GCC, for example, topping the $100bn mark for the first time in 2011 and surpassing $150bn in 2012.

This chapter contains an interview from Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman, General Women’s Union, and Supreme President, Family Development Foundation; Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry; and Yoon Sang-Jick, Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy.