United Arab Emirates Industry


The United Arab Emirates has invested heavily in developing a non-oil-based industry to prepare for the time to come when the oil is out. However, the most significant part of the industry is still linked to the oil, for example refineries. The oil industry is mainly state-controlled, although there are foreign ownership interests.

Abu Dhabi is primarily the oil processing industry, while Dubai has the most developed non-oil based industry. In both emirates there are energy-intensive aluminum smelters. The industry accounts for just over half of non-oil-based goods exports. Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA) is one of the largest aluminum manufacturers outside of China. At the same time, it gives a picture of the oil dependency that EGA, which is the emirate’s largest industrial company outside the oil industry and employs over 60,000 employees, accounted for only 1.4 percent of the country’s total production value, according to a calculation published at the end of 2018.

Low electricity prices have also led the country to invest in iron and steel production. In Dubai there are several large cement factories, and in Port Rashid one of the world’s largest dry docks for ship repairs.

In the early 2010s, Abu Dhabi had plans for investments in the automotive and petrochemicals industries.

In the northern emirates, the industry has mainly concentrated on the construction industry and port operations.

  • COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of United Arab Emirates. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.

Dubai was the first to create free trade zones, and the largest one is in Jabal Ali. There, 6,000 companies from over a hundred countries manufacture textiles, fertilizers, building materials, pharmaceuticals and food. Abu Dhabi’s free-trade zones include many high-tech companies. About two kilometers outside the capital, the construction of the world’s first carbon-free city, Masdar City, began in 2006, which is mainly to be supplied by a gigantic solar cell plant. The expansion has been slow. In 2018, according to business press, less than a tenth of the project had been completed and the date for the future city to be ready has been moved to 2030.

United Arab Emirates

2016

August

15 Guantánamo prisoners to the Arab Emirates

The United States announces that twelve Yemenites and three Afghans have flown to the United Arab Emirates (see also November 2015). It is the largest number of prisoners who have been moved from the camp in Cuba in one day than at any other time since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. All have been held without charges, some of them for 14 years.

July

Free housing for low-paid migrants

July 19

As of December, employers with more than 50 employees must offer free housing to workers who earn less than the equivalent of $ 540 a month. The government’s decision is an attempt to improve the country’s disgraceful reputation in the treatment of the many migrant workers.

June

“The war in Yemen over”

June 15

Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash says that the fighting in practice is over for the Emirati forces. However, they will stay in Yemen to “monitor” political agreements and support Yemenis in liberated areas. Gargash regrets that the peace talks that have been going on for almost two months in Kuwait have been so slow.

March

Lifetime convictions for terrorist plans

March 27th

A federal court sentenced eleven people to life imprisonment, for having planned terrorist acts in order to proclaim an IS-like caliphate in the country (see August 2015). A further 23 people are sentenced to between 2 and 15 years in prison, while seven are released.

Emirates fighter jet crashes in Yemen

14th of March

Two pilots die when the plane crashes, reportedly due to a technical error. It is the first time the country has lost a plane in the war, which has now been going on for a year.

February

Death sentences for IS connection

Four emirates are sentenced to death in their absence for joining IS. Six other people are sentenced to between three and ten years in prison while one person is released from the charges. According to reports in the press, all must have traveled to Syria.

Promise for greater effort against IS

February 11

The United Arab Emirates, like Saudi Arabia, promises to resume air strikes against IS. The promise is made at a meeting in Brussels with around 25 defense ministers from countries in the US-led alliance fighting IS in Iraq and Syria.

Happiness Ministers and Minister of Tolerance

February 2

In the event of a major refurbishment in the government, the Prime Minister will establish two new government posts. The happiness minister is given the task of “creating social prosperity and satisfaction”. The Minister of Tolerance will work to strengthen tolerance as a fundamental value in the country, the Prime Minister announces via Twitter.

January

Iranian ambassador recalled

January 4th

The United Arab Emirates calls home its ambassador and downgrades relations with Iran after Iranian protesters attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran, in anger over the execution of a Shiite Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia.

United Arab Emirates Industry

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