Trident Press wish to acknowledge and thank the National Media Council for its valuable encouragement and support of this multifaceted digital project involving production of an interactive UAE Yearbook in six languages, featured on the dedicated website and on DVD. Design and typesetting: Noel Mannion Editor: Paula Vine Associate Editors: Ibrahim Al Abed, Peter Hellyer, Peter Vine Contributors: Tom Arnold, Tamsin Carlisle, Zlata Filipovic, Peter Hellyer, Dr N Janardhan, Kathryn Lewis, Chris Stanton, Mitya Underwood, Paula Vine. Text copyright ©2010: Trident Press Ltd and The National Media Council. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form without the written permission of both copyright holders. Applications should be addressed to the publisher. Layout copyright ©2010: Trident Press Ltd and The National Media Council. Photography: Nick Wood, Francisco Fernandez, Bader Al Awadhi, Emirates News Agency (WAM), Trident Press Ltd, Getty Images, Hanne & Jens Eriksen, Peter Vine, Avi Ratnayake, Robert Butcher, Image Solutions Yearbook information is, by definition, subject to change. The current edition is based on available information at the time of publication. Whilst every care has been taken to achieve accuracy, the publishers cannot accept any liability for consequences arising from the use of information contained in this Yearbook. Statistics are based on available sources and are not necessarily official or endorsed by the UAE Government. Published by Trident Press Ltd 175 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London WIJ 9TB tel: 020 7491 8770; fax: 020 7491 8664 e-mail: website: Further information please contact: National Media Council Department of External Information PO Box 3790, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates tel: 00971 2 4452922 email: website:

1 History 2 Uncovering the Past 3 Political System 4 Foreign Policy 5 Humanitarian Aid 6 The Economy 7 Financial Services 8 Oil & Gas 9 Infrastructure 10 Electricity & Water 11 Renewable Energy 12 Nuclear Programme 13 Telecommunications & Post 14 Social Affairs 15 Labour 16 Human Rights 17 Women 18 Education 19 Health 20 Media 21 Culture 22 Environment 23 Exhibitions & Expo 24 Sports

The UAE has a long history, recent finds on the eastern side of the Hajar Mountains and in western Abu Dhabi having pushed the earliest evidence of man in the Emirates back by hundreds of thousands of years.
At this time, it is believed, the UAE may have played an important role in the migration of early Man out of Africa into Asia. Prior to this, the earliest known human occupation for which there is significant evidence dated from the Neolithic period, 5500 BC or 7500 years ago, when the climate was wetter and food resources abundant. Even at this early stage, there is proof of interaction with the outside world, especially with civilisations to the north. These contacts persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains, commencing around 3000 BC as the climate became more arid and fortified oasis communities focused on agriculture.

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important dates 6 > UAE 2010 .

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Bidiya. the Qawasim. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Qawisim had built up a fleet of over 60 large vessels and could put nearly 20. members of the Al Bu Falasah. eventually provoking a British offensive to control the maritime trade routes between the Gulf and India. By the first century AD overland caravan traffic between Syria and cities in southern Iraq.Travel and Trade Foreign trade. Seafaring was also a mainstay and major fairs were held at Dibba. followed by seaborne travel to the important port of Omana (perhaps present-day Umm al-Qaiwain) and thence to India was an alternative to the Red Sea route used by the Romans. War at Sea The Portuguese arrival in the Gulf in the sixteenth century had bloody consequences for the Arab residents of Julfar and east coast ports like Dibba. while European powers competed for regional supremacy. facilitated by domestication of the camel at the end of the second millennium BC. the sheikh of the Al Bu Falah (Al Nahyan family) moved there from the Liwa. a branch of the Bani Yas. Over many centuries. Early in the nineteenth century. Pearls had been exploited in the area for millennia but at this time the trade reached new heights. Khor Fakkan and Kalba. But by the early 1790s the town of Abu Dhabi had become such an important pearling centre that the political leader of all the Bani Yas groups. However. a local power. 8 > UAE 2010 . Out of the Desert Inland. bringing merchants from as far afield as China. At the same time. was gathering strength.000 sailors to sea. Julfar became a wealthy port and pearling centre from which great wooden dhows ranged far and wide across the Indian Ocean. the discovery of new irrigation techniques (falaj irrigation) made possible the extensive watering of agricultural areas that resulted in an explosion of settlement in the region. settled by the creek in Dubai and established Maktoum rule in that emirate. Conversion to Islam The arrival of envoys from the Prophet Muhammad in 630 AD heralded the conversion of the region to Islam. seems to have flourished also in later periods. the recurring motif in the history of this strategic region. By 637 AD Islamic armies were using Julfar (Ra’s al-Khaimah) as a staging post for the conquest of Iran. the arc of villages at Liwa were the focus of economic and social activity for the Bani Yas from before the sixteenth century.


Sheikh Zayed succeeded his elder brother as Ruler of Abu Dhabi. he travelled widely throughout the country. Despite their adaptability and resourcefulness. Many of the inhabitants were semi-nomadic. However. Born around 1918 in Abu Dhabi. providing both income and employment to the people of the Arabian Gulf coast. He brought to his new task a firm belief in the values of consultation and consensus and his judgements ‘were distinguished by their acute insights.Pearling Heyday Following the defeat of the Qawasim in 1820. The First World War impacted severely on the pearl fishery. their meagre economic resources were soon to be dealt a heavy blow. Sheikh Zayed was the youngest of the four sons of Sheikh Sultan. The industry eventually faded away just after the Second World War. gaining a deep understanding of the land and of its people. coupled with the Japanese invention of the cultured pearl. On 6 August 1966. Oil and Leadership Fortunately. 160 kilometres east of the island of Abu Dhabi. The pearling industry thrived in the relative calm at sea during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. when oil company teams arrived to undertake preliminary geological surveys. he obtained his first exposure to the industry that was to make possible the development of today. when the newly independent Government of India imposed heavy taxation on pearls imported from the Gulf. the British signed a series of agreements with the sheikhs of the individual emirates that. . In 1946. He promptly increased contributions to the Trucial 10 > UAE 2010 Right: Seawater pearls have been exploited in the UAE for millennia. pearling in the summer months and tending to their date gardens in the winter. As Sheikh Zayed grew to manhood. but it was the economic depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s. centred on Al Ain. wisdom and fairness’. In the early 1930s. resulted in the area becoming known as ‘The Trucial States’. the population faced considerable hardship with little opportunity for education and no roads or hospitals. later augmented with treaties on preserving a maritime truce. This was catastrophic for the area. The first cargo of crude oil was exported from Abu Dhabi in 1962. Ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1922 to 1926. that damaged it irreparably. oil and the visionary leadership of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan were on the horizon. Sheikh Zayed was chosen as Ruler’s Representative in Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Region.


When Dubai’s oil exports commenced in 1969. later. de facto Ruler of Dubai since 1939. Sheikh Zayed undertook a massive construction programme. building schools. Along with Sheikh Rashid. was also able to use oil revenues to improve the quality of life of his people. but also Qatar and Bahrain. Sheikh Zayed took the lead in calling for a federation that would include not only the seven emirates that together made up the Trucial States. The seventh emirate. Fujairah. agreement was reached between the rulers of six of the emirates (Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. when the British announced their intention of withdrawing from the Arabian Gulf by the end of 1971. Federation At the beginning of 1968. formally acceded to the new federation on 10 February 12 > UAE 2010 . hospitals and roads. however. Prime Minister of the newly formed state.States Development Fund and with revenues growing as oil production increased. Dubai. Umm al-Qaiwain and Ajman) and the federation to be known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was formally established on 2 December 1971 with Sheikh Zayed as its President. who was to become Vice President and. housing. Following a period of negotiation. Sheikh Zayed acted rapidly to initiate moves towards establishing closer ties between the emirates. Ra’s al-Khaimah. Sharjah.

1972. Sheikh Zayed was successively re-elected as President at five-year intervals until his death 33 years later in November 2004. The new state emerged at a time of political turmoil in the region. A couple of days earlier, Iran had seized the islands of Greater and Lesser Tunb, part of Ra’s al-Khaimah, and had landed troops on Abu Musa, part of Sharjah. Foreign observers predicted that the UAE would survive only with difficulty, pointing to disputes with its neighbours and to the wide disparity between the seven emirates. Sheikh Zayed was more optimistic and the predictions of those early pessimists were shown to be unfounded. However, there is no doubt that the prosperity, harmony and modern development that today characterises the UAE is due to a very great extent to the formative role played by the UAE’s founding fathers. Sheikh Zayed was succeeded as the UAE’s President and as Ruler of Abu Dhabi by his eldest son, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2004. The principles and philosophy that he brought to government, however, remain at the core of the state, and of its policies, today. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, was chosen as Vice President of the Federation following the death of his brother Sheikh Maktoum in 2006.

13 > history

the past
The past year marked a significant milestone in the study of the archaeology of the United Arab Emirates – the fiftieth anniversary of the first excavations ever undertaken in the country, at the Bronze Age site of Umm an-Nar, an island close to the UAE’s capital of Abu Dhabi.
The site, which includes around 40 massive collective graves and an associated settlement, was first noted by an amateur enthusiast working for an oil company. Recognising its potential significance, he invited a team of Danish archaeologists then working in Bahrain to come and investigate. The oil company provided support – initiating a programme of active funding of UAE archaeology by the country’s oil companies that has continued until today – and a visit in early 1958 was sufficient to confirm the potential of the site.

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With the encouragement of the then Ruler, Sheikh Shakhbut, and his younger brother, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, later to become both Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s founder-President, a first season of excavations took place in February and March 1959, discovering a previously unknown culture, now known as the Umm an-Nar civilisation, that has since been shown to have extended throughout modernday UAE and deep into Oman. This first season of excavations was followed by several further years of work by the Danish team, both at Umm an-Nar and at Al Ain, in Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Region, laying the foundations of Emirates’ archaeology. At the time the Danes began their work at Umm an-Nar in 1959, little was known of the UAE’s history. Indeed, it was believed that, apart from well-known coastal settlements like Julfar, in Ra’s al-Khaimah, and Dibba and Khor Fakkan, on the east coast, the country had played little part in the history of human civilisation in the Gulf region. In the half-century that has followed, extensive excavations, undertaken both by local archaeological teams and by foreign academic missions, have shown that, on the contrary, the land of the Emirates has a history of human settlement that stretches back at least 200,000 years and that it has played an important part in developments as varied as the migration of early Man out of Africa into Asia, the emergence of the pearling industry, the supply, 5000 years ago, of copper to the great empires of Mesopotamia and the creation of international maritime trading routes that extended as far away as China as much as 2000 years ago. Once considered to be little more than what one historian has described as ‘a blank on the archaeological map of Arabia’, the UAE has now come to occupy its rightful place as an important contributor to the history of the region.

International Conference
Some of the major discoveries over the last 50 years were among topics discussed at a special international conference held in March 2009 to commemorate the anniversary of the first excavations. Organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development and inaugurated by the Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the conference brought together academics and others both from the UAE and from the many countries overseas whose archaeologists have been involved in the discovery of the cultural heritage and history of the Emirates. Much of the conference dealt with a review of the discoveries of the previous decades of work, both in terms of individual sites and in terms of the broader topic of the periods of settlement, from the Palaeolithic

16 > UAE 2010

and Neolithic (early and late Stone Age) through the Bronze Age and Iron Age to the late pre-Islamic era and then into the 1400 years of the Islamic period. Some important results from recent work, in particular from the winter 2008–2009 season, were also unveiled.

New Discoveries
With over a dozen foreign archaeological teams working in the UAE each year, along with the work undertaken by local departments in each emirate, it is not possible to provide a full summary of all of the recent major discoveries. A brief overview both of results presented to the conference and of other activities, however, is sufficient to provide an indication of the scope of the work, and of the way in which study of the archaeology of the Emirates has continued to make finds of international significance. In some cases, these are unique within the Arabian Gulf region. One, however, has no parallel anywhere else in the world – the identification by a French team of a religious sanctuary at Akab, in Umm al-Qaiwain, that comprised a large mound of carefully placed bones of the dugong, an endangered marine mammal found in the Indo-Pacific. Dating back to the fifth millennium BC, in the Neolithic or Late Stone Age period, the sanctuary sheds important light on cultural practices of the period. No other site indicating veneration of dugongs is known anywhere else in the Middle East – and the only other sites anywhere that have dugongs as their focus are from northern Australia, built by the aboriginal population in the last few hundred years. Also dating to the Neolithic period and related to animals is another site in the middle of the desert in Abu Dhabi’s Western (Al Gharbia) Region. Excavations undertaken by a team from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), France’s CNRS and Oxford Brookes University from Britain have identified the skeletons of several dozen camels along with flint tools, suggesting that the site may provide important information on ancient hunting techniques. Studies of the bones will also contribute to a greater understanding of Arabia’s wild camels as much as 3000 years before the species was domesticated. Further knowledge of the Neolithic period has come from continuing studies by a team from Germany’s University of Tubingen, working with the Sharjah Directorate of Antiquities, of the skeletons of more than 500 people excavated from one of the UAE’s most important Neolithic sites, at Jebel Buhais. The studies have shown a high rate of injuries to the skull, a possible indication of widespread violence between different groups of the population. At the time, the climate in the UAE was becoming more arid, with an increasing shortage of water and other resources, and it has been suggested by the archaeologists that

17 > uncovering the past

During the early part of the second half of the first millennium BC. For populations of villages like Al-Thuqeibah. suggesting that a snake cult may have been part of the religious beliefs of the country’s inhabitants at the time. a site deep in Dubai’s deserts. important new evidence has also been uncovered of life in the UAE during the Iron Age. Saruq al-Hadid contains abundant evidence of copper. Another Iron Age site to receive further attention was that of Muweilah. A wide variety of imported luxury items. including pottery. was a deepening of the underground falaj water channel that brought water to the village and its fields. have also been found at the site. declining rainfall. At least two phases of deepening the falaj have been identified. including vessels. from the US. before the villagers finally gave up and moved away. Similar finds have also been made at Iron Age sites elsewhere in the Emirates. this posed severe problems. which lasted from around 1300 BC–300 BC. close to Sharjah International Airport. jewellery and even fish hooks. in Dubai. dependent to a large extent on agriculture. Of particular interest has been the results of work undertaken by Dubai Museum in association with the US University of Arkansas at Saruq al-Hadid.territorial conflicts between nomadic groups may have been the reason for the exceptional rate of violent death at that time. Another important discovery shedding light on the pattern of Iron Age occupation in the UAE came from excavations undertaken by Spain’s Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and the Sharjah Directorate of Archaeology at Al-Thuqeibah. on the Al-Madam Plain. One response. so that it could continue to tap into the water table as it slowly declined. Moving forward in terms of time. As a result of the finds. from around 500–300 BC). Although more than 50 kilometres from any known source of copper ore or fuel. but from Masafi. It is now clear that the entire ancient settlement 18 > UAE 2010 . just to the west of the Hajar Mountains. with thousands of finely crafted metal objects. bronze and iron production. daggers. in the heart of the Hajar Mountains. as shown by the excavations.e. there appears to have been a change in the climate in the Emirates with. the whole scope and nature of Iron Age occupation in the deserts of the UAE is being re-assessed. Work undertaken by Bryn Mawr College. work by a French archaeological team in association with the Department of Antiquities of Fujairah that began in 2007 and has continued in subsequent winter seasons has identified a large fortified settlement and a public building with a large pillared room. (i. in particular. including at Qusais. Also from the Iron Age. as well as a number of artefacts decorated with representations of snakes. has provided detailed evidence for the layout and organisation of this Iron Age II (1100–600 BC) settlement.


which was created by the construction of two deep stone and mudbrick walls. One of the most unusual – and unparalleled – discoveries is a 3-metre-wide ditch. Whether or not these areas were occupied at the same time or in sequence is not yet clear. another example of changing climate patterns during the period. was replaced by a large fortification wall. which probably occurred sometime in the eighth century BC. probably the remnants of ‘arish (palm-frond) structures. cover an area spreading over at least 20 hectares. In addition. as well as the Neolithic site at Jebel Buhais. once filled. the ancient settlement of Muweilah was destroyed by an attack. indicate that the process of climate change is not new: it is something that has affected patterns of settlement in the UAE for thousands of years and provides. Despite these precautions. archaeologists would argue. 20 > UAE 2010 . excavations in the area of the walled compound have revealed a complex fortification system that was remodelled over the life of the ancient settlement. lessons that should be taken into account in assessing the potential impact of climate change today. Campsites. These Iron Age sites. It seems that the ditch surrounded the entire settlement and. following which the site was buried beneath sand dunes.covered an extensive area and that the large walled compound (Area C) was only one component of the human habitation.

has the potential to have a devastating effect on the Emirates. for it is from the past that we learn. Lying in what was once a shallow tidal channel. where the vast majority of the population live in low-lying coastal areas. The UAE’s founding father. A programme of geological research along the Abu Dhabi coastline is already producing results suggesting that sea levels have. once again. the late Sheikh Zayed. Around 2 metres above the current high-tide mark. perhaps around 6000 years ago.Besides increasing aridity. once commented that ‘He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future. climate change also affects other aspects of the world around us. that of changes in sea level. New evidence of past sea level changes near the UAE’s capital of Abu Dhabi has come to light during the year under review as a result of excavations sponsored by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) at Musaffah. when the UAE’s Arabian Gulf coastline was further inland.’ Through studies of the UAE’s archaeology. and the data collected during the Musaffah excavations will help to assess the likely impact. the skeleton of a large whale has been recovered from an area of sabkha (salt-flats). begun to rise. leading to the formation of the sabkhas that now stretch for hundreds of kilometres along the coast. the whale was obviously washed up at a time when sea levels were higher. that past is gradually coming more clearly into focus. one of which. offering lessons for the country’s inhabitants of today and of tomorrow. 21 > uncovering the past . Sea level then fell. gradually.

by President H. and devised and guided at an executive level by UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai H. major steps have been taken. This process has been directed. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . to reform the structure of government in order to make it more responsive to the needs of the country’s population and to ensure that it is better equipped to cope with the challenges of development.H. both at the federal and local levels. at a federal level.political system In line with the UAE’s rapid socio-economic developments.H. Similar programmes have been launched at the local level in the individual emirates of the federation. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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The move was aimed at allowing wider participation and interaction of the citizens of the country. The strategy. according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. The elections were based on the National Programme unveiled by the President a year earlier. Other principles include revitalising the regulatory and policy-making roles of the ministries and improving their decision-making mechanisms. 24 > UAE 2010 . based on detailed studies (and)… clearly identifies and integrates federal and local efforts. the years ahead require a bigger role for the FNC by empowering it to be an authority that would provide great support and guidance for the executive arm of the government… We shall work to make the Council more capable. This strategy unifies efforts within a strategic framework with clear objectives. the President said: “Considering the developments in our region. which is now witnessing transformation and reforms. “sets the foundations for a new era of public administration. This would be done by ensuring a more participatory process and the entrenchment of Shura (consultations) policy“ New Strategy The launch of the UAE Government Strategy in 2007 was another important development in the reform process. Envisaging a bigger role for the FNC. as well as reviewing and upgrading existing legislation.” A key focus of the UAE Government Strategy is to create synergy between federal and local governments. which stated that half the members of the FNC would be elected while the other half would be appointed as part of a new effort to make the Council more dynamic.Elections One landmark step in this reform process designed to enhance public participation in the UAE political system was the first-ever indirect elections to the country’s parliament. more effective and more sensitive to the issues affecting the nation and the people. increasing the efficiency of governmental bodies and upgrading their services in accordance with the needs of the people. which were conducted in December 2006. the Federal National Council (FNC). The changing times and the nature of the challenges prompt us to think in a different way and to adopt international best practices in the area of public administration.


Under Articles 120 and 121 of the Constitution. education. postal. public health. air traffic control and licensing of aircraft. currency. underlines the UAE’s unique amalgamation of the traditional and modern political systems that have guaranteed national stability and laid the foundation for development. banking. All other matters were left to the jurisdiction of the individual emirates and their local governments. security and defence. As in many federal structures around the world. certain powers remained the prerogative of each of the individual emirates. 26 > UAE 2010 . the Federal Supreme Council – comprising of the rulers of the seven emirates – approved two amendments to the provisional Constitution and agreed to make it permanent. the areas under the purview of the federal authorities are foreign affairs. in addition to a number of other sectors specifically prescribed. which already had their own governing institutions prior to the establishment of the Federation. telephone and other communications services. both separately and combined. the rulers agreed to draw up a provisional Constitution specifying the powers allocated to the new federal institutions.Political Structure To ensure effective governance of the new state after its establishment in 1971. delimitation of territorial waters and extradition of criminals. nationality and immigration issues. In May 1996. A closer look at the working of the federal and local governments. including labour relations.

which requires the president’s ratification. the Council of Ministers (Cabinet). The Supreme Council. the federal system of government includes the Supreme Council. a parliamentary body in the form of the Federal National Council (FNC) and the Federal Supreme Court. It ratifies federal laws and decrees. The Council of Ministers. has both legislative and executive powers. then proposes the Cabinet. Accordingly. is headed by a prime minister. currently also the vice-president. It also relieves him from his post upon the recommendation of the president. described in the Constitution as ‘the executive authority’ for the Federation. the Supreme Council re-elected President Sheikh Khalifa for another five-year term in November 2009. which is representative of an independent judiciary. 27 > political system . plans general policy. chosen by the president in consultation with the Supreme Council. approves the nomination of the prime minister and accepts his resignation.Federal Government At present. comprising the rulers of the seven emirates. The prime minister. The Supreme Council elects a president and vice-president from amongst them to serve for a renewable five-year term in office.

UAE Political Structure 28 > UAE 2010 .

29 > political system .

Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah. and four from Ajman. Influencing the Government’s work through the channels of discussion. Debating international treaties and conventions. six from Sharjah and Ra’s al-Khaimah. federal draft laws have to pass through the FNC for review and recommendations. with the remainder nominated by the rulers of the respective emirates. The FNC’s functions include: X Discussing constitutional amendments and draft laws. After following a practice of nominating all 40 members between 1972 and 2006. Original draft laws from the Cabinet have been amended by the FNC to suit the needs of the citizens they represent. Reviewing the annual draft budget of the federation. Federal Judiciary The federal judiciary. A majority of its recommendations and amendments have been adopted by the Government. amended or rejected. X X X Throughout its history. The current FNC is chaired by Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair. includes the Federal Supreme Court and Courts of First Instance. who was elected in 2006. the FNC has influenced the federal government in the drafting of new legislation. The Federal Supreme Court comprises five judges appointed by the 30 > UAE 2010 . which is accorded independence under the Constitution. 20 members of the current FNC were elected by an Electoral College in 2006. Since February 1972. composed of 40 members – eight from Abu Dhabi and Dubai.Federal National Council The FNC is the UAE’s advisory council. According to the Constitution. discussing issues and draft laws concerning the people and economy. question and answer sessions. which may be approved. recommendations and following up on complaints. the FNC has completed 14 legislative sessions.

each of which has a nominated Municipal Council. headed by Ruler’s Representatives. the Executive Council. departments and autonomous agencies can be found in each of the other emirates. Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority. A number of autonomous agencies also exist with clearly specified powers. whose authority emanates both from the consensus of their community and the confidence placed in them by the ruler. Abu Dhabi also has a National Consultative Council. an emir or wali. to act as a conduit through which the concerns of inhabitants may be directed to government. Local Government Corresponding to the federal institutions are the local governments of the seven emirates. under which there are a number of separate departments. equivalent to ministries. headed by deputy chairmen. In smaller or more remote settlements. has adopted the practice of devolving some authority on a local basis. they have evolved along with the country’s growth. These include the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi. In addition to an Executive Council. established in 2003. has its own central governing organ. A municipal authority has also been created for Al Gharbia. their mechanisms differ from emirate to emirate. are administered by municipalities. in both Kalba and Khor Fakkan. The Dubai Executive Council. these are the leading local figures. 31 > political system . In most cases. The largest and most populous emirate. The emirate is divided into two regions – Al Gharbia (previously known as the Western Region) and the Eastern Region. Further. Sharjah. chaired by Crown Prince H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. the ruler of each emirate may choose a local representative. However. The judges decide on the constitutionality of federal laws and arbitrate on inter-emirate disputes and disputes between the federal government and the emirates. Sharjah has developed its own Consultative Council. with 60 members selected from among the emirate’s main tribes and families. has similar functions for the UAE’s second-largest emirate and is headed by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. A similar pattern of municipalities.H. with three enclaves on the country’s east coast. Abu Dhabi.Supreme Council. with branches of the Sharjah Emiri Diwan (Court). area. Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The main cities. and degree of development. depending on factors such as population. Sharjah and Ajman also have Executive Councils. Varying in size. chaired by a Speaker. Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and Health Authority – Abu Dhabi.

As the smaller emirates have benefited from education. in which his fellow citizens could voice their opinions. In this framework. the increasing sophistication of government administration means 32 > UAE 2010 . principle that the people should have open access to their ruler. Simultaneously. and that he should hold a frequent and open majlis. becomes more difficult to maintain as the population grows. this environment valued consensus as well as participation. Under the terms of the Constitution. issues relevant to the community were discussed and debated. the ruler of an emirate – the sheikh – was the leader of the most powerful tribe. for example. which may be ideally suited to small societies. Traditional Government Traditionally.Federal-Local Interaction The powers of the various federal institutions and their relationship with the separate local institutions have changed since the establishment of the state. Part of that process was the unwritten. Opinions were expressed and the sheikh would take these opinions with consideration prior to taking a decision. The relationship between the federal and local systems of government continues to evolve. although none have done so (Abu Dhabi relinquished its membership in favour of the federation in 1971). in essence. replaced the traditional forms that coexist alongside. This was natural. and the traditional form of such participation would exist within the context of a majlis or council. given the size of the communities and the difficult economic environment in which they existed. was a form of direct democracy. they have also been able to recruit personnel to local government services that were once handled on their behalf by federal institutions. These new systems of government have not. governments were always small. rulers may relinquish certain areas of authority to the Federal Government – one such significant move was the decision to unify the armed forces in the mid-1970s. however. The key driver behind such developments remains performance and efficiency in the delivery of services to citizens and the expatriate population residing in the UAE. or to take up. membership in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. The 1971 Constitution also permitted each emirate to retain. This. Traditionally. Such a direct democracy. both in size and scope. However. These maintained their authority only as long as they were able to retain the support of their people. also had a chief or sheikh. but strong. while each tribe. and often its sub-sections.

an open election for half the Council. the ruler nominating the other half. and in some emirates. In many emirates. could nominate at least 800 electors each to their respective electoral colleges. both of personal interest and of broader concern. a fascinating aspect of life in the UAE even today – and one that is essential to better understand its political system – is the way in which the institution of the majlis maintains its relevance. the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. while Umm al-Qaiwain. rather than seek personal meetings with their rulers. the colleges were substantially larger than the minimum number laid down. Ajman and Fujairah are entitled to four seats each and could nominate at least 400. President H. It is now evident that it is these elements of governance that have served as a solid foundation in maintaining the unique identity of the country against a backdrop of rapid economic and social changes. conduct elections to elect half the FNC members through an Electoral College. New Wave of Change In his National Day address in December 2005. the political modernisation process was envisaged in three stages: first. accountability. Sharjah and Ra’s al-Khaimah are entitled to six.that many people now find it more appropriate to deal directly with these institutions on most matters. For example. in which participants may raise a wide range of topics. These representatives then elected half the FNC members for their emirate. which are each entitled to eight seats on the FNC. the ruler and a number of other senior family members continue to hold an open majlis.H. Sheikh Khalifa called for a greater role for the FNC. Despite the change in times. and finally. the ultimate objective being to increase participation and ‘to entrench the rule of law and due process. transparency and equal opportunity…’ Accordingly. and had to nominate at least 600 members of their electoral colleges. The first step towards political change was the establishment of the Electoral College. at the end of which the political institution would be a more enabled body. which would require extensive constitutional studies and possible modifications. This remains an important parallel of political participation and enriches political participation in the cultural context. second expand the powers of the FNC and increase the number of FNC members. All could nominate more if they wished. This mechanism for indirect 33 > political system . Similarly. This was created through a process by which each emirate nominated a council that had at least 100 times the number of FNC seats it is entitled to fill.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. educated and enthusiastic population. . The trust of the voters is a responsibility that should be shouldered in the best interest of the nation and its citizens. The elections were part of a general effort to keep pace with fundamental realities that include a young. and finally. The purpose of the elections was to expand political participation and develop a culture of government reform. The limited scope of participation was conditioned by three reasons – first. which the UAE wanted to avoid. based on sectarian and religious issues. we strongly believe this gradual approach will contribute positively in the building of a mature parliamentary process. Rationale for Gradual Change The political changes were derived from the understanding that as the world around the UAE evolves. the country does not have an electoral tradition. The gradual parliamentary process reflects the particularity of the UAE political experience.elections to public office brought new faces into the political process and also established an electionbased culture for the first time in the history of the UAE. which was laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. the role of women and a recognition of the way in which issues have polarised society in other parliamentary experiments in the region. elections in the region have proved to be divisive affairs. As we adopt this same method to develop the principle of public participation. it is important for the country to develop and modernise its political process. That political experience has contributed immensely to providing stability and prosperity to our union. which has the necessary factors to perform its legislative and supervisory duties in accordance with the constitution… It is therefore the responsibility of the FNC members to improve our legislation to be 34 > UAE 2010 Right: H. The government’s decision to conduct elections is testimony to the high degree of mutual trust between the rulers and citizens. After the completion of the polling process. Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE. two. Ruler of Dubai. President Sheikh Khalifa said: “Now that the election of the FNC members is complete… we want (it) to be a launch pad to a greater height and a comprehensive practice towards grassroots participation in our decision-making process and shouldering of responsibilities. the challenges of resources. H. while maintaining stability and economic viability. the prevailing political tension and instability in the region meant that there was no scope for error. The elections were a gradualist step towards taking account of these changes. Demography is also an omnipresent factor in the strategy and development of the UAE’s political system.


Third. which allows for a more appropriate timeframe for discussion of issues. the amendment of Article 62 states that the prime minister or his deputies or any federal minister shall neither practice any professional or commercial job nor shall they enter into a business transaction with the federal government or local governments Thus. as per the amendment of Article 72. Second. the amendment of Article 78 mandates that the FNC session begin in the third week of October each year. Article 91 has been amended to allow the government to notify the FNC of international agreements and conventions it proposes to sign. thus reducing the length of the parliamentary recess to coincide with the Cabinet’s work and allowing further cooperation between the government and the FNC. the Supreme Council approved constitutional amendments both to empower the FNC and to enhance government transparency and line with developments in a way that harmonises with our national interests. 36 > UAE 2010 . Further. the primacy of the consultative process and gradual social change – into a more modern system that takes into account the rapid socio-economic advances made since the establishment of the federation. providing an opportunity for the FNC to debate them before ratification. First. We strongly believe the government will create the right climate that will enable the FNC to live up to its role as a bridge between citizens and the state institutions and its executive and administrative leaders…” Empowering the FNC In December 2008. the changes envisioned and undertaken by the UAE leadership represent an indigenous initiative reflecting the need to transform the country’s traditional political heritage – based on consensus. the term of office for FNC members was extended from two to four years.

the President may promulgate the law after ratification by the Supreme Council. Such decrees-laws must be referred to the Supreme Council within a week at the maximum for assent or rejection. The President shall sign the bill after ratification by the Supreme Council and shall promulgate it. the President or the Supreme Council may refer it back to the FNC. However. they shall have the force of law and the FNC shall be notified at its next meeting. If the FNC introduces an amendment on that occasion which is not acceptable to the President or the Supreme Council.Constitutional Framework for Federal Law-making Process Article 110 X A draft law shall become a law after the adoption of the following procedure: 1 The Cabinet shall prepare a bill and submit it to the FNC. Notwithstanding the above. or if the FNC decides to reject the bill. If they are approved. X Article 113 X Should a necessity arise for urgent promulgation of federal laws between sessions of the FNC. provided that the FNC is notified at its next meeting. 3 X If the FNC inserts any amendment to the bill and this amendment is not acceptable to the President or the Supreme Council. the Cabinet may issue them through the Supreme Council and the President. or if the FNC rejects the bill. if the Supreme Council does not approve them. if the situation requires the promulgation of federal laws when the FNC is not in session. they shall cease to have the force of law. X 37 > political system . the President together with the Cabinet may promulgate the necessary laws in the form of decrees which shall have the force of law. 2 The Cabinet shall submit the bill to the President for his approval and presentation to the Supreme Council for ratification. provided that they are not inconsistent with the Constitution.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. including the necessity of respecting the principle of non-interference in the sovereign affairs of other nations. Iraq. The UAE is mindful of its commitment to its neighbours and the international community with regard to regional peace. It believes that peace cannot be achieved while the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and other Arab territories continues. partnerships and dialogue. within the context of an agreement based on the Arab Peace Initiative. The UAE is dedicated to peace. negotiation and compassion. Afghanistan and Pakistan and the initiatives required to deal with them formed the core of the UAE dialogue with world leaders during 2009. The developments in Palestine. The UAE is also committed towards peaceful resolution of disputes and backs international institutions to reinforce the rule of international law and implementation of conventions and treaties. stability and human security for all. security and stability in the Arab region. A guiding principle of UAE foreign policy is the belief in the need for justice in international dealings between states. This approach emphasises diplomacy. Iran.foreign policy The UAE’s political leadership operates within the broad foreign policy framework established by the founding President of the Federation. as well as normalisation of relations between all countries and a just and lasting solution to the Middle East conflict. Relying on these tools of engagement has allowed the government to pursue effective. One of the central features of the UAE’s foreign policy has been the development of closer ties with its neighbours in the Arabian Peninsula through the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Yemen. balanced and wide-ranging ties with the international community. it supports an end to Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . To achieve these goals. it has purposefully promoted bridges.

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Egypt. to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and to the Palestinian Government headed by Dr Salam Fayad. and the continuous challenge of the resolutions of international legality and annexation of more territories. The UAE also reaffirmed its long-standing support for the Iraqi people and the rebuilding of the country’s security.Palestine Reflecting this consistency. This includes the suffocating blockade imposed on the Palestinian people. the UAE reiterated its firm support to the Palestinian National Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan reiterated to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in November 2009 that the UAE would unswervingly support the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state. President Sheikh H. The UAE commended the gradual withdrawal of foreign troops and the extension of Iraqi Government authority across the country. It urged respect for the territorial integrity of Iraq. including development funds for infrastructure.H. It said the Israeli aggression ‘constituted an unequivocal violation of international laws that protect civilians and safeguard their rights during war. legislative and economic institutions. Sheikh Khalifa urged international action to freeze the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem in a bid to revive the Middle East peace process. Earlier in the year. which was held in Sharm el Sheikh. hospital and school projects. Iraq The UAE has been an active supporter of the Iraqi Government in its efforts to draw up a comprehensive political formula to enable the country achieve security and stability. In addition. The UAE also expressed disappointment with the peace process because of the continued hostile attitude of the Israeli Government. The UAE has provided over US$3 billion in aid to the Palestinians. In the struggle to regain the Palestinian people’s rights. its sovereignty and 40 > UAE 2010 . particularly in Gaza. economic and humanitarian support to the Palestinian cause. the UAE Cabinet condemned the Israeli aggression on Gaza and expressed solidarity with the Palestinians affected by the war. housing. the UAE said it would continue to offer political.’ At the second international conference to support the Palestinian economy and reconstruction of Gaza strip. the country donated US$174 million towards reconstruction in Gaza.


airspace. We call upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to the peaceful and sincere initiatives of the UAE. Sheikh Abdullah commented: “We urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to continue its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the international community in order to allay fears and doubts raised about the nature and purposes of its nuclear programme. Addressing the forty-sixth United Nations General Assembly in New York. Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “The UAE renews its expression of disappointment at the continued occupation by the Islamic Republic of Iran of the three UAE islands – Greater Tunb. They call for a just settlement of this issue. We hope the Iranian Government will respond positively and fairly to this sensitive issue to strengthen neighbourly relations. Iran Despite a long-running dispute with Iran on the question of the three occupied UAE islands and worries about Iran’s nuclear programme. Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa – since 1971.independence. The UAE demands the return of these islands to its full sovereignty. regardless of how long the occupation may last. stability and prosperity in the region. the UAE has kept open all channels of constructive engagement that could result in a mechanism for confidence-building measures and peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues. either through direct negotiations between the two countries or by referring it to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and the provisions of international law. continental shelf and their exclusive economic zone. The UAE affirms that all military and administrative measures taken by the Iranian Government on these islands are null and void. The UAE has one of the few functioning Arab embassies and resident ambassadors in Baghdad. and has cancelled debts worth about US$7 billion to support Iraq’s reconstruction efforts. and called for safeguarding the Arab and Islamic identity of the country to protect against its disintegration.” 42 > UAE 2010 . avoid any escalation and reach a peaceful agreement that ensures the security and stability of the countries in the region and their people.” With regard to Iran’s nuclear programme. as integral parts of the UAE. We also call upon the negotiating parties to continue their political and diplomatic approach. including their regional waters. enhance cooperation and promote common interests between our two countries… and achieve security. The UAE also affirms that these measures do not have any legal effect.

. an organisation involving 24 donor countries and international development institutions. the UAE has affirmed the importance of stability in Pakistan. enhance regional and international efforts to combat terrorism. Balkans. the UAE is building bilateral and multilateral relations with both industrialised and developing countries. Delivering the keynote address. Strengthening Ties Beyond the region. reconciliation and reconstruction in Lebanon. Sheikh Abdullah commented: “Since its accession to the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. . headed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. As part of its pragmatic approach. Given Pakistan’s proximity to the Gulf region. Somalia. the UAE has worked hard to promote common security issues in the fields of defence arrangements. we look forward to enriching the ICI with new approaches to handle emerging challenges and common threats in order to promote and preserve comprehensive peace and security.” 43 > foreign policy . the UAE’s foreign policy continues to adapt to accommodate the evolving changes in the global community. the UAE hosted high-ranking officials from 28 countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). among others. as part of discussions to chart a way forward within the framework of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). particularly Pakistan. participate in peacekeeping operations. The UAE is the only Arab country performing humanitarian activities on the ground in Afghanistan. As part of encouraging bilateral and multilateral strategic partnerships to assist Pakistan. building confidence and strengthening cooperation with its neighbouring countries. the UAE hosted a two-day expert-level meeting of the ‘Friends of Democratic Pakistan’. while strengthening ties with its traditional allies in the West. the UAE provided US$550 million between 2002 and 2008. At the same time. and achieve stability and reconstruction in conflict-ridden regions in the world…. In October. which discussed a proposal of a ten-year US$30 billion aid and investment package. The UAE also emphasises the importance of achieving harmony. The UAE also participated in the ministerial and donors’ conference in Tokyo. The UAE flag fluttered high as a messenger of peace.Afghanistan/Pakistan The UAE continues to contribute constructively to the international efforts aimed at stabilising Afghanistan and supporting its bid to restore security. Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of its humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan.

places great emphasis on nurturing an expansion of commercial and investment links with other countries and institutions worldwide. the UAE’s diversification of intense diplomatic contacts included Africa and its regional groupings. A ground-breaking tour of Latin America by Sheikh Abdullah was a major step forward in displaying the UAE’s adaptability to the changing international relations scenario. The Government’s aim is to strengthen cooperation by entering into bilateral and multilateral partnerships with African countries in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals. the UAE’s foreign policy is naturally geared towards creating greater commercial opportunities with various partners. 44 > UAE 2010 . The UAE is keen on fighting poverty and ensuring that Africa receives a fair and equitable share of global prosperity. An important aspect of the UAE’s foreign policy.Global Community As the second largest Arab economy. The UAE’s fast-developing position as a financial hub for the region has further solidified and strengthened its position as a member of the global community. In line with this approach. therefore.

the UAE leadership continued to develop its relations with a number of Asian countries. there were ample indications that some of the major Asian countries would play a more influential role in world politics. tolerance. boosting peace and security efforts. Forum for the Future The UAE also affirmed its commitment to constructive dialogue and action within the framework of the Forum for the Future. At the sixth session of the Forum in Marrakesh. 45 > foreign policy . improving education. respect for differences. respect for national choices and unity and stability of the nations. maintenance of stable financial markets.As Asia weathered the economic crisis more successfully than other parts of the world. empowerment of women. Absorbing this shift and reflecting the desire to further consolidate ties. youth welfare. It pledged to work toward developing the Forum’s mechanism and strengthening joint responsibility for sustainable development and human security. protection of environment. the UAE reiterated its keenness to enhance joint cooperation and to strengthen the Forum’s tools to support national and regional schemes and to promote the values and culture of dialogue. democracy. acceptance of diversity. including China and India.

That the concerns of the small. or rich or developed. allows the UAE to buy American nuclear power equipment. Sheikh Abdullah said: “Our vision has from the outset consisted of an IRENA that ensures all voices from all over the world are not just heard. No country can be left behind as we move towards a future built on renewable energy…I call on you today to vote for an IRENA that encapsulates our globalised world and that celebrates our differences as well as our commonalities. benefit all…IRENA must serve those countries that need it most.” Nuclear Developments The UAE’s quest for nuclear energy also witnessed intense diplomatic efforts to develop cooperation mechanisms to guarantee a credible and comprehensive civilian programme. It is also indicates the country’s willingness to shoulder its international responsibilities and help the world to face challenges related to diversifying energy sources. The deal. 46 > UAE 2010 . As part of its diplomatic efforts to build bridges and robust partnerships. This is the first time that a developing country has had the opportunity to host the headquarters of a major international organisation. And that ideas and expertise that benefit one. In turn. or developing are given equal consideration as those of the big. Let IRENA represent the convergence of an unprecedented NorthSouth partnership and a new impetus for the countries that it seeks to serve by being located in the heart of its development. poor. Let IRENA be an agency of difference and of change.IRENA One major diplomatic success for the UAE during 2009. as well as drum up support for its bid. the first such US arrangement in the Middle East. We must ensure that the developing countries are offered opportunities to participate in the agency on an equal footing. technology and fuel. Addressing the 136-member IRENA summit ahead of the voting process. teams headed by seven UAE ministers lobbied IRENA member states across the world for their support for the UAE’s candidacy. but listened to. This is a key platform of the UAE agenda and a firm commitment of our bid. This push resulted in the signing of the UAE-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement in January. the UAE – a Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory – has agreed to open its nuclear facilities to full international inspections and refrain from producing its own reactor fuel. came with Abu Dhabi being chosen to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). which is touted as a ‘powerful and timely model’ for the region. which also reflected its growing international status.

47 > foreign policy . The UAE’s commitment not to enrich uranium and reprocess fuels locally is among the most salient features of this model. in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other responsible and experienced states – would chart a new course for a large group of countries for the safe use of nuclear energy. This is a model supported by enhanced international transparency and cooperation mechanisms. international partnerships have intensified in the areas of money laundering and human trafficking. In the process. This follows similar agreements with Britain and France in the past.” US President Barack Obama approved the Bush administration-negotiated deal in May 2009. Sheikh Abdullah told the United Nations General Assembly: “We are confident that this will provide an opportunity to make a positive change in the international arena. Further. (See chapter on Nuclear Programme for further information). the UAE has also insisted that state-sponsored terror should not be tolerated. The UAE also signed a memorandum of cooperation with Japan to explore possibilities of developing peaceful nuclear energy. it has collaborated with countries that have been victims of terrorism through effective information exchange and discussing ways of alleviating social and economic deprivation. The UAE has published a policy document evaluating and developing peaceful nuclear energy for civilian usage. Other International Partnerships Another key area of UAE’s cooperation has been in the global fight against terrorism.Referring to the UAE’s civilian nuclear programme. We hope that developing a peaceful nuclear energy model – which complies with the highest standards of transparency in operating the nuclear facilities and fulfills the highest requirements of nuclear safety and non-proliferation. The policy supports the principles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and reflects the UAE’s position. which calls for making the Middle East and the Gulf a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. In a related development. and the USUAE 123 Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation came into force in December. which could nurture terrorist recruitment. which ensures commitment to the NPT. particularly nuclear weapons. with international support. While emphasising the need for a clear definition of terrorism. emphasising the country’s transparent policies and readiness to abide by all related safety and security measures. the IAEA Board of Governors approved the UAE’s ratification of the additional nuclear inspection measures known as the Additional Protocol.

that part of the country’s wealth from oil and gas should be devoted to assisting other countries and individuals that are less fortunate. and second. it is dictated by an Islamic belief that helping those in need is a primary duty. The philosophy behind this is two-fold: first.humanitarian aid The UAE leadership has translated development and humanitarian aid into a foreign policy instrument. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 .

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poverty. The UN Chief praised the UAE’s humanitarian stance and its efforts in alleviating the sufferings of people in various parts of the world during natural disasters and human conflicts. relief and development assistance programmes in many countries. the UAE continued its humanitarian.Assistance Continues In spite of the impact of the financial and economic crisis on the economies and development projects in the region. the UAE continued its contributions to the programmes of regional agencies and international organisations aimed at alleviating the suffering of several countries from high food prices. Palestinian territories and Lebanon. Further. This was conducted either directly by the Government and its affiliated organisations or through the donor groups and the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Assistance. the UAE has contributed to building hospitals and townships as well as assisting in relief operations in strife-torn Iraq. The fact that the UAE is among the key donors and contributors to UN programmes and activities was acknowledged by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon during a visit to the UAE in February 2009. organisations 50 > UAE 2010 . As part of its humanitarian aid policy. In addition. illiteracy and the spread of diseases.

Zayed Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Aid. challenges. Khalifa bin Zayed Charity Foundation. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and the Sharjah Charity Association and Humanitarian Foundation provide billions of dollars to support disaster. The main activity of the Fund is to provide economic assistance in the form of loans on concessionary the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). In addition. ADFD One of the leading development grant agencies is ADFD. which was established in 1971 to extend assistance to Arab. a number of private humanitarian efforts have also been undertaken. and friendly developing countries to face the difficulties. and economic development problems. forging partnerships in the public and private sectors. grants or contributions to project capital.and drought-stricken areas. 51 > humanitarian aid . and adopting international best practices to ensure aid effectiveness. The Fund particularly strives to help achieve sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty by providing financial aid. Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak Fund for Refugee Women. Islamic. Red Crescent Authority (RCA).

5 bn) to 207 development progammes. Palestine. under the stewardship of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. established in 1985. Noor Dubai – administered by the 52 > UAE 2010 .65 billion (US$1 bn) during an eight-week charity drive in 2007 to help educate one million children in poor countries around the world. Red Crescent Authority Similarly. continues to give impetus to humanitarian efforts. the Fund also manages the loans and grants of the Abu Dhabi government by assisting in designing. Tanzania. among others. Eritrea. Some of its most effective activities include providing drinking water in the countries hit by drought and desertification. Bangladesh. executing.” Other Efforts In other efforts. Afghanistan. The RCA has funded and implemented 446 charity projects in countries throughout Africa and Asia apart from a number of projects to help the Palestinian people. the ADFD has provided more than Dh13 billion (US$3. as well as equipping hospitals in remote areas of underprivileged countries and distributing relief material for flood victims. Sudan. Benin. supervising and assessing about 60 government-financed projects worth over Dh10 billion (US$2. There is also a need to shift humanitarian works from mere urgent assistance to sustained development projects that build capacity of targeted beneficiaries to overcome economic conditions. the ADFD provided financial assistance to various development projects in Morocco. Similarly. the Dubai Cares campaign continued its activities after raising about Dh3. it is also bracing for a new era of challenge in the UAE. According to Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed: “The RCA should strive to intensify its action within the UAE and boost its programmes to meet the increasing demand of humanitarian work locally. In addition. Burkina Faso. This is a contribution towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of providing primary education to every child by 2015.Since its foundation. During 2009. Ruler’s Representative in Abu Dhabi’s Al Gharbia (Western) Region. These efforts have given the RCA the distinction of being one of the top ten member organisations of the International Committee of the Red Cross in terms of the amount of relief assistance provided.8 bn). Yemen. the RCA. A qualitative leap is needed in the area of development projects the RCA is carrying out in hot spots. In September the RCA announced that apart from its international activities.

including the International Development Agency. OPEC Fund for International Development. While much of the assistance is provided on a government-to-government basis. Arab Gulf Fund for the United Nations. the UAE has contributed more than Dh255 billion (US$70 bn) in loans. Called the UAE Foreign Aid Coordination Office (FACO) and set up in collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. the country is also a major contributor to international agencies. This will lead to the UAE becoming more involved at the multilateral level rather than focusing on support through traditional bilateral means. the emphasis has been on humanitarian assistance for those affected by natural disasters or conflict and poverty. Arab bank for Economic Development in Africa. the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund and Islamic Development Bank. having made Dh100 billion (US$27 bn) available through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. grants and assistance for development projects in nearly 100 countries around the world. during the last three-and-a-half decades. Overall. 53 > humanitarian aid . The UAE Government also participates in a number of other multilateral aid-giving institutions. In recent years. however.Dubai Health Authority – cooperates with the World Health Organisation and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in their mission to treat and prevent blindness. The Government has established a new body to coordinate all the humanitarian efforts undertaken by the UAE. the new forum is chaired by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

the first shoots of recovery emerged in the latter half of the year. to allow Dubai World to reduce its indebtedness. which saw banks around the world require bail outs and job losses mount.35 bn) loan that was used. with its economy reinvigorated thanks to the strong response of monetary and fiscal policymakers and an increase in oil prices from a low point in late 2008 and early 2009. a move that eased concerns among international investors. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . From the dark depths of the recession. The Abu Dhabi government stepped in to provide Dubai’s government with a US$5 billion (Dh18.the economy The year 2009 proved to be a tumultuous one in the global economy. was well-demonstrated in the aftermath of the announcement by Dubai government-controlled conglomerate Dubai World in late November 2009 that it was seeking a six-month extension on debt payments. both to overseas bond holders and to local suppliers. in part. under a programme initially launched in late 2008. The swift and decisive action of the UAE Government to support the local economy. when the global economic crisis first began. The UAE has been close to the forefront of this recovery.

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mainstays of the country’s economic growth.6 per cent decline it had forecast in May.2 per cent instead of the 0. dragging prices to less than a third of the July 2008 peak. the UAE had initially been insulated from the global downturn by high oil prices. overall and for selected sectors 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% Restaurants and hotels 15% 10% 5% Wholesale retail traide and repairing services Financial sector Manufacturing industries Construction sector Oil & gas sector Overall 56 > UAE 2010 . In the final months of 2008 the tremors reverberating through international economies were finally felt in the region with the widening of sovereign risk spreads.GDP Growth As one of the leading suppliers of crude oil. All these factors meant that the UAE’s growth in 2009 was sharply down from previous years. The IMF upgraded its GDP prediction in November 2009 to a contraction of about 0.4 per GDP growth during 2008. However. The Ministry of Economy in October 2009 forecasted growth of 1. that the UAE would return to positive figures in 2010 with an expansion of 2. which soared to a record US$147 in July 2008. The IMF predicted.3 per cent for the year. the country was eventually affected by the deepening global downturn that led to a slump in the demand for oil. however. the reversal of large private capital inflows and a sharp downturn in stock market indices. Further proof of the UAE’s close integration in the global economy was provided by a decline in the country’s construction and property sectors.

130 2007* 685. Leading that rise was the oil and gas sector.Gross Domestic Product by Economic Activities (in millions of dirhams) SECTORS Non-financial corporations sector • Agriculture.533 46. 57 > the economy .759 934.634 11.6 per cent.852 345.579 69. The figures for 2009 were in marked contrast with those for 2008 when the growth in the UAE’s GDP reached 7.9 per cent).026 504.065 34.022 12.676 10. storage and communication • Real estate and business services • Social and personal services Financial corporations sector Government services sector • Domestic services of households Less: imputed bank services Total Total non-oil sectors Source: Ministry of Economy. mainly thanks to the increase in oil prices. the financial sector (15.232 8.259 cent.390 62.566 54. wholesale retail trade and repairing services (18.245 13.674 19.219 68.130 96.857 4.648 37.1 per cent).882 125.631 41. which expanded by 35. and restaurants and hotels (15.502 8. whilst Emirates Industrial Bank expects the economy to grow by up to 5 per cent in 2010.800 113.415 14.141 758.692 255.262 590. livestock and fishing • Mining and quarrying • Manufacturing industries • Electricity.973 78. Other strong growth sectors in 2008 included the construction sector (26.2 per cent). Other analysts are more optimistic: the Economist Intelligence Unit is predicting a 3. gas and water • Construction • Wholesale retail trade and repairing services • Restaurants and hotels • Transports.196 3.7 per cent).014 21.780 54.4 per cent growth rate.218 148.4 per cent. *Estimated data 2008* 851.1 per cent).497 12. manufacturing industries (17.

the UAE’s debit balance of services.4 per cent. travel and government services. Increase in trade balance during 2008 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% Gas exports 10% 5% Oil exports Exports and re-exports Overall 58 > UAE 2010 . re-exports reached Dh345.4 per cent increase in exports. Meanwhile. This increase was largely due to a 33.6 per cent to Dh159.4 per cent to reach Dh735.3 per cent from Dh170. which includes freight.3 per cent from US$70.78 billion.46 billion in 2008. tourism.96 billion the previous year. together with a positive growth in the re-export trade. a rise of 33.Trade The UAE’s trade balance in 2008 increased by 35.48 billion. which reached Dh97. The value of oil exports rose by 39.09 billion. The country’s free zones saw a 16.70 billion. Rising domestic demand due to increases in population and income levels. mainly as a result of a rise in average oil prices that went up by 27. insurance. helped to push the value of imports up by 33.07 a barrel in 2007 to US$90 in 2008.9 per cent rise in the value of exports and re-exports.74 billion. In 2008.08 billion.1 per cent to Dh39.7 per cent in 2008 to Dh313. compared to Dh124. Gas exports also increased by 37.85 billion in 2007 to Dh231. rose 27.


as substantial revenues from higher oil prices fuelled economic growth. Housing costs make up nearly 40 per cent of the consumer price index. the Government is pushing ahead with plans to build up a strategic food reserve of essential items. consumer confidence improved. according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The official inflation rate is calculated by measuring the percentage change in prices in a representative basket of goods and services consumed by the average household in the UAE. Consumer prices posted a slight gain in November 2009 after declines in the previous four months. At the same time. the weaker dollar and higher global food prices made imports more expensive. Economists expect deflationary pressures to subside in 2010 as a result of continued international weakness of the US dollar. persistent dollar weakness led the US Federal Reserve to signal it will not raise interest rates for the ‘foreseeable future’.Inflation Inflation in the first 11 months of 2009 stood at 1. Lower housing prices and food costs contributed to deflationary pressures in the economy. reaching 102. As the impact of the global financial crisis began to ease. 60 > UAE 2010 . significantly down from previous years. To guard against future price rises and commodity shortages. has indicated that its policy would aim to keep official interest rates at low levels in order to revive economic growth.8 per cent. and higher food prices. annual rental increases have remained capped at 5 per cent in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. creating shortages of property and services. The UAE was the eighth most optimistic country out of the 54 in the global survey. to which the dirham is pegged. The price of a basket of consumer goods and services rose 0. In an effort to ward off inflation in the short-term. which has so far resisted gearing its monetary policy towards raising interest rates.7 per cent. In 2008 inflation stood at 10. Meanwhile. while controls on the prices of basic commodities have been maintained. The UAE Central Bank.2 per cent in November from the same period the previous year. A poll conducted by research company Nielsen indicated that consumer sentiment during September and October 2009 rose a record 13 points from six months previously.

Inflation rates for the first 11 months of 2009 10 8 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 Other goods and services Hotels and restaurants Education Recreation and cultural service Communication Transportation Source: Ministry of Economy. Medical care and health services Furniture and other items Housing Clothing and Footwear Food and beverages All items 61 > the economy .

980 -221.768 83.700 42.Estimates of UAE Balance of Payments (in millions of dirhams) 2007 Current account Trade balance (FOB) Total exports of hydrocarbons • Oil exports • Petroleum products exports • Gas exports Total goods exports • Free zone exports • Other exports 1 Re-exports 2 Total exports and re-exports (FOB) Total imports (FOB) Total imports (CIF) • Other imports 3 • Free zone imports Services (Net) Credit • Travel • Transportation • Government services Debit • Travel • Transportation • Government services • Freight and insurance 72.598 2.240 -26.300 -124.328 -395.508 -647.359 345.817 231.779 878.852 271.721 -124.159 2008* 81.701 -513.359 29.400 -66.128 224.244 35.800 -20.100 39.735 22.610 -95.455 60.400 -88.284 62 > UAE 2010 .000 -2.400 -15.417 -735.020 -485.915 313.301 -6.132 170.814 97.080 157.124 656.000 2.600 -22.959 -41.647 17.092 374.000 -2.981 28.300 -5.484 -48.341 -159.068 259.169 -551.500 125.718 -155.

424 105.485 172.2 Inward A.400 -108.100 5.3.324 -1.300 -36.324 -1.238 -183.111 -2.485 172.241 -172.800 46.861 7.2 Other investment A.424 217.1.157 179.000 -18.700 -58.3.150 -2.000 -2.683 183. *Preliminary estimates 2008* 13.900 5.700 -203.731 -49.1 Outward A.3 Banks A.300 178.200 -51.400 -53.400 8.1 Direct investment A.287 198 30.300 -20.870 -2.481 35.2007 Investment income (net) • Banking system 4 • Private non-banks • Public sector enterprises • Foreign hydrocarbon companies in UAE Transfers (net) • Government transfers • Workers’ transfers Capital and financial account Capital account Financial account A.061 -94.970 4.4 Private non-banks B.700 30.2 Portfolio investment A. Public sector enterprises Net errors and omissions Overall surplus or deficit Changes in reserves Net foreign assets with Central Bank Reserve position with IMF Source: Central Bank.238 -183.500 52.952 105.100 -111.1 Securities A.100 -44. Private sector enterprises A.900 -34.861 4.061 -203.100 50.159 -31.1.750 8.200 -39.592 -50.127 -111 63 > the economy .

the American conglomerate. that will provide commercial finance in the region. the chip manufacturer that ATIC runs in a joint venture with the US chip company AMD. instead. contributing US$590 billion to the economy. Mubadala is also progressing with an US$8 billion joint venture with GE. Explaining its decision. the strategic investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government. Chartered Semiconductor will be merged with Globalfoundries. The emirate has also set its sights on establishing itself as a leading centre for aerospace manufacturing. Mubadala Development Company. despite high oil and gas prices. building on already thriving sectors such as aluminium smelting. 64 > UAE 2010 .GCC Monetary Union In May 2009. Abu Dhabi unveiled its 2030 Economic Vision. Manufacturing and industry continues to be an important component of the country’s ambitions for economic transformation. The non-hydrocarbon sectors accounted for 63 per cent of GDP in 2008. the UAE decided not to take part in the planned monetary union amongst members of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). setting out a roadmap for achieving greater economic diversification. Oman had withdrawn two years previously. rather than in Abu Dhabi. Industry and Diversification Diversification remains the watchword for future growth of the UAE’s economy as it seeks to reduce its reliance on oil. The UAE is hoping to further reduce the contribution of the hydrocarbons sector to approximately 20 per cent in the next ten to 15 years. ceramics and pharmaceuticals. instill a greater focus on knowledge-based industries. When the Dh6.56 billion acquisition is completed. The plan aims to reduce Abu Dhabi’s reliance on the oil sector as a source of economic activity and. It also objected to the decision to base the location of the regional Central Bank for the new currency in Saudi Arabia. the Government said it had fundamental reservations about the currency plans and the role of the monetary council. In 2009. A major step towards reaching this goal was achieved in 2009 with the announcement of plans by Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) to purchase Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and thus create the second-largest chip-maker in the world. plans to begin operations at an aerostructure manufacturing plant it is building by the end of 2010. through promoting growth elsewhere in the economy.


Abu Dhabi is making a concerted effort to use its hydrocarbon revenues to harvest more of its energy from renewable sources (see chapter on Renewable Energy). the emirate’s government has set a target of supplying 66 > UAE 2010 .Ra’s al-Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) announced in December 2009 that it is planning to launch a concept of themed industry zones to create clusters of manufacturing facilities in Ra’s al-Khaimah. To this end. Fujairah unveiled proposals for a virtual free zone in the emirate. electrical equipment. transportation and logistics. which will let internationally owned companies do business for less than that charged by established free zones. chemicals. Virtuzone allows international entrepreneurs registered with the zone to operate their businesses from a home or office anywhere in the UAE. Blessed with 95 per cent of the country’s oil reserves and 92 per cent of its gas reserves. Part of the Fujairah Creative City free zone. minerals. The proposed clusters will cover sectors including food. the first in the UAE. plastic and rubber. metals.

both in terms of the company’s investments and in the development of low carbon energy supplies. the financial sector continues to play an important part in the UAE’s economy. The first phase of Masdar’s Dh55 billion carbon-neutral city in the emirate is due for completion in early 2010. especially in Dubai. the UAE Government is in the final stages of preparing an industrial law.000 daily commuters working at some 1500 green energy firms. In addition.7 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020. which is also expected to encourage the creation of national industries. 67 > the economy . It will eventually house 40. Masdar is also investing heavily in the fast-growing technology of thin-film solar energy panels involving the building of a plant in Abu Dhabi capable of manufacturing enough panels each year to produce 130mw. Government-owned future energy company Masdar will be a key contributor toward meeting this target.000 residents and 50. The Dubai International Financial Centre and the country’s stock exchanges in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are continuing to provide springboards for future growth in the sub-sector (see chapter on Financial Services). Notwithstanding the impact of the global financial crisis.

underpinning the success of its attempts to boost investment in the hospitality industry. one of the most impressive being Yas Island. to the desert resorts of Qasr Al Sarab in the Liwa. Major infrastructure schemes were completed. with the development and enforcement of more protective regulations and strong action against wayward developers. Madinat Jumeirah.2 million tourists in 2010. 68 > UAE 2010 . by as much as 50 per cent in some Dubai projects. Abu Dhabi has recently rebranded itself and prime quality hotels and leisure resorts are increasingly important throughout the country. at the earliest. and the Palm Jumeirah Monorail. leading to job cuts in the construction sector. the global economic crisis did leave its mark on the country’s property market. A number of court cases against officials of major Dubai developers were under way at the end of the year as the Government sought to crack down on corruption and to increase transparency. But as the downturn set in. and Al Maha and Bab al-Shams. The Dubai government-backed property firms were among the first to benefit from a US$20 billion borrowing programme funded by the UAE Central Bank and the Government of Abu Dhabi. and with some projects being placed on hold or cancelled. A number of major projects were completed in 2009. The tallest building in the world. and the Burj Khalifa. however. Sheikh Khalifa Bridge. The country is expected to attract 11. With supply continuing to outstrip demand. the driverless transport system spanning the heart of the emirate. from the island resort of Sir Bani Yas in western Abu Dhabi. in Dubai. Plans were unveiled for reforms to the sector. despite a slowdown in the development of some projects from the later stages of 2008 into 2009 because of the impact of the global downturn. some analysts have predicted that full recovery in the property sector will not take place until 2012. the Government was quick to react. with prices falling sharply. Burj Khalifa. as well as flagship projects such as Emirates Palace Hotel. linking Abu Dhabi Island with Saadiyat and Yas islands. There are also a host of coastal resorts throughout the UAE. However. with the result that the UAE has much to offer the most demanding visitors. Burj al-Arab. was inaugurated in the first week of 2010. a leisure resort in Abu Dhabi and home to the Yas Marina circuit. including the east coast. including the Dh28 billion Dubai Metro.Real Estate Economic activity in the construction and property sectors remains a significant driver of growth. in Dubai. which hosted the Formula One Grand Prix in November 2009. Tourism Tourism is an important growth sector in the whole of the UAE economy.


The internationally recognised report assesses countries on how easy it is for small and medium-sized enterprises to conduct business.Doing Business 2010 Report Doing Business 2010 ranking Doing Business Starting a Business Dealing with Construction Permits Employing Workers Registering Property Getting Credit Protecting Investors Paying Taxes Trading Across Borders Enforcing Contracts Closing a Business Source: Doing Business 2010 report. Inward Investment Between 2003 and 2008 the UAE was the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in West Asia. behind Saudi Arabia and Turkey. according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development 70 > UAE 2010 . partly as a result of the Government’s decision to abolish a Dh150. The World Bank Group. The UAE’s rose to thirty-third position in the global rankings for regulatory reform. Two other key reasons for the country’s rise was a streamlining of the process involved in obtaining construction permits and the improving of capacity at Dubai ports.000 minimum capital requirement for some start-ups. the UAE climbed 14 places in the ‘Doing Business’ report compiled by the World Bank and its International Finance Corporation. Doing Business 2009 ranking 47 118 54 45 7 68 114 4 13 135 143 Doing Business change in rank +14 +74 +27 -5 0 -3 -5 0 +8 +1 0 33 44 27 50 7 71 119 4 5 134 143 In 2009.

Doing Business Change in Rank 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 -10 Enforcing contracts Trading across borders Protecting investors Getting credit Employing workers Dealing with construction permits Starting a business Doing business (UNCTAD).4 billion in 2008. such as industry. The exceptions are free zones. But it warned that a lack of activity in global credit markets was likely to lead to a decline in FDI in 2009. The Government has been active in its efforts to improve conditions to meet with the aspirations of international investors. UNCTAD said in a study on West Asian FDI published in its annual report for 2009. The law now requires foreigners to have an Emirati as a sponsor and limits them to a maximum 49 per cent ownership of businesses. to be allowed to own a greater stake in businesses they establish in the Emirates. 71 > the economy . The country attracted an inflow of around Dh51. the law will enable international firms in certain sectors. Once implemented in 2010. A planned new companies law is expected to lead to a relaxation of foreign ownership rules. where foreign companies can have 100 per cent ownership.


a major arterial route connecting many of the most significant developments in the UAE . It does not seek active management of the companies it invests in. Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) Responsible for investing part of Abu Dhabi’s surplus financial resources. Dubai Holding is divided between the Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHCOG) and the Dubai Holding Investment Group (DHIG). including public listed equities. was established in1977 as Abu Dhabi Investment Company.Outward Investment Investment in overseas markets has long been integral to the UAE’s strategic drive to create a security net for future generations who will one day face the prospect of a depletion of the country’s hydrocarbon reserves. ADIC employs a globally diversified investment strategy focused on gaining positive capital returns across a range of asset classes. Dubai Holding One of Dubai’s major holding companies. regions and asset classes. private equity and property. formed in 2009 when Left: The Dubai section of Sheikh Zayed Road. 73 > the economy . a holding company that in turn acts as a holding company for Dubai Financial Market and NASDAQ Dubai. ADIA oversees a substantial global diversified portfolio of assets across varying sectors. Invest AD. the ICD owns 60 per cent of Borse Dubai. In 2007. its mandate and its name changed when the Council decided to allow outside investors to put their money in alongside it. The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) Investing to create stability and foster diversification. a government investment vehicle similar to ADIA. making it perhaps the only sovereign fund in the world to welcome external funds. only long-term sustainable financial returns. Invest AD A subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Council. ADIA is a leading international investor and for the past 33 years has established itself as a responsible and trustworthy investor and a strong supplier of capital. Invest AD’s business now includes a proprietary investment arm that continues to invest on behalf of the government and a third-party investment division for attracting capital from external investors. fixed income. Among the major international investment bodies in the Emirates are: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) ADIA’s mission is to secure and maintain the current and future prosperity of the emirate through management of its investment assets.

DIC owns stakes in the Travelodge hotel chain. Dubai Investment Group. Dubai Financial Group. In addition. DHIG also now controls six financial companies that are under the responsibility of Dubai Group including Dubai Capital Group.Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital (DIC) were combined. Economic Zones World. Nakheel. the property developer behind The Palm Islands and The World. Sama Dubai and Tatweer fall under DHCOG.02 billion from international banks as part of a two-year loan. it operates in a diversified spectrum of industrial segments. Its portfolio includes some of the world’s best known companies: DP World. DIC operates through global buy-outs specialising in secondary LBOs in Europe. and Istithmar World. It also focuses on MENA investments including LBOs. Dubai Banking Group. North America and Asia. which operates several free zones around the world. drydocks and maritime. the Middle-Eastern operations of the property consultancy CB Richard Ellis. a sports and investment group. As a holding company. Dubai Insurance Group and Noor Investment Group. Its investments fall into four main sectors: transport and logistics. Limitless. infrastructure. growth and development capital. Dubai World Dubai World has for many years been at the forefront of Dubai’s rapid growth. hospitality and investment units. Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHCOG) Property developers Dubai Properties Group. DHCOG holds the hotel operator Jumeirah Group and the business park operator TECOM Investments. Focused on the private equity asset class. the international real estate master planner. Dubai Holding Investment Group (DHIG) DHIG was formed as a result of combining the previously separate entities of Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital (DIC). and the UK engineering company Doncasters. Drydocks World and Dubai Maritime City. urban development. Leisurecorp. Istithmar World. Another part of its work involves taking equity investments in equity quoted companies. business park. In August. 74 > UAE 2010 . Dubai World Africa. Dubai World’s request in November 2009 to reschedule its debts and restructure the company did not include Infinity World. one of the largest maritime terminal operators in the world. In October 2009 DIC borrowed Dh2. Dubai Holding said it was reorganising its companies into property. and investment and financial services. and Dubai Ports World and Free Zones World (see chapter on Financial Services for more information). funds and coinvestments.

9 billion takeover of Singapore’s Chartered Semi-conductor Manufacturing from Temasek Holdings in September. were acquisitions made by UAE-based firms.8 billion.93 billion worth of acquisitions. followed by IPIC’s sale of its 70 per cent stake in Hyundai Oilbank Company to South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries in November for just under US$3. 75 > the economy . which made US$2.5 per cent acquisition in April of Spain’s Compania Espanola de Petroleos from Banco Santander for more than US$3.74 billion.4 billion worth of acquisitions. followed by Aabar Investments. Aabar is also considering the purchase of a 70 per cent stake in the Dubai-based Arabtec Holding Company. and IPIC’s US$2 billion acquisition of Canadian Nova Chemicals Corporation in February were the top five deals in the past year involving UAE companies. Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) were top of the list with US$6. or more than 77 per cent.8 billion was the largest merger and acquisition deal involving a UAE firm in 2009. Atic’s US$2.44 bn) took place in the UAE in 2009.65 billion acquisition of a 9. while the remainder comprised foreign companies acquiring UAE firms. Aabar’s US$2.10 per cent in Germany’s Daimler in March.Mergers and Acquisitions Merger and acquisitions totaling more than US$20 billion (Dh73. IPIC’s 32. Of these. US$15.

the initial impact of the downturn was felt in the UAE as large private capital inflows. deepened the crisis. especially in Dubai. Declines in property services The global financial crisis continued to pose challenges for the UAE’s financial services sector in 2009. which had built up on the expectation of a revaluation of the dirham against the US dollar. declines in local stock markets and the drying up of financing for corporations. Against this backdrop. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . which slowed growth in the property and construction sectors. As already indicated in the chapter on The Economy. a widening of sovereign risk spreads. also affected many banks that had extensive investments in the sector. there was a tightening of liquidity. Partly as a result of these factors. were withdrawn in late 2008.

page 6 | uae 2010 .

prices dipped and many projects were placed on hold. ‘The first stage was understanding the size of the need for a liquidity injection into the banking system. in the first quarter of 2009. in terms of the economy as a whole. and an emergency financial committee was set up by the Ministry of Economy to consider further actions to support lenders.Government Support The year began with hopes that steps taken by federal institutions in 2008 to restore confidence in the financial system. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Gulf Bank and Dh2 billion each for Union National Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. Banks in the UAE also faced problems with their consumer loan books. caused by a withdrawal of funds by the mainly foreign investors who underpinned the sector’s five-year surge. many of which were to the property sector. banks reported an increase in defaults and missed payments on commercial loans. although bank profits fell in the first quarter. That was followed by a rise in defaults on unsecured personal loans. Measures taken by Government helped to firm up balance sheets at banks. became a concern in the early part of 2009. in terms of trade. 78 > UAE 2010 . car loans. A rise in what bankers call ‘skips’. It included Dh4 billion each for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. and the UAE Ministry of Finance Dh70 billion liquidity support scheme. The second phase is to evaluate our performance in terms of banking. ‘We are taking things in stages.’ As the year progressed. The Federal Government had also announced in 2008 that it would make up to Dh120 billion available to banks across the country under several lending programmes and guarantee deposits and inter-bank lending for three years. or expatriates who flee the country and leave large debts behind. buoy stock markets and give a boost to economic activity. would rekindle lending. the Minister of Economy. in April.’ commented Sultan Al Mansouri. With investor interest at a low and banks reluctant to lend. In February 2009 the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance injected Dh16 billion into five of the emirate’s biggest banks. which was dealing with a steep fall-off in real estate prices. including the UAE Central Bank Dh50 billion facility to support local lenders. and finally an increase in late or missed payments on mortgages.

Amlak and Tamweel. One such crisis in Saudi Arabia.As a result. which will bring UAE banks in line with their US and European counterparts. Bond Issuances As the year wore on. As well as differentiating further between types of risk. In another attempt to spur lending. the Central Bank instructed lenders that from 2010 they must start complying with Basel II regulations on capital adequacy for banks. Meanwhile. To help revive the mortgage market. The revival of the two lenders is viewed as pivotal to a recovery in the housing market. The new requirements. improving conditions for lending to take place. the need for an extra capital cushion in the banking system became greater. the Government announced plans to merge the country’s two biggest lenders. banks reported over US$1. the UAE Central Bank in October re-organised the panel of lenders that set the Emirates interbank offered rate (Eibor). To address this. In the first half of 2009. Many of the developers owned by these holding companies had borrowed heavily from local and international banks to finance property development. will require lenders to pay more attention to risk control and management. The merged entity is expected to be given a banking licence to enable it to take deposits from customers for savings accounts. the UAE’s listed banks took a cautious approach by reporting higher-than-usual provisioning against bad loans. the average interest rate that banks charge when they lend to one another. With the financial crisis continuing to impact the loan books of some banks. the UAE’s financial sector continued to be affected by global events and crises. 79 > financial services . the focus began to shift to the need to repay loans obtained from the market by government-owned conglomerates. involving two large conglomerates – the Saad Group and Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi and Brothers – affected a number of UAE banks that had exposure to these companies’ loans.3 billion in provisions that otherwise would have been recorded as profits. the regulations also mean lenders have to improve their disclosure on risks on their balance sheets. The measure proved effective at lowering rates to a level more reflective of the market. although all were able to manage their exposure.

but only invested US$500 million in 2008. the Dubai Financial Support Fund (DFSF) was established in July 2009. The two banks agreed to buy US$1billion in Dubai bonds immediately.9 billion in investments in 2007. Mubadala Development. the UAE’s stock markets also endured a rough 2009. Private equity funds in the Middle East made US$3. In May. the government of Dubai sold US$10 billion in bonds to the Central Bank to help companies it controls make debt payments and pay contractors. bond and sukuk issuances were down. including a US$3. Stock Markets Against a backdrop of reduced economic activity and difficulties with the repayment of the corporate debt of some of the country’s largest companies. the Abu Dhabi Investment Council. both of which are controlled by one of Abu Dhabi’s largest sovereign wealth funds. the government’s strategic investment arm. In October the emirate announced plans to sell an additional US$6. Dubai successfully managed a number of large debts in 2009. To oversee the distribution of these funds. and acquisition activity was slower than usual.4 billion refinancing of the exchange operator Borse Dubai’s debt in February and the repayment of a US$1 billion Dubai Civil Aviation Authority Islamic bond in November. In general. On 25 November 2009. Assistance was to be given on commercial terms.In February 2009. Stocks 80 > UAE 2010 . Abu Dhabi was also active in the bond market in 2009. Many of the UAE’s largest private equity firms focused increasingly on managing the companies in their existing portfolios instead of making new acquisitions.25 billion bond with a five-year maturity and a ten-year US$500 million bond. The success of the sovereign debt issuance opened the way for government-related entities to tap the bond market. five-year sukuk in October 2009. Private Equity Private equity firms in the UAE continued to have a challenging year. launched a US$1. which it plans to initiate over the next two years. and only to firms with strong long-term growth prospects. The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) sold a US$1 billion five-year note in July and a US$1 billion. In March it raised its first US$3 billion as part of a US$10 billion bond programme. the Dubai government announced that it had lined up US$5 billion in financing from the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Al Hilal Bank. and to purchase the remaining debt over the next year.5 billion in bonds to private investors.


H. Dubai World began meetings with creditors to restructure US$22 billion of debt including discussions on asset sales and funding requirements. to fund daily operations and to meet trade finance agreements and repay contractors.5 billion Islamic bond payable by Nakheel on that day. On the same day. It stated that it stood behind both local and foreign banks in the UAE. The problems at Dubai World capped an eventful year in finance for the UAE. is being used to make interest payments on outstanding loans and bonds. but were still more than 70 per cent down from the previous year’s highs. creditors of Dubai World will be required to make their case in front of a special court at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). H.2 per cent. establishing an emergency liquidity facility for banks owed money. 82 > UAE 2010 .listed on the Dubai Financial Market ended the year up 10. The remainder of the package. in a move aimed at rebuilding confidence. global markets were impacted when Dubai World stated in late November that it was seeking a standstill agreement with creditors on US$26 billion in debt. controlled by regulations which have been adapted to reflect insolvency laws in the US and UK. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Stocks on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange rose by 14.35 bn) rescue package from the Abu Dhabi government to enable the company to meet a portion of its financial obligations. However. Dubai unveiled a US$5 billion (Dh18. issued a decree establishing a tribunal of judges to supervise financial claims connected with the debt restructuring of Dubai World. including the US$3. the UAE Central Bank stepped in to provide support for those lenders exposed to the restructuring. In a move that helped further allay investors’ anxiety. to be transferred to the Dubai Financial Support Fund.7 per cent in 2009. Meanwhile. one that saw financial firms struggling to return to profitability in the wake of the financial crisis and one that saw considerable boardroom restructuring and new senior management appointments. Under the ruling. but were still down 46 per cent from 2008 highs. on 14 December 2009. Further Support As already mentioned in the chapter on The Economy. Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

8 29.9 207.0 196.3 115.2 106.1 210.3 1496.6 211.0% * Net of interest in suspense.5 8.7 by banks Capital adequacy ratio .3 26.9 23.3 117.3 9.banking system Source: Central Bank.4 961.4 188.3 1498.6 69.0 182.0 209.6 972.4 1551.1 205.7 964.5 114.7 207.2 105.7 1003.4 203.1 212.2 982.6 111.1 6.4 6.9 25.9 7.6 905.9 212.5 977.9 9.1 58.0 6.8 1020.3 65.6% 18.3 8.5 1027.0 117.0 of dirhams) General provisions 6.1 212.0 1462.7 107.0 115.6 Total investments 118.0 212.4 208.7 997.7 111.6 75.5 1480.1 102.3 22.4 20.7 1020.4 42.9 21.6 1440.0 928.0 203.4 202.4 1489.7 995.5 74. 116.3 122.8 22.0 992.5 106.2 39.6 8.3 1499.9 (net of provisions) Personal loans Letters of credit Total private funds ** Specific provisions for NPLs (in billions 20.5 212.0 32.4 995.2 1466.1 201.7 209.Banking Indicators (in billions of dirhams) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 Certificate of deposits held by banks Total bank assets * (net of provisions) Bank deposits Loans and advances 32.2 104.9 217.1 963.specific provisions and general provisions ** Excluding current year profit 83 > financial services .3 27.5 16.4 961.1 1521.8 109.1 119.2 105.6 1009.8 106.0 1007.3 9.2% 17.4 116.9 177.8 117.3 53.0 1013.7 37.7 1536.5 64.4 956.9 1002.

machinery and equipment 3.039 203.840 3.733 25.7 Fabricated metal products. Personal loans for consumption purposes 12.265 8.324 823 6.449 41.510 48.772 72. All others 2 Total Source: Central Bank.8 Other manufacturing 3.304 626. Construction 6.251 124. Transport.3 Furniture and other wood products 3.923 140.6 Basic metal products (including aluminium) 3.790 14.516 924.386 19.391 11.535 837 756 4.1 Food.157 12.9 Other industrial products 4. Trade 6. beverages and tobacco 3.003 102.489 32.2 Textile and leather products 3. gas and water 5.267 1. Manufacturing 3.094 66.211 35.444 69. storage and communication 8.301 6.853 45. 2007 1.1 Wholesale 6.243 75.5 Chemical and chemical products.250 119.402 106. Government 10.608 20.197 1.4 Paper and paper products 3.383 84 > UAE 2010 .694 2008 2.782 32. Agriculture 2. Electricity. Financial Institutions (excluding banks) 9. petroleum and petrochemicals 3.605 7.039 72.637 58.139 3. Personal loans for business purposes 11. Mining and quarrying 3.955 21.668 5.260 160.103 67.2 Retail 7.170 955 1.Bank Credit to Residents by Economic Activity (in millions of dirhams) Economic activity 1.

250.000 200. 2008 Others Personal loans for consumption purposes Personal loans for business purposes Government Financial Institutions (excluding banks) Transport.000 100. storage and communication Trade Construction Electricity.000 150.000 50. gas and water Manufacturing Mining and quarrying Agriculture 85 > financial services .000 0 2007 Source: Central Bank.

The UAE’s crude exports closely approach those of Iran. the UAE is nonetheless the region’s fourth largest exporter of crude oil. Iraq. after Saudi Arabia.oil and gas With a fraction of the landmass of some of its Gulf neighbours. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . and Kuwait. The UAE has the world’s sixth largest proven reserves of conventional crude oil and seventh largest proven reserves of natural gas. with only Russia and Saudi Arabia exporting substantially more. Although only the world’s ninth biggest oil producer. which all have bigger reserves. it is the fifth largest net oil exporter. Iran and Iraq.

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Most energy economists see OPEC’s contribution to world oil supply expanding as production declines from mature producing areas such as the North Sea. Crude spiked to a record US$147 per barrel in July of 2008 partly because consumers worried that new oil supplies could not be developed fast enough to keep pace with rapidly rising demand.3 million barrels per day (bpd) from 2. During 2009. about a third of that idle capacity lay outside Saudi Arabia. The International Energy Agency forecasts global oil demand of 105 million bpd in 2030. the UAE’s oil output fell to about 2.9 million bpd in 2008. however. energy forecasters predict that oil demand will gradually recover. That focused the nation’s attention on securing markets for its oil exports through diplomatic efforts to deepen political and trade ties with Asian oil consuming states. Its gas production stood at roughly 7 billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd). The UAE idled approximately 20 per cent of its oil production capacity in 2009 in response to the deep cuts into OPEC production quotas. The prospect of maintaining costly spare capacity was not something that troubled most oil exporters before 2009. due to exemplary compliance with the record production cuts pledged by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to stabilise oil markets. At home. while new international agreements to curb carbon emissions seemed likely to limit growth in global oil demand. therefore. to boost production capacity by roughly 30 per cent to 3. and investment in Asian petroleum refining and storage projects. during the worst global recession in decades. It means the new capacity should be needed and will not sit idle. it must focus on developing its hydrocarbon resources prudently. albeit more slowly than previously expected. Effects of Global Economic Crisis Global oil consumption contracted in both 2008 and 2009. OPEC spare capacity quadrupled to about 6 million bpd as oil demand slumped. The initiatives were undertaken amid signs that oil demand in the developed world was threatened by economic stagnation. That bodes well for the plans of Abu Dhabi. which accounts for roughly 95 per cent of the UAE’s oil and gas output. up 24 per cent from 85 million bpd in 2008. As the economic crisis recedes. Facing an array of new challenges. adapted its oil policies to strike a balance between its national and international responsibilities.In 2009. Unusually. the traditional OPEC swing producer.5 million bpd by 2019. At the same 88 > UAE 2010 . the UAE has. with the long-term aim of optimising revenue to fund economic diversification.

Top World Gas Reserves by Country (trillion cubic feet) Russia Iran Qatar Saudi Arabia United States UAE 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 Source: Oil and Gas Journal January 1.Top World Oil Reserves by Country (billion barrels) Saudi Arabia Canada* Iran Iraq Kuwait Venezuela UAE 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Source: Oil and Gas Journal January 1. * The Canadian figure includes oil sands. 2009. 2009. 89 > oil and gas .

and its proven gas reserves at 227.time. although many of the gas reserves are of a type that is costly and difficult to produce. as a member of OPEC. the UAE is pursuing plans to diversify its domestic energy supply to include nuclear and solar power. Further gas development. Abu Dhabi. UAE Response to Changing Situation The nation’s response to the rapidly changing energy milieu and its increasingly complex interface with environmental issues has been measured but multifaceted. but to insufficient development. but has extended the time frame for oil development while giving higher priority to gas projects. 90 > UAE 2010 .8 billion barrels at the end of 2008. reflecting the growing public awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions. the UAE is pressing ahead with plans to expand oil and gas production capacity. Third. with close cooperation from oil and gas producers. the UAE has a responsibility to the world at large to contribute to secure and reliable oil supplies that meet global demand. the nation recognises that it must play a part in mitigating climate change by taking action to curb carbon emissions. Developing Gas Reserves The UAE’s proven oil reserves stood at 97. Additionally. Some of these directly involve the oil and gas sector. government and industry have joined forces in initiatives to develop new oil markets. has long-term contractual commitments to export gas. Compounding the problem. will be essential if population growth and industrial expansion continue as forecast. Second. Among other things. which was the first Gulf state to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG). it is fostering international energy partnerships and participating in more overseas energy projects. That is enough oil to last for more than a century and sufficient gas for more than 130 year of supply at recent production rates. Lower crude output means lower produced volumes of associated gas.1 trillion cubic feet. the UAE also faces a domestic gas crisis that impacts on the reliability of its electricity supply. however. as much gas is produced from the nation’s oil fields. the nation is moving ahead with low carbon and clean energy developments. In the longer term. This has been exacerbated by compliance with OPEC oil cuts. First. several emirates have launched programmes to bolster energy efficiency and encourage energy conservation. In the short-term. which should lessen the pressure on its gas supplies. that means the Emirates’ gas shortage is not due to a lack of gas reserves. Fourth. Fifth.


500 2.500 3.000 500 0 1999 Source: EIA.500 2.500 1.000 1. 1999-2008 (billion cubic feet) 2. 2001 2003 2005 2007 Consumption Net Exports Production UAE Gas Production and Consumption.500 Consumption 1. 1999-2008 (in thousand of barrels per day) 3. 2001 2003 2005 2007 92 > UAE 2010 .000 500 0 1999 Source: EIA.UAE Oil Production and Consumption.000 2.000 Production 1.

but not often. The first of these is a Dh40 billion (US$10. The deadly gas could endanger humans and livestock if allowed to leak into the atmosphere and could damage the environment. is a world leader in the safe exploitation of such reservoirs and will help ADNOC develop similar expertise. as it contains about 94 per cent of the nation’s oil reserves and more than 90 per cent of its gas reserves. consisting of about 30 per cent hydrogen sulphide. one of the ADNOC subsidiaries responsible for handling the emirate’s gas. discussed above. ADNOC’s operating units. Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi is pivotal in boosting the UAE’s overall oil and gas production capacity. however. The project will not only provide about 500 million scfd of gas. Abu Dhabi will become the leading regional exporter of sulphur. ConocoPhillips. which is used to make fertilisers. The body is chaired by H. 93 > oil and gas .H.9 bn) effort to integrate gas production from two of Abu Dhabi’s main offshore and onshore oil fields. Major projects require planning consent and budgetary approval from the emirate’s Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC). Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (GASCO). As a spin-off from the Shah project. therefore.A landmark event in 2009 was. unlocking an additional 1 billion scfd of gas supply. awarded the four main engineering. President of the UAE. are proceeding with a full slate of major oil and gas developments in addition to the Shah gas project. the launch of a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the US oil company ConocoPhillips to develop the Shah gas field in the south-west of Abu Dhabi at an estimated cost of US$10 billion (Dh37 bn). rubber and sulphuric acid. which are structured as joint ventures with foreign oil companies. They include four more projects to expand gas production and six aimed at oil development. The SPC directs energy policy for Abu Dhabi and functions as a board of directors for ADNOC. which is charged with proposing oil and gas projects to the Council and implementing its directives. procurement and construction contracts for the project in November of 2009. but will also advance the emirate’s capability to exploit challenging gas deposits. The emirate is considering whether to develop the world’s longest liquid sulphur pipeline or a railway to transport sulphur from the Shah field. indicating the central importance of the emirate’s oil and gas sector to the entire UAE economy. The Shah reservoir contains so-called ultra-sour gas. Gas fields with similar hydrogen sulphide concentrations have been developed elsewhere in the world.

5 billion (Dh12.000 bpd in 2009. Asab and Shah oil fields by a combined 60. The crude will be sent to Abu Dhabi’s Umm an-Nar refinery. Offshore.000 bpd by 2016.Two more projects are planned to exploit sour gas fields. The Zakum Development Company (ZADCO). Starting in 2010.000 bpd by building a new refinery and integrating operations at its existing facilities.8 million bpd by 2017.000 bpd from the fields. it awarded a contract for dredging work required to build four artificial islands to support drilling rigs for the project. also made steady progress in 2009 with long-standing plans to expand Abu Dhabi’s petroleum processing capacity to 885. ADNOC has awarded a new oil concession to the US oil company Occidental Petroleum to develop two small fields close to the UAE capital. is proceeding with a project to increase output from the Upper Zakum field by about 50 per cent to 750. Umm Shaif and Lower Zakum.000 bpd following the 2009 completion of a reservoir study. which was the first onshore oil deposit developed in the emirate. In oil development. The unit also plans to develop three smaller fields that are expected to yield another 76.000 bpd to 1. another ADNOC offshore oil subsidiary. ADCO plans to increase oil production capacity by 400. This is the first step in a plan to tap several small fields that were passed over when Abu Dhabi’s main oil fields were developed. the Abu Dhabi Marine Operations Company (ADMA-OPCO) is moving ahead with a ten-year plan to increase output from two major Gulf oil fields.9 bn) of contracts in 2009 for an integrated project to increase crude output from Abu Dhabi’s Sahil. 94 > UAE 2010 . to 1 million bpd by 2019 from about 600.000 bpd of crude oil.000 bpd to 455. The remaining gas project involves a new partnership between ADNOC and the Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell to search for gas deposits deep below the sea floor. the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) awarded US$3. one onshore and one offshore. In November of that year. In total. It also awarded an US$805 million (Dh3 bn) contract to raise production from the Bab oil field. Finally. Takreer. Occidental plans to invest US$500 million to produce 20. to meet growing domestic needs for petrol and other oil products. ADNOC’s oil refining company. ADNOC’s partner in the development is the US oil major ExxonMobil. the smaller of the emirate’s two petroleum refineries.000 bpd from 485.

which is expected to start production in 2013. it awarded the first contracts for the US$10 billion (Dh37 bn) Ruwais refinery project. an Abu Dhabi company that imports gas by pipeline from Qatar.000 bpd. awarded a US$1 billion contract under a programme to expand facilities at Ruwais.  In 2008. Related to this venture. were worth a total of US$5. however. jointly owned by ADNOC and the Austrian oil company OMV.1 bn).000 bpd refinery. Dubai also consumes more fuel than it produces. ADNOC’s fertiliser arm. located about 35 kilometres south-west of the city of Dubai. and is increasingly dependent on imports to make up the difference. As a result. By 2007 it had dropped to 80. Fertil. which will serve as the foundation for the emirate’s diversification into petrochemicals. has fallen dramatically from its 1991 peak of 410. The two contracts to build key equipment for the 417. the second largest UAE emirate has swung from being a net oil exporter to importing most of its petroleum requirements. handles a large part of the UAE’s trade in refined petroleum products and can accommodate tankers of up to 80. Dubai remains deeply involved in the petroleum sector. with the aim of enhancing Dubai’s role as a regional oil products trading hub and of supporting the emirate’s burgeoning civil aviation sector. The emirate already purchases several hundred million cubic feet per day of gas from Dolphin Energy.In November 2009.000 tonnes per year of LNG under a contract with Qatar Petroleum and Shell. Dubai Dubai’s oil production. While it continues to pump gas from offshore fields. The port of Jebel Ali. In July 2009. 95 > oil and gas . Dubai will start importing 650. the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) signed a framework agreement with investors for a US$200 million project to build an oil storage terminal at Jebel Ali. as a hub for oil trading and energy services.000 tonnes capacity. The decision to proceed with the project during a sustained downturn in refining margins is part of a strategic move to capture a greater share of the global market for refined oil products when the economy recovers. after completing the construction of a receiving terminal.2 billion to build a new plant at Ruwais.000 bpd. which once accounted for about half the emirate’s GDP. located about 200 kilometres west of the UAE capital on Abu Dhabi’s coast. the Vienna-based plastics maker Borouge.2 billion (Dh19. In 2011. has announced plans to spend US$1.

as do major companies providing services to the energy sector.000 bpd of capacity from 48. produces oil from the Mubarak field in the Gulf. in June of 2009 created two new bodies to oversee long-term energy policy: an Energy Higher Council to address demand issues and a Department of Petroleum Affairs to look at supply. Abu Dhabi and Iran. have jointly developed a common-user gas pipeline to serve Sharjah customers. the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Both process feedstock imported from Qatar. In 2007. Dana and Emarat.A condensates refinery at Jebel Ali. H. Production is expected to start in 2010. are also developing an offshore gas field located in territorial waters shared by Sharjah and Ajman. processing liquids from gas production. but the field has been in decline for some time. The following year. the Abu Dhabi governmentowned industrial conglomerate. strengthening its prospects for becoming a leading benchmark in global oil trade.000 bpd. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. and the British-UAE energy services firm Petrofac set up a joint venture headquartered in Dubai. Gas production from the Atlantis field offshore Umm al-Qaiwain began in 2008. A number of international oil companies maintain regional offices in Dubai. the US oil field services company Halliburton established its regional headquarters in Dubai. Crescent and Dana Gas. A unit of China’s Sinochem is developing the deposit and sending as much as 92 million scfd of liquids-rich gas through an under-sea 96 > UAE 2010 . As of November 2009. Trading volumes benefited from the contract’s listing in February of that year on the CME commodities exchange in the US. a Dubai marketer of petroleum products. The refinery is one of two operated by the Dubai Government-owned Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC).H. The Northern Emirates Four of the UAE’s other five emirates also have minor amounts of oil and gas production. Recognising the emirate’s challenges as it seeks to meet rising energy demand with diminished resources. Both the DME and the DMCC also offer futures trading in fuel oil. trading in the exchange’s DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract had increased by 58 per cent for the year. a Sharjah affiliate. Crescent Petroleum. was the first commodities exchange to offer a futures contract for a benchmark Middle Eastern crude. launched in 2006. The Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME). near Abu Musa Island. Mubadala Development. is being expanded to 120. a private-sector Sharjah company.

which produces about 8000 bpd of oil and 20 million scfd of associated gas. holds interests in oil and gas concessions in Sharjah.000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). the world’s second largest bunkering port is located on its coast. owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. The port of Fujairah. three Government-controlled entities. located in Omani territorial waters off the Musandam peninsula. Mubadala Development. a private-sector Ra’s al-Khaimah company. with the first tanker shipment from Fujairah expected in early 2011. In 2009 the company and its partners produced about 10 million scfd of gas and associated liquids from the Bukha field. and IPIC. on the Arabian Sea. The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). is building a strategic crude oil pipeline to deliver up to 150. As the controlling shareholder of Dolphin Energy. it has spawned a number of public and private sector companies that pursue energy development abroad. The development of the nearby West Bukha field. Mubadala produces oil in Oman and oil and gas in several south-east Asian countries. a joint venture with Occidental Petroleum and the French energy group 97 > oil and gas . The project aims to supply an export route for Abu Dhabi crude that bypasses the Gulf’s maritime choke point at the Strait of Hormuz.000 bpd of oil from Abu Dhabi’s Habshan onshore fields to a new export terminal in Fujairah. However. Mubadala’s oil and gas output stood at roughly 350. The arrival in 2008 of gas imports through the Dolphin Energy pipeline from Qatar has facilitated power and water development in the emirate and stimulated local industry. handles about 1 million tonnes per month of marine transportation fuel and other oil products. while Taqa produced about 112. IPIC is also in the early stages of developing an oil refinery and storage facilities at the Fujairah port. International Developments As the UAE’s oil and gas sector has developed sophistication.Khaimah Gas Commission. the Sultanate of Oman and its home emirate. In Abu Dhabi. was also completed that year by a group including RAK Petroleum. IPIC’s investments have been mainly in petroleum refining and petrochemicals. or RAK Gas. RAK Petroleum. although an onshore exploration programme is currently under way. Fujairah does not produce oil or gas. It is slated for completion in 2010.pipeline to a Ra’s al-Khaimah processing plant operated by the Government-owned Ra’s al. are the main vehicles for such enterprise. the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company. In 2009.000 boepd. or Taqa.

is exploring for oil and gas in several African countries including Sudan. Mubadala also produces gas and condensates in Qatar. presents a substantial challenge to the global oil and gas industry. The Sharjah affiliates Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas have a gas joint venture in Iraqi Kurdistan. Taqa has a substantial international and domestic portfolio of power generation assets. a private-sector Dubai company. and has acquired a minor interest in Heritage Oil. Europe and Asia. The UAE’s oil and gas sector has accepted the challenge. Dana also produces oil and gas in Egypt. Taqa produces most of its oil from the UK North Sea. The Dubai Government’s ENOC also invests overseas. Al Thani Corporation. oil and petrochemicals interests in North America. and is leading a project in the Netherlands to develop a major gas storage and marketing hub for western Europe. Since 2008. production platforms and gas storage facilities in those areas. In November 2009. Mubadala and Occidental Petroleum finalised an agreement with the National Oil and Gas Authority of Bahrain to raise output from the Kingdom of Bahrain’s only onshore oil field. Future Development Environmental mitigation. and holds an indirect interest in a large LNG development in Papua New Guinea. mainly through its 52 per cent interest in Dragon Oil. and is already making progress with a number of initiatives. which is under pressure to find ways to cut its carbon emissions.Total. in a wide portfolio. Mubadala is in another joint venture with ConocoPhillips to explore for oil and gas in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Kazakhstan. especially as international concern mounts over global warming. In addition. IPIC has acquired. a Canadian company with a big oil discovery in Kurdistan. RAK Petroleum is involved in oil and gas exploration and production in Oman. which produces oil and gas in Turkmenistan. It is a major shareholder and strategic partner of Austria’s OMV. Dolphin has been sending up to 2 billion cubic feet per day of gas through an undersea pipeline to Taweelah in Abu Dhabi for distribution through an overland pipeline system to customers in the UAE and Oman. while its gas production is concentrated in Western Canada and the Dutch North Sea. Egypt and Libya. 98 > UAE 2010 . It also owns interests in pipelines.

senior government and ADNOC officials have indicated that they value Abu Dhabi’s partnerships with international energy firms and wish to continue such alliances. ADNOC is well on the way to eliminating gas flaring. While details of the negotiations have not been made public. but is also conserving a valuable energy resource. Within the next few years. Abu Dhabi will also face decisions related to the expiry in 2014 and 2018 of longterm concessions covering production from most of its biggest oil fields. 99 > oil and gas .As an example. The plan is to capture carbon dioxide emissions from major Abu Dhabi industrial installations and pipe the gas to oil fields for use in enhanced oil recovery projects. By reducing the wasteful burning of gas at production facilities and oil refineries through better management. the carbon dioxide would be permanently stored underground in the depleted reservoirs. ADNOC is also a partner in an ambitious scheme to develop a carbon capture and storage network for the UAE. the company is not only cutting carbon dioxide emissions. Eventually.

housing shortages and improvement of infrastructure. Urban planners have met the ensuing challenges.infrastructure There is renewed focus on urban planning in the UAE as the recent economic boom has brought with it a rapidly rising population and a wide range of real estate. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . commercial and industrial development. with visionary long-term plans that focus on boosting the quality of life for all whilst pursuing the goal of economic diversification. such as traffic congestion.

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ten-lane highway that originates at the E10 motorway. On Yas Island. These efforts are being overseen by the Urban Planning Council (UPC). in the Shahama 102 > UAE 2010 . Sowwah will provide the first example in the capital of a two-level podium system. The plan seeks to find a balance between managing growth. while preserving the city’s cultural heritage and natural environment. such as utilities and power. a sustained three-year construction effort resulted in a successful inaugural Formula One Grand Prix on the Yas Marina Circuit in November 2009. The city planning envisions two new focal points for the capital: one is on Sowwah and Reem. including Sowwah Square. Work on a number of key projects has already commenced. which is working to ensure the area has the necessary infrastructure in place.000 residents under the 2030 Plan. a roadmap that seeks to cope with an estimated tripling of the population of the capital in the next two decades as new industries. whilst a circular central area will hold the highest building heights and population densities. the Capital District will become the second focal point and the new seat of Government. golf clubs and. residential centres as well as a Cultural District that will include museums like the Jean Novel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi. Foster + Partner’s Sheikh Zayed National Museum.000-seat stadium that will be used for sporting events. cultural attractions. Piling has begun on a 65. concerts and exhibitions. fostering tourism and trade. the future home of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Public agencies and foreign embassies will be located close to housing for 370. requiring automobiles to use underground roads and allowing pedestrians more freedom at ground level. An area of pristine mangroves is being protected amidst the development. and the Frank Gehryenvisioned Guggenheim. There are big changes afoot also on Saadiyat Island. These will be developed into downtown financial and business districts interconnected by more than a dozen bridges. On the mainland adjacent to Abu Dhabi Island. schools and hospitals are built. Site preparations have also begun for Zayed University’s new campus. hotels. the proposed site for numerous hotels. Just a month before the Grand Prix. along with an important archaeological site on much of the island. two small islands lying to the east off the main Abu Dhabi Island. leisure facilities. Major works are being completed for the first phase on Sowwah.Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 In 2009. Abu Dhabi made key strides towards the implementation of its Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. the two islands were linked by a new 27-kilometre.


and recouping their expenses over the 25-year lifespan of the highway. Other plans include a new mixed-use motorway to the Dubai border. Jubayl and Saadiyat.district. The report is primarily geared to assist property developers to plan residential and commercial projects. as deadlines near: the first section of the 340-kilometre tram network is scheduled to open in 2014. The new highway also reduces travel time between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. a 20-kilometre MidIsland Parkway.4-kilometre-long Sheikh Khalifa Bridge to reach Abu Dhabi Island at Mina Zayed Port. An integrated system of buses. over the next 20 years. including New York and London. valued at more than Dh300 billion. while phase one of the 130-kilometre metro network is scheduled for a 2016 launch. Transport Master Plan The dominance of the car as a means of transport will be challenged as Abu Dhabi builds one of the most comprehensive public transit systems in the world. with many urban streets being affected. In total. The Department wants to boost the use of public transport participation to 35 to 40 per cent of all daily trips by 2030. A new focus on pedestrian well-being 104 > UAE 2010 . In 2010. metro and regional rail will connect with personal rapid transit. The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport recently launched its Surface Transport Master Plan. The deal is being structured as an innovative public-private partnership financing arrangement where contractors shoulder part of the risk by paying the upfront costs. the UPC plans to take the opportunity to revamp them using new street design standards. north-east of Abu Dhabi City. Both projects could see construction begin around 2011. the Department of Transport plans to break ground on a Dh10 billion project to widen the expressway linking the capital with the Saudi border. Transport planners are also busily evaluating engineering bids for a tram and metro network. which lays out guidelines to achieve the transport goals of the 2030 Plan. a new system that involves battery-powered podcars. which will connect Reem Island with Abu Dhabi Island and the planned Capital District. and. before transversing the newly built 1. the Mafraq-Ghuweifat Highway. trams. several more bridges and tunnels. and crosses Yas. A new street design manual was completed in 2009 and with it Abu Dhabi joins an elite club of cities that issued their own design manuals recently. and the department intends to construct a 140-kilometre motorway from Al Ain to the new Khalifa Port and industrial zone at Taweelah. there are nearly 20 major transportation projects earmarked for completion before 2015. at a cost of Dh50 billion.

while major transport arteries will be provided with additional safety measures. Simultaneously. Abu Dhabi’s ‘super-blocks’. plastics and chemical plants that are being developed in the Al Gharbia (Western) Region. while a much larger port and industrial zone. which should encourage drivers to slow down and drive more safely. Mina Zayed. Such moves represent significant changes to Abu Dhabi’s road system for the first times in decades. Benefits of the rail line will include reducing the need for heavy vehicles on the roads and adding vital logistics links to new aluminium. according to the project timeline. Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone. These roads will be broken up by adding extra signals and zebra crossings. In addition. The capital’s existing port. The trans-Emirates network is expected to cost roughly Dh30 billion. Planners are also considering eliminating dedicated right-turn lanes. and the entire construction process will take between five to eight years. The first construction contracts are expected to be awarded by the end of 2010. a 1200-kilometre freight rail network will also be built by the newly established Union Railway Company and span the entire length of the emirates. To support Abu Dhabi’s growing industrial base as well as the need for better transport links between all seven emirates. will also see significant changes. Freight Network Other changes are focusing on the areas outside of Abu Dhabi Island. is to be closed down and redeveloped into prime waterfront property. Al Ain. This will be gradually expanded to cover all major commercial and high-density residential districts. A contractor will be selected in the first quarter of 2010 for detailed engineering work. the Department of Transport has launched a programme to improve congestion downtown with a parking management scheme that includes metered parking spaces in central areas. Taweelah and the Musaffah industrial area. The rail line will eventually link up with the planned GCC railway network and carry both freight and passengers – with speeds of 120 kph for freight and up to 200 kph for passenger services. is being built on a reclaimed island 5 kilometres offshore near Taweelah.could see the provision of enlarged corner pavements. these many straight and wide thoroughfares will be narrowed. which have given drivers the ability to by-pass traffic lights without stopping for pedestrians. consisting of lengthy stretches between traffic signals and multi-lane roads. In 2009 the Abu Dhabi Ports Company awarded Dh10 billion in contracts in anticipation of a 2012 opening. 105 > infrastructure .

which is designed in the shape of the letter ‘X’ by the Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates of the UK. Al Ain City and Al Gharbia are undergoing their own 2030 Plans. Al Ain and Al Gharbia Further afield.Abu Dhabi Airport Expansion To enhance travel and trade links. The Midfield Terminal. In 2008 the airport was named the fastest growing international airport in the world by Airports Council International. Abu Dhabi Airports Company is expanding the capacity of Abu Dhabi International Airport. Coupled with the dramatic growth of its flag carrier. will be built between the two runways. the Dh25 billion Midfield Terminal will open to provide another 20 million in passenger capacity in its first phase. In Al Gharbia. the focus is to bring in jobs 106 > UAE 2010 . which has to increased the capacity at the airport by another five million passengers a year. In March 2009 Etihad completed its transfer of flights to the new Terminal 3. which comprises 83 per cent of the emirate’s territory but just 8 per cent of the population.1 billion. built at a cost of Dh1. airport planners have been hard at work to continue expanding infrastructure. In 2015. Etihad Airways. and more than 40 million passengers a year when fully completed. and in 2009 it welcomed eight new carriers to the capital.

Dubai Strategic Plan The focus on master-planning is also strong in Dubai. the building of more roads. The Al Ain 2030 Plan was announced in April 2009 and laid out a vision for the city. safety audits and driver awareness campaigns are also planned. such as road tolls. roads and transportation and the environment. The Plan touches on urban planning.outside the oil and gas industry. New road safety standards. electricity and water. currently the major local employer. On transportation. The blueprint for the region pays particular attention to the improvement of infrastructure as the population grows but also emphasises the need to maintain the region’s character. Work on a 2030 Plan for the rural areas of the Eastern Region was under way at the end of 2009. lower use of private cars. 107 > infrastructure . energy. Sustainable development and a balanced view towards new infrastructure are at the core of the policy. and using demand management to reduce peak congestion. It also seeks to prioritise the need to improve the management of accidents and emergencies. including a tram network. unveiled in 2007. including an increased use of public transport. the Dubai Strategic Plan emphasises the need for improving mobility and safety. additional housing for UAE nationals and environmental protection. where the guiding policy document is the Dubai Strategic Plan – 2015. bridges and links. and to promote tourism.

The metro continues a focus on mass transit begun when Dubai launched its 5. which will also become the first of its kind in the region. Future plans call for extending the monorail to the Dubai Metro Red Line. it purchased 518 Citea buses from VDL.5 million passengers rode the metro.000 people. With travel and tourism trade 108 > UAE 2010 . Work on the first tracks. the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is planning to build more than 900 kilometres of cycling tracks in the city over the next ten years. the first of its kind in the Middle East.5 kilometres. the 52-kilometre long Red Line. The design has been custom-tailored to adapt to the Gulf climate and will become the first tramline with air-conditioned stations. It will feature 18 stations. and the first tracks of the line were laid in December 2009.5 kilometres of rail running above ground across a viaduct and 11 tramcars. the RTA is also building up its bus fleet. it carried 110. The project cost is Dh4 billion. the Green Line. In the first two days of operation. including the Atlantis Hotel. Project engineers began work in mid-2009 on the viaduct and excavation for the platforms and stations. Dubai’s Airports and Ports The backbone of the Dubai economy has always been its logistics and transport infrastructure. Plans for two further lines are being prepared. including 12 elevated and six underground stations and run a length of 22. has already begun. A second network. and all are all expected to open by the end of February 2010. nearly 3. including 70 kilometres in Bur Dubai and 57 kilometres in Deira. to the mainland. however. The system connects the Palm Jumeirah island. will run along Al Sufouh Road from Dubai Marina to the Burj al-Arab hotel and the Mall of the Emirates. The driverless system began operating with ten of 29 stations.5-kilometre tram service. In June 2009. The Al Sufouh Tram. The most important step in the improvement of Dubai’s transport. The 11-kilometre first phase. To help integrate the metro with other modes of transit. Soon. based in the Netherlands. is scheduled to open in 2011. In the first two months.5-kilometre Palm Jumeirah Monorail in April 2009. with further deals expected to follow. the residents of Jumeirah and Dubai Marina will have yet another option for mass transit: a 14. with the inauguration of the city’s first metro line. is under construction and expected to open in 2010.Dubai’s Transport Goals Fuelled by a desire to improve the standard of living for all residents. and Dubai has continued to invest in this infrastructure to fulfill its long-term plans. surpassing expectations. The remaining stations have been built. which includes 2. took place on 9 September 2009.

In 2008. making Dubai the sixth largest international airport by throughput and one of the few among the top 20 largest airports to register positive growth. The port also expanded its workforce and trained new staff.5 square kilometres to the area of the airport’s structures. The airport broke the 40-million passenger mark. As it foresees continued growth.5 billion Terminal 3. with a capacity of 5 million passengers a year. completion of the new airport envisages a capacity of up to 160 million travellers a year and five runways. DP World has outlined expansive plans to expand its capacity to up to 80 million TEUs by 2030. which now boasts 29 tandem lift cranes and 60 rail-mounted gantry cranes. Dubai Airports opened the Dh16. the airport is projecting a 13. 109 > infrastructure . the largest in the world and offering twice the handling capacity of traditional cranes. which would make it the largest airport in the world. The facility is scheduled to open in late 2011 and will push capacity to 75 million travellers a year. Jebel Ali Port.4 per cent rise in traffic volumes. Some options include an upgrade of its three terminals. The focus on boosting capacity at Dubai International is taking place in tandem with a gradual transfer of airlines over the next decade to the Dh30. has also seen a number of new improvements after becoming a victim of its own success. which is the single largest building in the world by floor space. and added another 1. A third concourse designed to handle Emirate’s A380 Superjumbo fleet is being built at a cost of Dh4 billion. with heavy queues and long wait times for vessels recorded in late 2008. and the introduction of a fourth terminal. In 2010. a 9. and the busiest container terminal between Asia and Europe. DP World. Although limited services are set to open in mid-2010 for phase one. The operator.accounting for an estimated 25 per cent of the emirate’s GDP. by extending the port out to a reclaimed island.11 billion Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali.2 per cent increase on 2008. dedicated to Emirates Airline. Rail-mounted gantry cranes were also introduced as part of the second phase of Jebel Ali’s Container Terminal 2. responded by bringing in new giant tandem lift gantry cranes. Planners have also indicated that airport processes and procedures will be improved to expand the capacity of Dubai International up to 90 million passengers a year by the end of the next decade. With the new equipment. A number of infrastructure projects will see the airport continue to expand its capacity to stay one step ahead of growth. Dubai International Airport posted strong results in 2009 despite a global slowdown in air travel. the biggest in the Middle East. capacity at Jebel Ali now stands at 14 million TEUs (twenty foot containers or equivalent units) per year.

and adding parking spaces for residents and office workers. Sharjah continues to invest in its ports in the Gulf and on the east coast.000 tonnes of cargo a year. such as the introduction of a new intra-city public transport system. Ajman is preparing to enter the fray. at the Oil Terminal 2. In particular Sharjah’s urban centre has suffered from congestion because of a rising local population. Plans for a Dh12 billion international airport were first announced in 2007 and the project is currently scheduled for completion in the next few years. Existing terminals will also be improved. increased its capacity by 33 per cent to 4 million TEUs in 2009. The port of Fujairah. The port is being expanded to handle 3 million TEUs by 2012 to boost its trans-shipment potential. In 2003 the emirate outlined a Vision 2020 Plan and implementation of this is now well under way. In Ra’s al-Khaimah. municipalities are making great strides in improving the quality of urban infrastructure. In 2008 the emirate announced plans for investments in municipal services that constitute the most significant spending since the municipality was established some 80 years ago. the second largest oil-bunkering facility in the world. Spurred by the success of airports in neighbouring emirates. The emirate also continues to improve Mina Saqr. as well as two new terminals that will be built in phases. The plans involve significant investments over the next 20 years. As a major logistics player. as well as boosting tourism. will serve at least 1 million passengers a year and handle a minimum of 400. and is also building multi-storey parking facilities in some residential areas. bordering the Indian Ocean. the emirate is embarking on a plan to attract new cargo and passenger airlines to its airport and to introduce new feeder services to regional cities. and in September 2009 it awarded contracts to add additional berthing capacity for oil tankers.Northern Emirates In the northern emirates. the emirate is planning to introduce a paid parking scheme. the first deepwater port in the Gulf. It will be built on an area of 5 square kilometres and. Looking ahead. . ranging from state-of-the-art oil terminals and world-class container. including new airport aprons and taxiway system. Khor Fakkan.handling facilities to dhow wharfs. drawing more students to its academic institutions and promoting trade and investment. is also expanding. 110 > UAE 2010 Right: The UAE has over 20 ports. as well as to improve the capacity to handle bulk cement and aggregate. while it also expanded the size of its quays and increased the number of gantry cranes by a third. when finished. Among key aspects are an improvement of urban and community developments. Some of the improvements are focused on reducing traffic congestion.


Government is focused on the need for research into and development of alternative sources of energy to fuel utilities (natural gas being the fuel of choice to date) as well as on securing U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . Looking to the future.electricity funding for new projects. and water During 2009 the cumulative impact of record-breaking economic growth on power generation and water production in the UAE was a major consideration in terms of supply planning.

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At the same time, however, there are current challenges, in terms of a lack of supply, particularly, via the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA), in the northern emirates, although both Abu Dhabi and Dubai also face constraints. Substantial progress was made during 2009 in tackling these problems. Thus, for example, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) secured financing for new projects, whilst Abu Dhabi both extended financial aid for new infrastructure, and stepped up exports of electricity from its own power stations to Sharjah and the northern emirates in order to address the shortfall in supply. Recognising the importance of sustainable development, attention was also paid to promoting public awareness about the need to slow electricity and water consumption growth. Meanwhile, new sources of energy were planned in the form of solar plants and nuclear reactors. The year culminated with one of the most important development-related events in the country’s history: the signing of a Dh75 billion (US$20 bn) contract with a consortium of Korean firms to build four nuclear power stations by 2020. The move means that the UAE will be the first Arab nation to tap atomic power on a commercial scale (see chapter on the Nuclear Programme).

Capacity Increases
The UAE continued to build up power capacity in 2009 to keep pace with consumption that grew strongly despite the economic downturn. Peak consumption of electricity jumped 11.3 per cent in Abu Dhabi and 6.3 per cent in Dubai, according to statistics issued in November 2009 by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company. Significant growth was also evident in the water sector, where the Government is grappling with lowering one of the highest per capita consumption rates in the world. The country has limited resources of fresh water and has become increasingly reliant on production by desalination through co-generation with power stations. According to the Ministry of Environment and Water, for much of the year, depending on temperatures, about 98 per cent of the water being consumed is produced by desalination. ADWEA continued work on the 2000 megawatt (MW) Fujairah 2 power station, at Qidfa, on the UAE’s east coast. To be fuelled by gas supplied via a pipeline from Taweelah, north-east of Abu Dhabi, and due to be completed by the end of 2010, this will supply power both to Abu Dhabi and to the grid in the northern emirates. The attached desalination plant will also supply 130 million gallons per day (mgd) of water to Al Ain and Fujairah.

114 > UAE 2010

ADWEA also connected to its first major renewable energy source: a 10 MW array of solar panels at Masdar City (see chapter on Renewable Energy) and closed a US$2.15 billion financing facility for the massive Shuweihat 2 power and water station. This plant will generate over 1600 MW and 100 mgd of water, when it opens in 2011. ADWEA is also planning its ninth Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP) since the sector was opened up to partial privatisation in 1998. The Regulation and Supervision Bureau, which oversees power and water production for Abu Dhabi, estimates that the emirate will need at least three new plants over the next seven years to keep up with demand. In Dubai, DEWA increased its generating capacity during the year with introduction of a new 611 MW capacity plant at Jebel Ali. However, it deferred bids for the first phase of a planned massive new power

116 > UAE 2010

and water plant at Hasyan, since it was considered that the emirate had sufficient capacity to meet nearterm projected demand. Meanwhile, DEWA expects to complete the Jebel Ali M Station – with a water production capacity of 140 mgd – during 2010. Power cuts in Sharjah during the hot summer months prompted a decision by the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) to increase prices per unit, in the hope of reducing consumption, although consumers still enjoy a substantial subsidy. During the year, ADWEA boosted exports of electricity to Sharjah by 70 per cent, and in November 2009, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, donated Dh1 billion to the emirate for infrastructure development, especially new power generating capacity. A study by the Federal National Council indicated that about 1000 commercial buildings in Ra’s al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah completed but are awaiting connections to the electricity supply

117 > electricity and water

network. Temporary solutions to these problems included a mix of small-scale generators and mediumsized power plants. Ra’s al-Khaimah brought 129 MW capacity online in March and April, but will need a number of other plants to fully supply new developments. One key question facing these emirates, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi more broadly, is the choice of fuel for new plants.

New Energy Sources
The Abu Dhabi government has committed tens of billions of dollars to develop new gas fields and to transfer gas from offshore facilities (see chapter on Oil and Gas). This is a continuing process in which, over the longer term, demand predictions continue to outpace supply estimates. In 2008, Dubai signed agreements to begin importing liquified natural gas, while Sharjah-based Dana Gas also has an agreement with Iran to import gas, although disagreements over pricing mean that the agreement has yet to be implemented. The low prices paid by utilities, themselves a direct result of caps on the prices that can be charged for electricity, continues to create difficulties in resolving this issue. Alternatives to gas-fuelled power generation are also under consideration. Ajman and Ra’s al-Khaimah have put forward plans to build coal-fired power stations with capacities of 1000 MW and 600 MW, while DEWA announced that it would seek bids on two separate coal projects. Meanwhile, in Abu Dhabi, ADWEA has not ruled out using diesel or crude oil as a fuel for the emirate’s ninth IWPP. Looking to the future, Abu Dhabi is expected to unveil a framework to support the higher generation costs of renewables in its new comprehensive energy plan, as part of its goal to have renewables produce 7 per cent of the emirate’s electricity by 2020. It is expected that nearly all of that renewable capacity, amounting to about 1500 MW, will be solar. However, it is also generally agreed that the long-term answer is nuclear power (see chapter on Nuclear Programme).

Reducing Consumption
In the face of high growth in consumption, local governments across the country began to place increased emphasis on reducing consumers’ waste of electricity and water. Sharjah’s sharp increase in electricity prices was the first in a number of price hikes expected across the UAE as governments investigated the possibility of bringing utility rates closer to those of other countries. Such a step, of course, has wide economic and social impacts.

118 > UAE 2010

better education campaigns. the Executive Affairs Authority commissioned a study to determine the extent of resources that could be saved with better demand management. includes representatives from DEWA. the Dubai Nuclear Energy Committee and the Dubai Supply Authority.000 public buildings and homes. Emirates National Oil Company. Among the initiatives taken was a high-profile campaign. under the chairmanship of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. In an attempt to further rein in the growing need for these massive plants. Recommendations by experts included mandates on the efficiency of appliances and household goods. DEWA also sponsored a number of high-profile campaigns to convince its customers to reduce waste of electricity and water.In August 2009. Each device installed on shower-heads and taps could reduce water flow by 30 to 35 per cent. The study found that even without an increase in prices. with officials expecting full coverage within one to two years. Dubai Petroleum. One of the first steps to improving conservation is gaining a better understanding of where water is actually consumed. The Higher Energy Council. 119 > electricity and water . EAD aims eventually to cut per capita consumption from 550 litres per day to 350 litres per day. After a lengthy campaign in Abu Dhabi. and a strengthening of building codes to improve insulation and cooling systems. Dubai Aluminium. the Dubai government created a high-level planning body that will advise the government on ways to control growth in demand for power and water. approximately 80 per cent of customers’ use of water is metered. In Abu Dhabi. governments across the Emirates teamed up with environmental groups to reduce water usage in homes and commercial buildings. to install water-saving devices in 100. led by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in association with the Emirates Wildlife Society. the emirate could save itself the cost of two power stations and a water desalination plant if it steps up measures to promote efficiency in water and electricity use.

The year 2009 saw several important milestones being achieved. energy As the UAE continues the drive to diversify its economy away from dependence on exports of depletable oil and gas and to move towards a more substainable local economy. the first commercial-scale solar power plant was switched on and the first intake of U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 .renewable students was welcomed to a major new research institute on clean energy. increasing attention has been paid to the need to develop the renewable energy sector. The UAE’s first renewable energy capacity target was established.

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the ‘feed-in’ tariff. However. The ‘playing field’ can either be levelled by reducing consumer subsidies for unsustainable electricity generation or by direct subsidies to the renewable energy companies. Policy The Abu Dhabi government announced in January 2009 that it would seek to generate 7 per cent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. It is expected that the bulk of this target. continued work on development of its ‘Masdar City’. makes the case for locating the IRENA headquarters in the UAE. Beyond these. utilities are obliged to pay above market-rates for a set quota of clean electricity from energy companies. The target will be supported by a comprehensive energy policy that is due for release in 2010. One frequently cited model for Abu Dhabi. significant challenges yet to be resolved. led by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC). of course. the biggest unknown for the renewable energy sector rests with the ability of the world’s leaders to agree on a new climate change treaty in the coming year. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. of course. UAE Foreign Minister. the details of which will have an important impact on the types of clean energy projects prioritised in the UAE. . Under this scheme.The Masdar Initiative. for example.H. the UAE succeeded in winning the contest to be selected as headquarters for the new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). is common in Europe. Among the key issues that the policy will address is how to balance the relatively higher costs of generating electricity from renewable sources in a way that provides discounts for reducing carbon emissions and encourages sustainable energy solutions. IRENA and Copenhagen Recognition of the UAE’s renewable energy efforts received a significant boost in June 2009 when members of the six-month-old UN agency IRENA selected Abu Dhabi to host its headquarters. while at an international level. will be met by solar power plants. while there are also technical issues that currently impede the use of some solar technologies because of high levels of dust and haze in parts of the Emirates. There remain. it is expected that electricity prices will remain at highly competitive levels in the UAE despite the introduction of renewables and nuclear power. whether generation of electricity through solar power is economically feasible in a heavily-subsidised market. the first time a UN 122 > UAE 2010 Right: H. which did not count nuclear energy as ‘renewable’. It is not clear.


and thus created an independent voice lobbying countries to make renewables a key part of a future climate change treaty. the UAE pledged US$22 million annually in direct funding for IRENA. The UAE’s bid centred on Masdar City. IRENA established its temporary headquarters in Abu Dhabi in late summer 2009. Carbon Capture Climate change talks based on the political agreement reached at the global summit in Copenhagen in December 2009 are destined to be one of the most important influences on Masdar and the development of the renewable energy sector in general in 2010. including free rent at Masdar City. the carbon neutral. For Masdar. The UAE offered IRENA extensive financial support. and soft-loans totalling US$50 million a year to permit support of renewable energy projects in the least developed countries to commence immediately. and US$15 million annually after this period. zero-waste complex at the edge of the capital that will host IRENA’s headquarters. a key question is whether negotiators will 124 > UAE 2010 . The win was the culmination of a hard-fought competition against Germany and Austria that saw Sheikh Abdullah bin has been headquartered outside Europe or America. For its first seven years. and other top officials visit over 90 countries to garner support (see chapter on Foreign Policy). the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) currently awards credits to other types of projects in developing countries that reduce emissions. Developing cost-effective carbon capture technology has become a priority for Masdar. 125 > renewable energy . One idea currently being examined is the injection of carbon dioxide emissions into oil wells. which is investing in a number of renewable energy technologies to supply Masdar City and help meet Abu Dhabi’s target to generate 7 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2020. to replace the gas currently being injected to maintain reservoir pressure. Carbon dioxide injection may also increase the amount of oil that can be recovered. commenced in late 2009. which can then be used for other purposes. as part of an ADNOC investigation of the effectiveness of the process. operated by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) part of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) group. potentially generating billions of dirhams worth of revenue. A pilot project in the onshore Rumaitha oilfield. Those credits are then sold on the carbon market in Europe. Funding through the CDM could play an important role in the scheme. Solar Comes Onstream Almost all of the significant renewable energy projects in the UAE have been led by Masdar.agree to extend UN-administered financial assistance to efforts to capture carbon emissions from power plants and factories and bury them underground.

that dust and haze in the air would reduce the plants’ efficiency by up to 20 per cent and the plans are currently being reviewed. At the same time. which uses lenses and motors to track the sun’s movements and focus its rays on photovoltaic panels. as Masdar investigated moving the plant to another location in the emirate. which then turns a conventional generating turbine. At the beginning of 2009. reliant equally on technologies from the US company First Solar and China’s Suntech. 126 > UAE 2010 . However. The panels. were procured and installed by Enviromena. While the technology is still in its infancy. or solar thermal. Award of a construction contract for Shams 1 was delayed. however. Masdar disclosed plans for a 100 MW CSP plant called Shams 1 (Shams means ‘sun’ in Arabic) in Madinat Zayed. a fast-growing local solar contractor and the array has the capacity to generate 10 MW of power. which amounts to roughly 1500 MW of solar and other renewable sources. when Masdar announced plans to study the feasibility of using concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) at Masdar City in cooperation with a Spanish research institute. on a site adjacent to Masdar City at the beginning of 2009. is far more expensive than competitor technologies but is also much more efficient.Masdar completed an intricate and extensive array of solar panels. CPV. appeared to be the favourite to generate up to 90 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s clean energy. which is fed into ADWEA’s power grid. The firm is expected to provide the bulk of power generating capacity to meet Abu Dhabi’s 7 per cent target. known as photovoltaics. it is expected that as production of CPV systems is scaled up costs will decrease and the technology could later become a viable competitor as a renewable energy source. suggesting it could be deployed at a larger scale than originally thought. in the Al Gharbia (Western) Region. Computer modelling showed. and proponents pointed to its advantages for Abu Dhabi: it can generate large amounts of uninterrupted power and maintain output for several hours after the sun sets. Masdar has been testing a number of solar technologies to determine which will take the lead role. a technology called concentrated solar power (CSP). CSP uses mirrors to concentrate the heat of the sun’s rays and boil water. A third competitor technology entered the fray in the autumn. Photovoltaics have an additional advantage in that their output is less susceptible to the diffusion of sunlight caused by dust and haze. costs for the main competitor technology – photovoltaics – fell sharply. Plans were also drawn up for a Shams 2 and a Shams 3. it remains likely that CSP and photovoltaics may be deployed in equal numbers to meet the 7 per cent target. The technology has been deployed at a large scale in Spain.

In April the British Government had announced it would lend financial support to offshore wind farms across the country. is being considered. including wind and geothermal.2 billion (Dh11. and Etihad Airways to study the feasibility of producing aviation fuel from saltwater plants grown in Abu Dhabi. Masdar has also awarded contracts to tap an energy source unfamiliar in the Gulf: geothermal power. Building of a second PV plant at Taweelah. Research into new energy sources and improvement of existing systems is already taking place at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST). together with an Icelandic firm. they will be used to dry out dessicant from the city’s cooling system. If the expected heat sources are encountered. a fuel technology firm. Other Technologies Solar is clearly the country’s key renewable energy resource. In October 2009. at 5. The company made headlines in May 2009 when it decided to invest €2. in Abu Dhabi. Masdar officials expect more such grants in the years to come. 127 > renewable energy . Honeywell UOP. The plant has the capacity to produce 65 MW worth of panels every year.01 bn) with two international partners to build the London Array. but Masdar is also investing in other technologies. the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Germany that began production of thin-film PV. Masdar PV is hoping to undersell competitors by producing the largest PV panel in the world. The Institute is expected to be an incubator of patents and proprietary technology that Abu Dhabi hopes to one day export abroad. which was set up in partnership with the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The investment furthered the company’s ambition to be a global player in the most advanced renewable energy technologies. Masdar PV. was plannning to commence drilling in early 2010 of at least two wells to depths of 3 kilometres and 4 kilometres to tap underground heat that amounts to between 80 and 140 degrees Celsius under Masdar City.Masdar also aims to become a major producer of photovoltaics through its wholly owned subsidiary. and has completed construction of a panel manufacturing plant in Ichtershausen. the aircraft manufacturer.7 square metres. Masdar. the Institute was commissioned by Boeing. which is cheaper but also less efficient than traditional silicon panels.

producing about 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity by 2020 and ensuring the U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 .nuclear continued economic development of the nation. programme The UAE believes that that the most environmentally friendly and most sustainable solution to its energy requirements is electricity generated by nuclear plants. nuclear reactors are destined to become the UAE’s second most important source of energy in the UAE after natural gas. Therefore.

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Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.H.” In October 2009. safety and nuclear security. UAE President. FANR will also be responsible for the licensing of operators in the nuclear sector and the monitoring of radiological materials.H. the Federal Government had approved a law that formally set the nuclear programme in motion. ENEC will oversee the construction and operation of nuclear plants and coordinate the distribution of electricity across the country with federal authorities. Nuclear Contracts The developments outlined above were followed by the award of a Dh75 billion (US$20. the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). following a three-way competition among consortia from France. Japan and the US. 130 > UAE 2010 Right: H. based on the highest standards of transparency. which will be responsible for the oversight of the peaceful nuclear energy sector within the country and the enforcement of nuclear safety and radiological protection standards. Most significantly. and our rejection in principle to the existence of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. calling on Israel to dismantle its military nuclear facilities and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty and subject its nuclear facilities to international inspections.In 2009. and in full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency… The model we have adopted is consistent with our support of and conformity with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. with the creation of an independent nuclear safety regulator. In an address on the occasion of the UAE’s thirty-eighth National Day. Scott. The board members of ENEC are Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak. We also urge Iran to continue cooperation with the international community to allay fears and doubts about the nature of its nuclear programme. greets Lee Myung-bak. H. highly important milestones were achieved in the country’s nascent civilian nuclear programme.44 bn) contract on 27 December 2009 to a consortium of South Korean and US companies led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to build and operate an array of reactors in the UAE. and David F. . We call on the parties concerned to reach a peaceful agreement on this to ensure the security and stability in the region and its peoples. Mohammed Sahu Al Suwaidi. Sheikh Khalifa explained the UAE’s approach to nuclear energy: “Our interest in renewable energy is inseparable from our project to develop a peaceful programme of nuclear energy to meet our growing energy requirements. issued a decree on 23 December 2009 that formally established the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) as the entity in charge of implementing the UAE’s nuclear programme. President of the Republic of Korea. Chairman. Deputy Chairman. in accordance with international laws. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. South Korea. Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi.


The third class of students was due to join the programme in early 2010. As part of the programme. Emiratis students have been sent abroad by ENEC to study for bachelor and masters degrees in nuclear. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the full text of a policy white paper entitled ‘Policy of the United Arab Emirates on the Evaluation and Potential Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy’. following its endorsement by the UAE Council of Ministers. both Emirati and expatriate. but also the simple evaluation of such a 132 > UAE 2010 . its capacity to deliver the plants on time. “… the Government of the United Arab Emirates recognises the special circumstances and considerations that surround not only the deployment of nuclear reactors. environmentally responsible. other bodies in the UAE educational system. with the release by UAE Foreign Minister H. Launch of the Nuclear Energy Programme The formal international launch of the UAE’s nuclear energy programme took place on 2 April 2008. He added. the Institute of Applied Technology. and international universities to train the necessary reservoir of talent. and sustainable manner. ENEC is partnering with the Khalifa University of Science. with safety-related construction of the inaugural unit to commence in 2012. The importance of building a qualified workforce has been essential to the UAE’s approach to its nuclear energy programme. and a prime contractor structure in which KEPCO was put firmly in charge of a team of other engineering and construction companies. Current estimates show that by 2020 the programme will require at least between 2100 and 2300 staff. electrical or mechanical engineering at American and European universities. however.The contract calls for KEPCO to build four reactors by 2020. The first of the four 1400-megawatt units is scheduled to begin providing electricity to the grid in 2017. KEPCO’s detailed plans for training programme to gradually Emiratise the workforce that will operate the reactors were also instrumental in the company’s success.H. Technology and Research. The Korean consortium was selected for its commercial offer. well into the future. Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE’s interest in nuclear energy stems exclusively from a desire to meet growing domestic energy demand in a commercially. ENEC is committed to ensuring that Emirati women and men play a major role – occupying positions of authority and responsibility throughout all aspects of the programme. To this end. FANR.

close coordination with the International Atomic Energy Agency. not only the United Arab Emirates. IAEA Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and IAEA Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management.” Sheikh Abdullah commented that some of the salient points of these commitments and strategies include a determination by the Government of the UAE to conclude a number of pertinent international agreements. To accomplish this objective. cooperation with the governments and companies from responsible nuclear supplier nations and a commitment to long-term sustainability. Accordingly. but other non-nuclear states could pursue the benefits of peaceful nuclear power with the full backing and confidence of their domestic populations and the wider international community. non-proliferation. International Community Confidence The UAE nuclear programme has received the full support of and confidence of the international community and it has been seen as a model.” The Foreign Minister referred to the set of guiding principles embraced by the UAE. He noted that: “These principles have led us to adopt a series of commitments and strategies that are outlined in the policy document and which we believe constitute a useful model via which. and described as the ‘gold standard’ for developing a nuclear energy programme. IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety. the Government of the United Arab Emirates wishes to make clear its peaceful and unambiguous objectives in respect both of its current evaluation of a peaceful nuclear energy programme as well as the potential future deployment of actual nuclear power generation facilities within its territory. in an effort to limit the danger of proliferation. the Government has developed and is launching a formal policy document describing its approach to the evaluation and potential development of a peaceful domestic nuclear energy programme. including complete operational transparency. He added that the Government of the UAE. the highest standards of safety and security.possibility. 133 > nuclear programme . has also adopted a policy renouncing the development of any domestic enrichment or reprocessing capabilities in favour of long-term arrangements for the external supply of nuclear fuel. (IAEA). including the IAEA Additional Protocol.


In this regard, the UAE and the IAEA signed on 8 April 2009 an Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Safeguards Agreement, establishing a procedure for stringent inspections of nuclear facilities and operations, and further strengthening the nation’s commitment to non-proliferation as it evaluates a potential civil nuclear energy programme. The IAEA describes the safeguards systems as ‘a confidence-building measure, an early warning mechanism’, in its work to ensure that nuclear programmes are not used for nuclear weapons purposes. Among other measures, the Additional Protocol establishes a procedure for snap inspections of nuclear facilities, and provides guidelines for allowing inspectors access to facilities and information. The IAEA’s Board of Governors had approved the UAE’s request to sign up to the model Additional Protocol on 3 March 2009. The UAE joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1996, and signed the IAEA agreement on nuclear safeguards in 2003. The UAE Federal Government has also signed landmark nuclear cooperation agreements with a number of foreign governments. On 15 January 2009, the UAE and the United States signed a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation that enhances international standards of nuclear non-proliferation, safety and security. Known as a ‘123 Agreement’, after Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act, the new pact establishes the required legal framework for commerce in civilian nuclear energy between the two countries. The nuclear agreement was approved by US President Barack Obama in April and came into force in December 2009. Another memorandum of cooperation was signed with Japan on 19 January 2009, while additional agreements had earlier been signed with Britain and France. In a statement on 28 December 2009, the French Government expressed its readiness to join the UAE in implementing its peaceful nuclear energy programme and reiterated its commitment to the strategic partnership with the UAE. Finally, within the framework of its clearly stated commitment to international co-operation in the field of nuclear power, on 7 August 2008, the UAE contributed US$10 million towards a fuel bank proposal originally launched by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in 2006. The IAEA praised the UAE donation as another important milestone towards supporting mechanisms for non-discriminatory, non-political assurances of supply of fuel for nuclear power plants.

Left: UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea, observe cooperation agreements being signed by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Foreign Minister, and Lee Youn Ho, Korean Minister of Knowledge Economy.

135 > nuclear programme

and post
Fostering telecommunications is a major part of UAE Government strategy, based on the awareness that connectivity is a key component of public infrastructure and a necessary asset in a knowledge-based economy.
Today, telecommunications across all platforms in the UAE are fast and effective with fixed-line, internet and mobile connectivity among the best in the world, making it an ideal digital hub for the region.

U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010

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This was underlined in the latest edition of the ‘Global Information Technology Report’, produced by the World Economic Forum, which lists the UAE in twenty-seventh place in its Networked Readiness Index (NRI) 2008–2009 rankings, marking it out as one of the highest rated networked economies in the world and the highest in the Gulf. The NRI measures the capacity of economies to fully leverage information and communications technology (ICT) for increased competitiveness and development.

Telecommunications Operators
The UAE’ telecommunications sector is regulated by the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and is presently serviced by two telecommunications operators, Etisalat and du, both of which are majority owned by the Government. Both providers have shown remarkable resilience in the difficult macroeconomic climate. Etisalat has been investing in communications infrastructure and providing, since its establishment in 1976, a full range of telecommunications service, including fixed-line telephony, fixed and wireless internet access, cable TV and mobile coverage in the UAE.. The corporation operated a monopoly until du launched mobile services in 2007. However, Etisalat remains the UAE’s biggest telecom provider and is expanding dramatically internationally. Etisalat is now the sixteenth largest telecommunications firm in the world and its international subscriber base is in the region of 100 million, with operations covering nearly two billion people across its 18 markets around the world. Despite the economic downturn, Etisalat maintained 9 per cent year-on-year growth in net profits and 6 per cent in revenues in 2009 and the prospects for 2010 are very positive. The corporation’s impressive growth in revenues over the previous three years having helped finance strategic expansion, it does not suffer from indebtedness and has continued to spend where needed, whether on services or infrastructure, such as the fibre-optic network being rolled out in Abu Dhabi, which will be completed in 2011, ensuring that the capital will be the first city in the world to be fully connected in this manner. du offering voice, data and entertainment on mobile networks and converged broadband, TV, and landline, is concentrating primarily on building its customer base in the domestic market and continues to show steady growth in revenues as well as subscribers. du has quickly gained a 32 per cent share of the UAE mobile phone market of 10.3 million subscribers, up 10 per cent on 2008, due in part to its strategy of moving away from targeting low-spending customers and towards more lucrative subscribers with data-rich mobile devices.

138 > UAE 2010

Yahsat will launch the Yahsat 1A satellite in October 2010 and is scheduled to launch the Yahsat 1B satellite in the first half of 2011. The Abu Dhabibased company will provide innovative satellite solutions for government and commercial communications in the Middle East. Since then. The company will also help launch a domestic mobile television service by the end of the year. In the first half of 2010. Abu Dhabi-based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company. du will help launch an Arab online platform for content providers. Both Etisalat and du recently launched telecoms services in the Burj Khalifa. Satellites Al Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJsc (Yahsat). Japan. du is taking a different route with its push into digital services such as online media. a major change in the corporation’s business model and operational strategies. Thuraya empowers people in rural and remote areas as well as those at sea or beyond the reach of terrestrial networks by providing them a reliable access to voice and data communications.While Etisalat has focused on expanding its core telecoms operations internationally. Thuraya unveiled a new corporate identity in 2009 and also launched its new ruggedly practical handheld phone. du is now considering up to four new ventures as it looks to expand its business outside the UAE and maintain its growth outlook. Postal Services Emirates Postal Corporation (EPC) was formed in 2001 following restructuring of the UAE General Postal Authority. Korea and Indonesia under Thuraya’s footprint and extends its coverage to nearly twothirds of the globe’s population. This will enable Yahsat to offer a satellite broadband service ‘Yahclick’ throughout the satellite’s range. The company launched a third geosynchronous satellite in 2008: Thuraya 3 replaces the ageing Thuraya 1. Europe and south-west Asia. including 140 > UAE 2010 . is the UAE’s first nationally-owned satellite operator and is a wholly owned-subsidiary of Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala. a leading provider of cost-effective. North Africa and some other markets. Europe. a digital lifestyle offering similar to Etisalat’s eLife telecoms bundle and an internet traffic management venture. while Thuraya 2 will continue to provide coverage for the Middle East. Africa. is majority owned by Etisalat. the first location in the UAE where residents can choose their broadband provider. Australia. the Thuraya XT. including such major markets as China. satellite-based mobile telephone services through dual-mode handsets and satellite payphones. Thuraya 3 brings countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

automated sorting centres and agreements with international postal authorities. The UAE was re-elected to the Universal Postal Union’s 40-member Council of Administration (CA) and was elected to the 40-member Postal Operations Council (POC) for 2009 to 2012. mail fulfilment and other areas. the Electronic Documentation Centre. Emirates Post also opened its one hundredth post office in the UAE in 2009. Empost. the UAE’s national courier company. reflecting the important role that it has been playing in the Union. A holding company. has resulted in a remarkable turnaround in the company’s fortunes. Emirates Marketing and Promotions. oversees a rapidly expanding family of subsidiaries that now includes Emirates Post. acquiring new businesses and forming new alliances. financial services.the introduction of integrated IT systems. as well as the addition of new business streams in cargo and logistics. Emirates Post Group. The UAE’s postal services centenary on 19 August 2009 was celebrated by Emirates Philatelic Association and Emirates Post with an exhibition of some of the rarest and oldest stamps collected by their members. direct marketing. 141 > telecommunications and post . the postal corporation. Emirates Post continues to pursue a successful diversification strategy. and the Wall Street Exchange Centre.

not just in economics but also in social affairs Previous chapters have highlighted the vast strides in economic and infrastructure development in the UAE since the foundation of the state. none of this would have been possible without people. However. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . and it is the desire to improve the standard of living of its people and the general well-being of society that has driven much of Government policy.

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Government efforts to assist society in the process of change have been bolstered by a policy.903 today. that the UAE is a secure and stable open progressive society. income)’. Demographics The Federal Demographic Council (FDC) was formed in November 2009 to work towards striking a balance in the UAE’s demographic structure whilst strengthening the loyalty of UAE citizens to their leadership and homeland. women’s rights. the importance of work. PPP.In a few short years. instituted in 2009. despite this considerable upheaval. UAE HDI rose by 0. Topics include how to bring up children. the UAE has one of the highest population growth rates in the world and has a predominantly male and youthful populace. that sermons at Friday prayers throughout the UAE’s mosques must concentrate on the social and educational role of religion. In addition. ensuring that the UAE is included among the list of countries with very high human development. the Emiratisation Council will be annexed to the FDC as both bodies complement each other. 144 > UAE 2010 . love of country. being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity. which gives the country a rank of thirty-fifth out of 182 countries for which data is available. This provides ‘a broadened prism for viewing human progress and the complex relationship between income and well-being’. Human Development Index Each year the UN publishes the Human Development Index (HDI). As a result of this influx. and tolerance. not just religious dogma. Between 1980 and 2007. The demographic issue to which the FDC mandate refers is the imbalance in the ratio between the population figures for UAE citizens and the high proportion of expatriates that have flocked to the UAE’s shores to assist and share in the recent economic boom. renowned for its tolerance. which looks beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to a broader definition of well-being. enormous social changes have taken place in a society that was once largely tribal and it is a remarkable achievement.72 per cent annually from 0. the Council will also conduct demographic research and establish an integrated database to assist in drawing up new strategies and initiatives.743 to 0. ‘The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy). humanity and compassion. As well as developing national policy in this area.

3) 36 Brunei Darussalam (77.0) 69 Viet Nam (90.2) 177 Djibouti (25.3) 70 United Arab Emirates (90.433) 37 Barbados (0.6) 151 Mali (26.971) 1 Japan (82.4) 3 Qatar (74.United Arab Emirates HDI (0.5) 2 Luxembourg (79.909) 35 United Arab Emirates (0.0) 104 Maldives (71.9) 105 Turkey (71.626) 71 Brazil (90.2) 68 Suriname (90.382) 33 Qatar (0.5) 35 United Arab Emirates (77.2) 1 Liechtenstein (85.903) 37 Barbados (77.1) 6 Brunei Darussalam (50.882) 4 United Arab Emirates (54.910) 33 Slovenia (78.4) 101 Fiji (71.7) 1 Georgia (100.0) 102 Malaysia (71.0) 1 Australia (114.5) 181 Congo (Democratic Republic of the) (298) Source: UN Human Development Index 2009.340) 176 Afghanistan (43.3) 5 Norway (53.903) 36 Czech Republic (0. 145 > social affairs .485) 34 Portugal (0.5) 103 United Arab Emirates (71.903) HDI value Life expectancy at birth (years) Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and above) Combined gross enrolment ratio (%) GDP per capita (PPP US$) 1 Norway (0.903) 34 Kuwait (77.0) 72 Myanmar (89.200) 182 Niger (0.

76 million in 2008. second only to Qatar in the Arab world.873 million to 4.5) at the end of 2008. the growth rate of the local population (estimated at 3. which has more than doubled over the past 15 years. up from 4. The national population increased from about 892.At the end of 2009. an annual growth of around 6.000 at the end of 2009 while the number of expatriates in the UAE rose from 3. which was estimated at Dh195. the UAE has maintained its position as one of the wealthiest nations in terms of GDP capita income.000 at the end of 2008 to 923. Despite the rapid growth in its population.133.7 per cent of the population). Although much of the increase in population can be attributed to immigration.143 million (or 81.4 per cent in 2009) is also considered high given their relatively low number. the population of the UAE was estimated to be 5.06 million.000 (US$53. 146 > UAE 2010 .3 per cent.


it is hoped. National Identity Cards The UAE Identity Authority (UAEIA) is in the process of issuing national identity cards to citizens and residents in accordance with Federal Law No 9 of 2006 and Cabinet ordinance No 201/1/2007pertaining to the population registration and identity card (PRIDC).H. Field surveys in the rural and suburban areas have already begun. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. the population and building census will cost Dh65 million.000 experts and analysts. resulting in more accurate figures. The national identity cards can now be used by travellers at airport e-gates nationwide and the scope of use of the ID card will be expanded to include other services like replacing health. Social responsibility is a key aspect of community participation. based on visa registration figures: the last national census took place in 2005 and the first ever in 1975. will take part. will result in a unified national ID card for citizens and expatriates that will help enhance stability and security while drastically improving administrative efficiency. on launching the 148 > UAE 2010 . whilst expatriates living in the UAE have been granted an extension until the end of 2010. labour cards and driving licences. ultimately benefitting the Government and the people. Voluntary work is seen. facilitating e-commerce transactions and the issuance of passports.Census 2010 The figures outlined above are estimates. Census 2010 is designed specifically to take into account the unique attributes of the UAE population structure and it will ultimately furnish the Government with precise data that will help in developing socioeconomic and demographic policies. The deadline for registration by UAE citizens was 22 November 2009. Organised by the Ministry of Economy in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Statistics Centre. About 10. Social Responsibility Reinforcing communities that once relied on tribal links is a prerequisite for development in a vastly increased population and a more sophisticated society. These regulations make it obligatory for all citizens of the UAE and residents who are above the age of 15 to obtain ID cards. including no less than 8000 census takers. The project. After these dates the Interior Ministry will not process any transactions from unregistered citizens or residents for the services provided by them. both as a duty and ‘a symbol of solidarity and cooperation among individuals in the community’ commented H. therefore. The next population review will be in April 2010.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and is led by H. Emirates Foundation’s Social Programme Volunteerism in the pursuit of social responsibility is a major focus for the Emirates Foundation.H. Takatof volunteers also assist in cultural and sporting events throughout the UAE and abroad and were hugely popular with the crowds that attended the 2009 inaugural motor-racing Grand Pix on Yas Island. Thailand and Vietnam. which is active both at home and abroad. in association with the Zayed Giving Initiative. in turn. the Family Development Foundation. A 20-member delegation participated as part of the programme’s international volunteering initiative. Volunteering and social services form the central core of its volunteer wing Takatof. the first in 2008. The project provided assistance to low-income families across the UAE whilst promoting civic and social responsibility through volunteering. having been a huge success.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. which was set up by H. both locally and internationally.‘One Million Volunteers’ campaign in July 2009. the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Emirates Voluntary Centre. will strengthen the social fabric and enhance the quality of humanitarian work. It is hoped that the programme will inculcate a culture of care and voluntary work among individuals and corporate bodies. which. 149 > social affairs . Takatof volunteers participated in the Habitat for Humanity’s annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in 2009 where thousands of international volunteers helped to build or repair homes in Cambodia. Laos. a pioneering initiative in the Arab world. Many government and private institutions are also expected to join the campaign as part of their corporate responsibility initiatives. The objective is to pool together the capabilities and experiences of people from divergent backgrounds in order to carry out sustained community development and humanitarian projects. The Foundation. Takatof launched its second voluntary project in Morocco in July 2009. the UAE’s leading philanthropic organisation. specialises in harnessing private and public sector partnerships for the good of society. China. Abu Dhabi. The Takatof-Ramadan Project is a wide-reaching initiative that entered its third year in August 2009.

at first hand. In February 2009 the Foundation’s Social Development Programme announced that it is funding 13 new research projects to provide vital insights into the attitudes and habits of young Emiratis as part of a project that has been jointly funded by the Occidental Petroleum Corporation. each project is required to have at least one Emirati colleague working on the research team. The Emirates Foundation also provides funding for other social and for educational projects in the UAE. 150 > UAE 2010 . The Emirates Foundation Scholarships were launched in September 2008.5 million in an initiative to assist social and educational non-profit organisations in the UAE. from the UAE’s experiences. To encourage UAE nationals to develop further research skills and acquire experience. to finance voluntary ventures initiated by schools.The Gulf Voluntary Forum (Takatof 2009) was held in Abu Dhabi in June to allow other Gulf organisations to learn. The Foundation announced in August 2008 that it would be giving grants totalling Dh2. in association with the Ministry of Education. Funds can be used for activities that contribute to the effectiveness and sustainability of the organisation. excluding the purchasing of land or funding endowments.

the Foundation’s 2009 Support for Special Needs Projects’ grants are aimed at encouraging a wide range of initiatives to help the less privileged in UAE society. including electronic communication devices. Today. socio-economic issues can challenge even the most committed of family members and the state offers support to those in need. delivered by three new ‘artists in residence’ and overseen by the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care Special Needs and Minors Affairs’ (ZHO). A second grant recipient is providing more than 400 people with art therapy. particularly the elderly. Projects that have benefited included the launch of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) unit within the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre. are administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs. 151 > social affairs . In recent years. which amounted to Dh2.2 billion in 2008. Social security benefits in the form of financial assistance. Social Welfare The family has always been the cornerstone of UAE society. providing tools for those with impaired hearing.In addition. the social care net has been widened to include additional categories of potential recipients and benefits have been increased. the disabled and divorcees.

152 > UAE 2010 .Practical help is also offered by ministry-supported social centres run by the General Women’s Union. The new entity will also act as an integrated community developer and collaborate with the private sector to apply the principles of Estidama. Tens of thousands of Emiratis have applied for government housing and the waiting list is up to five years long. execution of the projects and allocation of new homes and sites to UAE nationals. such as water and electricity supplies. However. The plots will be given to Emirati families to build their own homes. In addition. health and educational programmes. In March 2009 Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) stated that it intended to build more than 50. the Abu Dhabi Centre for Housing and Service Facilities Development was established by the UPC to oversee building standards. the UPC’s sustainability initiative.500 villas. whilst the Centre itself will ensure that the infrastructure for the buildings. Renowned for its international activities (see chapter on Foreign Aid). the Government is giving priority to local housing needs and is intent on building communities that have the requisite facilities. economic. Most houses and plots will be given to citizens free of charge. Almost 17. The Centre will implement the UPC’s policies in accordance with Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. In the capital. is the largest charitable organisation in the country. a wide array of governmental and non-governmental charitable organisations are involved in social welfare programmes in the UAE. in particular.000 new villas for Emiratis will be built in the emirate over the next five years in 23 separate locations.000 homes for Emiratis over the next 20 years. The infrastructure for the first 3000 units in South Shamkha will be ready by the last quarter of 2012. Later in 2009. and will award all the contracts for the infrastructure and the construction of the buildings. is of an adequate standard. administering comprehensive social. Housing The provision of housing for Emiratis was an important topic in 2009. The projects are divided into three regions: 2874 villas and 2000 plots of land are involved in nine towns of Al Gharbia (the Western Region). the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) announced in 2009 that it is bracing preparing for a new challenging era of giving and charity within the UAE. the new Centre will monitor the 43-square-kilometre South Shamkha development. consisting of up to 10. The UAE Red Crescent Authority. and a smaller 168-villa project close to Aldar’s 5000 villas in Al Falah. and 3056 villas and 977 plots in 14 towns of the Eastern Region around Al Ain.

The most advanced project in Al Gharbia is the 788-villa development Marabi Al Dhafra in Madinat Zayed. following the carrying out of a survey that showed that much of the housing stock is sub-standard. During 2008. 44 in Umm al-Qaiwain. and malls. parks and other facilities. to apply for loans. 15 per cent of the homes. In association with the locally based Saud Housing Programme in Ra’s al-Khaimah. The number was expected to increase during 2009. Around 8000 people have already applied to both programmes for assistance in previous years. 46 in Dubai. Throughout the country. particularly in remote rural areas. playgrounds. 153 > social affairs .000). a total of 4492 people received loans and grants from the SZHP. it approved 665 new applications for loans and 191 applications for grants.000 new applications being approved. Mohammed Abdul Aziz Jassem. located near shopping malls. according to its acting directorgeneral. In all the projects. with over 20. these being distributed as follows: 106 in Abu Dhabi. mosques. subject to official approval.000 (US$136. the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme. where the first 200 houses have already been handed over to the Government. The minimum amount of housing loans from the SZHP is Dh500. 158 in Sharjah. The focus now is on facilities including schools. although Jassem noted that it would be necessary to strike a balance between the number of applications. of whom 6000 have already been given possession of new houses. 174 in Ra’s al-Khaimah and 174 in Fujairah. funded by Government to provide housing grants and loans for UAE citizens. the SZHP also invited residents. clubs. 163 in Ajman. market developments and the amount of funds available to the programme. Early in the year. and consideration is being given to raising this amount. spas. continued to expand its activities. will be designed for the disabled and elderly.

3 per cent of the total workforce in 2008.labour The private sector provides the majority of jobs in the UAE. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . 10.9 per cent. While the federal government employs 7. accounting for nearly 63. and the remainder are employed in diplomatic missions and houses as domestic workers. 4.1 per cent work in joint local-federal departments.7 per cent work for local governments.

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A total of 1.48 million in 2007 and was projected to increase slightly to 63.5 1.0 1. it is estimated to have climbed to 64.06 million.5 2.4 per cent of the population of 5.0 5 0.4 per cent in urban areas. compared to 3.51 million new labour cards were issued in 2008.000 in 2006 to 543. About 35 per cent of citizens are employed in local departments of individual emirates. The workforce accounted for 63. the registered number of employed expatriate workers grew from 3.5 25 20 15 10 Number of workers in million 3.According to Ministry of Economy data.8 per cent of the 4. According to Ministry of Labour estimates.5 4. up marginally from 3. The Number of Workers Increased at High Rates 35 30 4.000 in 2008.5 2003 Source: MOL 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 . At 6.0 3.11 million in 2007 to 4. most UAE national employees are concentrated in the federal public sector.2 per cent of the UAE’s total population of 4. cancellation of cards rose from 376. which accounts for 45 per cent of the total local manpower in the country. In 2009.07 million in 2008. unemployment was higher in rural areas. The UAE unemployment rate increased to about 4 per cent in 2008. and was set to record another rise in 2009 because of the economic slowdown.6 per cent. At the same time.76 million population in 2008. up from 983. a 31 per cent annual increase.000 cards in 2007.45 per cent in 2007.0 Employment growth in % 2.

.3 per cent of the total workforce in 2008. accounting for nearly 63.The private sector provides the most number of jobs in the UAE.


the construction sector was the biggest provider of jobs. followed by the trade sector with 19 per cent.000 Trade 500 Manufacturing 0 2006 Source: MOL 2007 2008 Others (6%) Hotels and restaurants (3%) Transportation (6%) Real estate (7%) Manufacturing (11%) Trade (19%) At 48 per cent. the Abu Dhabi Emiratisation Council. and manufacturing with 11 per cent. according to local media reports in June 2009.000 UAE citizens registered for prospective jobs with the abovementioned organisations. 159 > labour . as well as the availability of expatriate labour. However. These organisations help develop the capabilities and skills of nationals in order to create a better balance in the labour market. this number includes many who have applied for better jobs while they continue to hold jobs elsewhere.93 million workers were employed in the construction sector. Emirati dessert chef at Madinat Jumeirah Resort. Emiratisation is a crucial item on the Government agenda.Employment in Construction Grew the Fastest (in thousands) 2. As a result of market conditions. Left: Khuloud Al Faraz.000 Construction 1. many UAE citizens have been unable to find suitable work.500 Construction Included the Largest Number of Workers (2008) 2. the Dubai-based Emirates National Development Programme and the Department for Human Resources Development in Sharjah. 1. In 2008. Among these are the establishment of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority – Tanmia.500 Construction (48%) 1. Emiratisation Policy In a country with diverse demographic challenges. Over 89. The federal and local authorities are continuously drawing up and implementing initiatives to support the policy of expanding participation of the country’s citizens in the workforce.

The primary function of this body is to avoid duplication between federal and local Emiratisation authorities. The Council is also responsible for preparing nationals for 160 > UAE 2010 .It is estimated that about 800. The council includes representatives from all federal and local authorities. it is estimated that they may account for less than 4 per cent of the total workforce in 2020. most of them by the private sector. negative stereotyping. higher education departments and the private sector in order to ensure a unified. a lack of training and development opportunities. the implementation process will be the responsibility of the local authorities. While the Council formulates policies. the Cabinet established the Emirates Council for Emiratisation in June 2009. Emiratis hold about 15. However. up to 10 per cent of employed UAE nationals resign each year citing discontent over low wages in the private sector.000 jobs in the private sector. Given the shrinking percentage of citizens in the total workforce of the country. standards and criteria for Emiratisation.000 jobs are created each year in the UAE. nationwide plan. Emirates Council for Emiratisation Following a review of the programme. and a lack of trust between employers and employees.

who are eventually the highest spenders. as well as the first national human resources database.employment. he said: “The development of education. then the government will intervene through a set of measures and incentives to encourage these companies to live up to the expected level of responsibility. Employing a UAE national will open the door for more interaction with government departments and local customers. Also salaries of UAE nationals – however high they may appear to be – are far less than those of expatriates. which will provide relevant information to all stakeholders. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Matkoum has appointed an inquiry team to investigate the lack of adequate progress in the Emiratisation process.” 161 > labour . This is expected to produce a new national training agenda.H. particularly in the private sector. The UAE Vice President. If some companies fall short of their responsibilities toward the local workforce. Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. H. the competencies and capabilities of the UAE nationals will remain our main priority… The Emiratisation level does not exceed 54 per cent in ministries and 25 per cent in federal authorities… I am positive that most of the private sector companies prefer to recruit UAE nationals as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities. Explaining his decision.

economic and technological considerations that affect the placement of nationals seeking employment… For emiratisation to succeed. and we must provide data and information about different careers and job openings to students and others seeking work across the country…” Labour-friendly Measures Labour issues have taken centre stage in the UAE’s development process in recent years. The number of people seeking employment. there are 4. but sometimes elusive. opening a two-day forum entitled ‘Advancing and Retaining UAE Nationals in the Workplace’. 162 > UAE 2010 . Numerous efforts are being undertaken to ensure the safety of workers. At first glance. However. after all. goal. is relatively small when compared to the large number of jobs required to drive our nation. This is not only due to the importance of new projects. guarantee payment of wages on time and to improve living and working conditions. Despite the challenges. it appears that full employment of citizens of the UAE should be a fairly simple matter. there are many complications connected with social. to provide on-the-job training programmes to enable nationals to develop the skills and experience to advance in their companies… We must develop strategies with private sector employers to help persuade nationals that employment in the private sector is highly desirable. as well as strict enforcement of law to minimise violations. We need a proactive role from all corners of the private economy: First to help articulate their employment needs. an increase of more than 30 per cent over the previous year. second to create and seek to fill appropriate employment opportunities for nationals in their companies. and third.1 million workers in the private sector. the UAE is aiming to manage and govern the working environment in line with international laws and best international labour practices. We seek a situation where every private sector employer develops and implements a plan to aggressively recruit and employ nationals. but also due to the fastchanging policies related to expatriate workers’ rights and welfare. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said: “Emiratisation is a necessary. We must work to overcome flawed stereotyping of nationals as employees. which are driving the country’s economy. According to the Labour Ministry’s 2008–2009 report. we must explore ways to increase the share of employment for nationals in the private sector.In a similar vein.

an annual international meeting for voluntary. which is being enforced in cooperation with 163 > labour . The initiative was coordinated by 17 government departments and included the private sector. Between February and October 2009. in consequence. nonbinding and informal discussion that investigates the methods through which migration may contribute towards development goals. X X Wage Protection System (WPS) Since the end of November 2009. the Labour Ministry intends to expand this plan to include all business organisations by May 2010. At the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Athens in November 2009. “The UAE has a particular interest in models of migration that are labour-oriented and of a temporary or circular nature. These events included a training course on inspection and human rights. combatting forced labour. which is a marked shift from the previous system of cash payments to blue-collar workers. be flexible and adaptable. of which 277 were re-inspected after falling short of the basic regulations. As part of the WPS. and an orientation campaign on upholding a culture of respect for human rights and culminated with a seminar that discussed a host of issues. Between January and April. in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation’s Regional Office for Arab States and the United Nations’ Regional Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. a train-the-trainer workshop. A newly-established facility at Dubai Police to monitor human trafficking also has the mandate to address workers’ complaints. this department responded to 344 complaints from workers calling on the hotline service. organised a series of events to qualify labour inspectors and other Government inspectors to address human rights issues in the discharge of their functions. including human rights in work places. The system. public-private partnership in upholding fundamental human rights and promoting corporate social responsibility. as well as to raise public awareness on labour and human rights. the UAE acknowledged the contribution that contractual workers make to its economy and reiterated its commitment to protecting their rights and empowering them to fully benefit from their residency in the country. About 1100 labour accommodation sites were inspected by the department. the UAE urged the international community to acknowledge that migratory patterns are very diverse and that policy responses must. the Ministry. At the Forum.” Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash said. it is mandatory for all business organisations with 100 or more employees to channel their workers’ salaries through the banks.Some of the labour-friendly measures undertaken during 2009: X A specific action plan to raise awareness on human rights-related labour issues was outlined by the Labour Ministry at the beginning of 2009.

The bank with which the company has an agreement will send the payroll to the WPS. This. According to Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash: “The WPS reflects the UAE’s pioneering position in the region. The workers then receive their salaries. By November.” Decent Work Country Programme The Labour Ministry.000 workers were already receiving their salaries through bank transfers. It is our ethical and legal responsibilities always to strive to come up with innovative means of implementing our leadership’s policies which aim at providing secured and stable environment and at protecting the rights of all segments of the society. 2 Endeavour to create more employment opportunities for women and men to enhance their access to decent jobs and income through adoption of suitable education and training policies that are responsive to labour market needs. 164 > UAE 2010 . not only helps timely payment of salaries.the Central Bank and local exchange companies. more than 500. The database at the Ministry of Labour will simultaneously receive the same salary data. in turn. which can be used at particular cash-dispensing machines for which their employers have signed agreements. sends the salary data to the accredited agent. and will increasingly project the country as a model worth emulating in the area of boosting the rights of workers. The WPS grants an employer the right to choose one or more agents licensed by the Central Bank to take part in this system. This is a protocol of technical cooperation that seeks to achieve its goal through four strategic approaches: 1 Create an environment where the fundamental principles and rights at work are observed. in coordination with the International Labour Organisation has begun the process of establishing the ‘Decent Work Country Programme’. Every employee will be issued an electronic card. but also assists the ministry in verifying if companies make improper deductions from the salaries of workers. 3 Strengthen national capabilities to enhance and expand the umbrella of social protection and support the role of social security networks in protecting the less-privileged segments of society. particularly combatting all forms of discrimination at work. 4 Consolidate social dialogue and ensure proactive contributions of the social stakeholders in formulating the UAE socio-economic policies.


The preparatory phase identifies the country’s priorities under each of these four workstreams. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to work closely with its social partners toward achieving a set of objectives that include enhancing access of men and women to decent and productive work, in an environment where the principles of freedom, justice, security, dignity and humanity are observed, and human resource development is encouraged. The ILO technical team is involved in engaging government officials, employers and professional associations in the formulation of priorities, goals and deliverables of this programme. An important element of the programme includes developing the national workforce and strengthening the capability of formulating and implementing policies of localisation of jobs, particularly for new entrants to the labour market.

Pilot Project
Following the approval of the Abu Dhabi Declaration by all major labour-sending and labour-receiving countries of Asia in 2008, the UAE Labour Ministry, along with the Indian and the Philippines Governments, began in 2009 a pilot project to survey and document best practices in the management of the temporary contractual employment cycle. The three Governments are collaborating towards the development of a pilot project with expert input from the Arab Labour Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the International Organisation on Migration. The overall goal of the project is to test a range of practical measures that will serve to improve the quality of life and work of contractual workers. The project has been divided into four phases: first, the creation of a more transparent and fair recruitment and deployment process for workers desiring to come to the UAE; second, the creation of more effective institutions that can assist temporary contractual workers during their time of employment in the UAE; third, the identification of workers whose contracts are expiring and the creation of programmes to prepare workers for their return to their own country; and last, the creation of institutions and policies that will more effectively reintegrate workers in their country after they return. More specifically, the pilot project, involving about 3000 workers, will provide each participating temporary contractual worker with an understood, agreed and enforceable contract before departure, will deliver customised and gender-sensitive orientation sessions and will provide administrative, skill and medical assessments in order to ascertain before departure if the workers meet the UAE’s legal requirements for entry.

166 > UAE 2010

All these will be undertaken in a spirit of shared responsibility and partnership. The project will leverage the introduction in the UAE of new policy guidelines and enforceable measures that ensure the protection of wages, the provision of adequate work and living conditions, access to avenues of legal redress, and the upholding of fundamental human rights. The UAE hopes to draw from this attempt the substance of a draft comprehensive regional framework for cooperation among Asian countries of origin and destination that will demonstrate lessons learnt and best practices in the effective administration of the full temporary contractual employment cycle. The ultimate aim of the pilot project is to search for new and more humane ways to use the skills and work efforts of temporary contractual workers. The project demonstrates that it is possible to implement reforms that engender a fairer and more productive environment for employers and employees alike.

Managing Fallout of Economic Crisis
As a consequence of the world financial crisis and the resultant global economic slowdown, the UAE labour market also experienced contractions and related problems, particularly in the private sector. Among other steps, the Labour Ministry minimised the repercussions by adopting the following measures: X The ministry set up a hotline (800665) for workers to lodge complaints over unpaid salaries. The new initiative dubbed ‘My Salary’ also facilitates workers to air their grievances online ( through the ministry’s portal if their dues are delayed by 15 days or more. Complaints can be filed in 12 languages including Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Farsi, Russian and Urdu. The results of the new measure were evident, for example, when 331 complaints were recorded in May 2009, the first month after it was activated. Since the beginning of the year, shelters were set up under the auspices of the Higher Committee for Labour Crisis Management for workers who lost jobs, work permits and accommodation. Nine teams were formed all over the country, with operations rooms receiving labour complaints around the clock. Illegal workers are allowed to stay in these shelters till their cases are reviewed with their sponsors and amicably settled in accordance with the labour law. These shelters also offer food and medical facilities. Contrary to several reports about the existence of a labour outflow due to the economic slowdown, the labour minister announced that while 405,000 visas were cancelled between October 2008 and March 2009, 662,000 new ones were issued, thus indicating that more expatriates found, rather than lost, jobs in the UAE.



167 > labour

Construction workers cite improved conditions
Seventy-nine per cent of construction employees, originating from key Asian source markets, and currently residing in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, said their situation is better now than it was before arriving in the country, according to the findings of a survey into working conditions in the construction industry, commissioned from Zogby International, an independent US-based polling organisation. The April–May survey (2009) – which interviewed 752 construction employees and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent – asked about satisfaction levels at workplaces, accommodation standards, quality of general services and the choice of the UAE as a work destination. “The findings offer an independent, transparent and reliable account of working conditions in the UAE’s construction sector, from the employees’ perspective. This report will be an important tool for the Government to streamline current policies more efficiently and drive relevant, future initiatives to deal more effectively with persistent challenges,” the Ministry of Labour said. According to the report’s findings, 88 per cent of those surveyed held a favourable opinion of the UAE. In addition; 79 per cent said their situation is better than it was before they arrived in the country; 69 per cent expressed satisfaction with their current position and 77 per cent believed that they were better off today than they were five years ago. However, looking forward to the next five years, the respondents were evenly split about whether they would be better placed. The report also found wages to be the biggest issue for workers, with 71 per cent stating that current salary levels were poor. On the other hand, workers were more than satisfied with other working conditions, such as safety (81 per cent), prompt payment (70 per cent), health services (64 per cent) and housing conditions (50 per cent). When asked if they would continue in their current job, 57 per cent said they would, while nearly all those wishing to change jobs wanted to remain in the UAE. The report also addressed the issue of recruitment practices in workers’ home countries, with transparency being an area of concern. Only 41 per cent of respondents rated the recruiter’s honesty as acceptable. Sixty-three per cent rated the quality of the information provided by the recruiter as good, with 80 per cent believing their job was the same or very similar to the one described to them when they were hired. When asked what was important to them in terms of improving the quality of their lives, 76 per cent said it was important to visit their families more regularly and 97 per cent wanted to call home more frequently.

169 > labour

Moving ahead, as part of the Labour Ministry’s plans to protect workers’ rights and improve their working and living conditions, new rules for labour accommodation standards – Manual of the General Criteria for the Workers’ Accommodations – approved by the Cabinet in June, will be implemented. These include mandatory consultation with the ministry on construction of new accommodation complexes that are in line with international standards, renovating existing camps within set grace period and closure of camps that do not meet the ministry’s requirements. For example, ZonesCorp, an Abu Dhabi-backed corporation that operates specialised economic zones, is working towards providing accommodation that meet international standards for 800,000 workers in the emirate by 2012. Plans are also under way to extend the midday break during summer, which affects about two million construction workers, from two to three months (June-August).

“Because of the nature of the needs of the labour market, the UAE shows special attention to the models of labour migration of a temporary or circular nature. At the same time, the country also perceives very well that it can also take advantage of good practices related to migration models that might be very different.” Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash Labour Inspections
Ministry of Labour inspectors conducted a total of 231,205 on-site visits in 2008, including 10,866 visits intended to raise awareness about rights and obligations, 58,536 follow-up visits to monitor compliance with the Labour Law and ministerial decrees, 7,665 first-time inspections, 13,422 health and occupational safety and accommodation inspections, 54,591 visits to enforce midday break during summers, and 1,805 inspections to investigate workers’ complaints. Site inspections resulted in the initiation of legal action against 7,083 enterprises that were found to be violating laws.

Labour Disputes
A total of 32,368 labour disputes were recorded in 2008, involving 46,862 workers. In all, 6,471 complaints were referred to courts and 17,507 cases were shelved for lack of follow-up interest by the complainants.

170 > UAE 2010


Its commitment to guarantee equality and social justice for all citizens is embodied in the Constitution. prohibits torture. peaceful assembly and U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . The Constitution also outlines the freedoms and rights of all citizens. arbitrary arrest and detention. and the practice of religious beliefs. respects civil liberties. including freedom of speech and press. rights The UAE respects the integrity of every individual residing in the country.human association.

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equality and tolerance. the Government’s welfare initiatives focus on the empowerment of women. development of high-quality education and healthcare systems. The Government is also aware of the need to place a high priority on respect for human rights in accordance with international human charters and customs. Mindful of the significance of its human rights record. Abu Dhabi Development Fund.The Government is firmly committed to promoting in a constructive way the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is determined to improve its own domestic record and to make a positive difference at the global level. the Zayed Foundation and Dubai Cares have built bridges with the rest of the world and demonstrated the UAE’s commitment to help the less fortunate across the globe in terms of both humanitarian aid and the right of all children to access education. the Government strategy focuses on ensuring country-wide sustainable development. 174 > UAE 2010 . This is based upon the country’s cultural heritage and religious values. In the international arena. the UAE has played an active role in providing aid to developing countries and protecting the environment and natural resources. Among others. as well as the assimilation of members of society with special needs and other vulnerable groups into the development process. At the national level. Organisations such as the UAE Red Crescent Authority. the UAE is investing its energies in the bringing up to date of its own laws and practices. which enshrine justice.

Convention on the Rights of the Child. Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The proposed law provides for the establishment of a hotline to respond to children’s problems and encourages the establishment of associations or clubs specialising in child affairs. and urges care in all areas. health and vocational rehabilitation. International Labour Organisation Convention on Minimum Age. the UAE said it is examining the possibility of signing two Optional Protocols. the proposed legislation would be the first dedicated to tackling all forms of child abuse. At the United Nations General Assembly deliberations on the protection of the Rights of the Child. in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although children are already protected by law. X X 175 > human rights . as well as calling for the appointment of a special judge to handle cases related to children. Efforts are under way to promulgate a draft national law for better protection of children. having already signed the Women’s Anti-Discrimination Convention. An initiative to create the first local civil society organisation to protect the rights of children was announced and a department has been set up for the welfare of orphans. The draft also contains provisions covering children with special needs. and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. including education.Important human rights-related developments during 2009: X A study prepared by a Government committee was presented to the Cabinet proposing accession to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel.

three months after the country’s report was presented in December 2008. federal and local departments. in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy. academics and ordinary citizens. attended by delegates from various ministries. outlining the steps it has taken to enforce the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. the country’s integrated telecom operator. and the Ministry of Social Affairs jointly launched Musahama. Du. Plans to introduce human rights education for students in schools are being actively considered. As part of an awareness drive. organised a series of campaigns for youth. two special UN rapporteurs – one on the sale of children. the Higher Colleges of Technology. in line with the Paris Principles. Responding to the official invitation extended by the Government.X The Government has initiated a detailed study of human rights commissions in various countries to help formulate its own national institution. and the other on contemporary forms of racism. a symposium was organised by the Human Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Interior. civil society organisations and United Nations Development Programme. xenophobia and related intolerance – visited the UAE separately and held discussions with various ministries. The Committee welcomed the UAE’s achievements. Commending the Government’s ‘cooperation and openness’. X X X X X X X 176 > UAE 2010 . The Working Group Report on the UAE’s Universal Periodic Review was unanimously adopted at the tenth session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. a comprehensive web portal for civil society organisations in the UAE.’ The UAE welcomed the preliminary findings as ‘constructive’ and ‘recognition’ of the Government’s proactive initiatives. child prostitution and child pornography. racial discrimination. The UAE presented a report to the International Committee on Fighting Racial Discrimination in Geneva. To commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. civil society organisations. a preliminary report of the rapporteur on racism said: ‘The recent review of the UAE by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and by the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council demonstrates that the authorities are willing to find ways and means of addressing human rights challenges faced by the people in the UAE and to ensure compliance with international human rights standards.


the President issued Federal Law No. X In another landmark move. Five other hearing-impaired students were sent abroad for education. Dubai became the first city in the region to have an integrated public transport system fully accessible to people with special needs. While the first is expected to focus on human rights from birth to death. and the fifth consisting of a ‘challenging room’ where human rights issues could be discussed and addressed. social and psychological care. Even the word disability’ will be replaced with the word ‘Special Needs’. education and qualification services. President Sheikh Khalifa issued a law ratifying the Convention. functional therapy. wherever they occur in the law. marine transport and even some taxis now meet mobility requirements of people with special needs.The Ministry of Social Affairs signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its additional protocol. including the Dubai Metro. social and psychological care and total care for orphans. with each dome addressing a specific issue. to improve their lifestyles and to safeguard their human rights. X X X 178 > UAE 2010 . public buses. management and investment of minor funds. the second would focus on health. the third on food and water. all modes of public transport. which intends to expand services to people with special needs across the country and increase people’s understanding of special needs.14 of 2009 amending Law No 29 of 2006 on people with special needs. According to Road Transport Authority officials. physiotherapy. the UAE launched the second phase of the National Project for Inclusion. Dubai announced in December that it intends to build a five-dome Human Rights Village. Under the auspices of the Zayed Higher Organisation (ZHO) for Humanitarian Care. as well as helping those with special needs to participate equally in society. will be replaced with “Individuals with Special Needs’ and “Individual with Special Needs’. Public and private organisations participating in the programme are required to meet international standards to improve their services and accessibility to disabled people as part of an effort to assimilate people with special needs into society. evaluation services. early intervention. The ZHO enrolled 34 special needs students in government schools during the last two years and has been monitoring their progress under the supervision of specially trained educators. Special Needs and Minors Affairs. the fourth on education. It also helped find employment in various organisations for ten individuals with special needs. In December. With the launch of special services on buses for physically challenged people in December. seven of whom were women. The change means that phrases like ‘the disabled’ and ‘disabled individuals’. Among the programmes offered by the ZHO are vocational training.

including maximum penalties of life imprisonment and covers all forms of human trafficking – not just overt enslavement. In order to ensure effective enforcement of Federal Law 51. Police departments and non-Government organisations provide shelter and support for human trafficking victims until they are able to acquire the right documents and many victims are then sent home at the Government’s expense. camel races and criminal procedures. For the majority of trafficked persons.Human Trafficking In recent years. Regular workshops are being organised to enhance the skills of law enforcement officials dealing with this crime. Since the deceit begins before the workers leave their home countries. as well as the Human Rights Care Department in Dubai and the Social Support Centre in Abu Dhabi. Foreign Affairs. and bilateral agreements and international cooperation. a Cabinet decision in 2007 established the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking. and Ewaa in Abu Dhabi. which opened in late 2008. These shelters include the Dubai Women’s and Children’s Foundation. victim support. are deceived by labour recruiters and become victims of human trafficking. Some of the temporary contractual workers that the UAE receives every year from throughout the world. In order to institutionalise the fight against human trafficking the Government has devised a four-pillar strategy – legislation. The law takes into account the existing federal laws on entry and residency of foreigners. 179 > human rights . under the Crime Victim Assistance Programme. which was established in July 2007. as well as the Penal Code. unfortunately. counselling and rehabilitation. the most severe test for the country’s human rights record has come from problems associated with labour issues. but also sexual exploitation. The UAE is currently studying the possibilities for amending Federal Law 51 so that it can be harmonised more closely with the Palermo Protocol. the importance of partnering with source and transit countries is now paramount to the UAE’s strategy to combat human trafficking. labour. the Government enacted Federal Law 51 in 2006. The victim support programme includes protection. The multidimensional committee includes representatives from the federal ministries of Interior. which serves as a coordinating agency. as well as State Security and the UAE Red Crescent Authority. enforcement. Labour. As part of its legislation process. specifically human trafficking. child labour and commerce in human organs. Health and Social Affairs. it is only when they arrive in the UAE that they realise that the work they were promised does not exist and they are forced instead to take up employment in other jobs or under conditions to which they did not give consent. which have been operating for several years. It calls for strong punitive measures.

the fourth pillar of the UAE action plan – bilateral agreements and international cooperation – has several dimensions. Three new human rights-related institutions have recently been set up – the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior. Two separate delegations – comprising law enforcement officials and shelter personnel – took part in training programmes at the International Training Centre for Human Trafficking Prevention. to tackle human trafficking in Dubai. especially prosecutors. International Labour Organisation. to improve the knowledge base of the UAE law enforcement officials dealing with human trafficking cases. International Training Centre for Human Trafficking Prevention in Belarus and several UN organisations. the UAE has signed agreements with at least eight laboursending countries during the last three years to check the flow of workforce and prevent trafficking at the roots. Since trafficking most often begins in the home countries of victims. when required. access to legal services. The Cabinet issued orders to add more prosecutors to the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking. the Dubai Community Development Authority and a permanent taskforce of specialists. Realising that the fight against human trafficking should be a collective effort.The Dubai and Abu Dhabi shelters. temporary housing. especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol). adhere to international standards and provide medical treatment. especially with regard to victim identification. basic education and training. psychological care and counselling. apart from safely sending them back home. which have together hosted nearly 100 victims so far. and the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking is studying a mechanism of laws and bylaws that would facilitate the process of licensing more shelters. The UAE is working with many countries at the bilateral level and with the International Organisation for Migration. Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. A workshop and training programme was held in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration. Anti-human trafficking-related developments during 2009: X The UAE ratified the United Nations Protocol to Prevent. part of the Academy of the Belarus Ministry of Internal Affairs. The UAE Red Crescent Authority is planning to soon establish shelters across the country with Government assistance. X X X X 180 > UAE 2010 .


social care for children. Bangladesh. the UAE banned the use of children jockeys below the age of 18. In a similar This will serve as an official source of information. in 2002. as well as an effective channel for public awareness and a tool of communication between the people and the committee. There were convictions in at least six cases. the first of its kind in the world. which provided shelter and offered rehabilitation programmes.GIFT from HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking launched a dedicated website www. as well as UNICEF officials. Child protection experts and government representatives from the According to the 2008–2009 annual report documenting anti-human trafficking efforts. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. which reflects the stepping up of the UAE’s efforts to tackle trafficking. at least 20 cases were registered in 2008. with some from Eastern Europe. 182 > UAE 2010 . Pakistan and Sudan. participated in a review process in 2006 and evaluated both results and gaps to support and reintegrate children involved in camel racing. Between May 2005 and September 2006. X X Child Camel Jockeys The UAE’s most high-profile effort to address human trafficking occurred several years ago in response to recruitment practices taking place in the traditional sport of camel racing. It also requested technical expertise from UNICEF to help protect and rehabilitate child victims. the UAE’s efforts resulted in nearly 1100 child camel jockeys being successfully and safely returned to their home countries in Asia and Africa. The Dh10 million dirham repatriation efforts included establishment of transit centres providing medical assistance and other services to affected children. To further increase public awareness. one more than the previous year. a public awareness campaign against human trafficking is scheduled to begin at the country’s airports. ten more than 2007.X The ‘Global Report on Trafficking Persons’ – released by the United Nations Office on Drugs in 2009 – was funded through a Dh55 million donation to the UN. educational campaigns and establishment of community care committees. and became the first country to instead use robots as jockeys. a family tracing system. A rehabilitation centre for young former camel jockeys was established in Abu Dhabi. Once aware of the child exploitation occurring in this sport. with their ages ranging from 18 to 26 years. Mauritania. Most traffickers and victims are Asian.

continue to pursue follow-up action in countries of origin. which commenced in 2009. As part of this effort. The UAE was expected to complete its compensation scheme to former child jockeys in Pakistan and Sudan by the end of December. Though the UAE considers that the issue of child camel jockeys is now finished. the UAE has undertaken at least 26 social and economic projects related to rehabilitating and reintegrating the former camel jockeys into their home societies. the ministries of Social Affairs and Interior. the UAE committed Dh30 million.Some of the initiatives that were undertaken as part of this holistic programme included: 1 Awareness campaigns with camel owners in the UAE to ensure that they ceased to employ child jockeys 2 Establishment of transit centers providing medical assistance and other services to affected children in Sudan 3 Family tracing system verified by justice authorities in Mauritania 4 Social care of children and back-to-school campaigns in Pakistan 5 Establishment of community care committees in Bangladesh 6 Maintaining follow-up mechanisms empowering non-government organisations and local institutions to oversee the payment of outstanding salaries to child beneficiaries In order to strengthen the comprehensive reintegration procedures. 183 > human rights . the UAE and UNICEF agreed in April 2007 to establish a second and expanded phase of the rehabilitation programme. a senior Ministry of Interior delegation assessed the progress made in the rehabilitation process. In all. As a follow-up measure. Officials also travelled to Bangladesh where payments were made to hundreds of former child jockeys. in coordination with the country’s Special Committee for Rehabilitation of Camel Jockeys and UNICEF. as a local level. In 2009. which helped in country-based interventions to tackle trafficking by focusing on the establishment of monitoring mechanisms to prevent children formerly involved in camel racing from re-entering hazardous or exploitative labour. according to the UAE Special Committee for Rehabilitation of Camel Jockeys. the UAE and Mauritania formally closed the files of over 500 former child jockeys.


as well as diversifying and strengthening the mechanism and institutions promoting these causes. and is ready to move ahead constructively and systematically in improving its human rights record.H. In keeping with this.” – Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces H.The UAE has made significant progress in a short period of time. it is developing and harmonising its human rights standards with international principles. The Government is committed to serving as a model for change in the region and an active member of the international community.” – UAE Vice-President. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum “The sanctity of childhood is an essential element of our culture.H. but realises that much more needs to be done. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan . whose leadership and government are keen to protect human rights. particularly woman and child rights. “The coordination and cooperation between the public agencies and civil society organisations reflect the depth of inter-relations in the UAE community. Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai H.

among the highest-ranked nations. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . As a result. the UAE is ranked in thirty-eighth place in the 2009 UN Human Development Report Gender-related Development Index.women Women in the UAE have long been recognised as equal partners in national development and the Government continues to pursue a strategy of empowering women in cultural. social and economic fields.

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Differing from the GDI.1%) 138 Sierra Leone (97.5%) 4 Malta (102.1%) 175 Afghanistan (55. the GEM exposes inequality in opportunities in selected areas.691.8%) 190 Swaziland (98.5%) 5 United Arab Emirates (102. 188 > UAE 2010 . Source: UN Human Development Index 2009. secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio 2004 Female as % male 1 Cuba (121.0%) 1 Russian Federation (121.2%) The gender empowerment measure (GEM) reveals whether women take an active part in economic and political life.5%) Combined primary.3%) 137 United Arab Emirates (97.0%) 5 Barbados (116.4%) 135 Equatorial Guinea (97.9%) 174 Timor-Leste (102.9%) 6 Antigua and Barbuda (101. with a value of 0. It tracks the share of seats in parliament held by women.7%) 6 Estonia (116. and of female professional and technical workers – and the gender disparity in earned income.0%) 2 United Arab Emirates (120. senior officials and managers. United Arab Emirates ranks 25th out of 109 countries in the GEM.0%) 7 Mongolia (100.6%) 177 Solomon Islands (102.9%) 145 Afghanistan (29.1%) 139 India (97.3%) 136 Eritrea (97.7%) GDI as % of HDI Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) 2004 Female as % male 1 Lesotho (122.9%) 175 United Arab Emirates (102.9%) 3 Haiti (106. of female legislators. reflecting economic independence.2%) 173 Mali (102.The GDI Compared to the HDI – a Measure of Gender Disparity Life expectancy at birth (years) 2004 Female as % male 1 Mongolia (100.1%) 155 Afghanistan (88.2%) 3 Qatar (118.2%) 4 Latvia (117.0%) 176 Tanzania (United Republic of) (102.

Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Arab Women Organisation. at 83 per cent. Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union. 30 per cent of whom are in senior posts.000 investment projects worth Dh12.5 billion. In the year under review. UAE Minister of State. It is enough to say that UAE women are no longer busy claiming their rights.5 per cent of the workforce in the banking sector. as well as two women ambassadors.Much of the policy of empowerment has been orchestrated by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. Dr Maitha Al Shamsi. especially the social and political roles of women in the region. whereas at higher levels. held in Guatemala City. 189 > women . legislative and judicial components. were appointed in the past year. we are confident that UAE women will continue to be successful. Four women sit at the Cabinet table. pointed out that the percentage of girls enrolled in UAE elementary schools. but exercising them. Women also make up 15 per cent of the teaching staff at the UAE University and hold 60 per cent of the jobs in professions such as medicine. with a steady increase in the number of women holding Masters and PhD degrees. police and customs. is approaching parity with the enrolment of boys.” UAE women today participate in all institutions of government. teaching. UAE national women also represent 37. Sheikha Fatima gave a number of interviews in which she outlined the achievements of women in the UAE and continued to stress the necessity of ongoing support for Arab women’s rights. UAE national women are doing well in business and the 12. UAE women enjoy careers as pilots and engineers with national air carriers and in air defence and have also joined the UAE Armed Forces. women comprise 70 per cent of the total number of university graduates. Sheikha Fatima commented on the occasion of UAE National Day 2009: “Under a wise leadership that believes investing in people is the most viable form of investment. In fact.000 members of the Businesswomen Council run 11. nine out of 40 members of the Federal National Council are women and a number of women judges and attorneys. including the executive. health care and employment was a topic of discussion at the second Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on the Advancement of Women. Despite a relatively low representation overall in the private sector. During the year. gender equality in the UAE in areas such as education. pharmacy and nursing. UAE women now constitute 66 per cent of the public sector workforce. exceeding men.

Education and eradication of illiteracy were the preoccupations of the early days of the women’s movement. The awareness drive is part of the GWU’s efforts to implement the ‘National 190 > UAE 2010 .7 per thousand. Having achieved these goals. the GWU continues to execute a wide range of programmes for the advancement of women and is at the forefront of legislation and initiatives concerning women. children and the family. Today. especially in areas of maternity and child care: the rate of maternal death has been reduced by 86 per cent. which celebrated its thirty-fourth anniversary in 2009. 100 per cent of births take place under the supervision of licensed health professionals. General Women’s Union Foremost among organisations dedicated to the empowerment of women is the General Women’s Union (GWU). while infant mortality has been reduced to 7. cultural and religious organisations led by the GWU and the Family Development Foundation. In October 2009 GWU launched a ‘Know Your Rights’ programme to educate women about relevant federal and local legislation. there are around 20 women’s social.Dr Al Shamsi also commented that women in the UAE enjoy high quality health care as a result of services provided by the Government.

in 2006.) Previously. women will learn about international conventions dealing with women’s rights. (See chapter on Human Rights for more information on international conventions relating to women to which the UAE is a signatory. Children’s rights will be the focus of a new strategy that is being developed by the GWU in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). issued by the Arab League. enhancing the GWU’s synergy with government and non-governmental organisations on issues relating to the empowerment of women. as well as in the political and executive fields. economy.) 191 > women . in partnership with UNDP. formulated in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and launched by Sheikha Fatima. (See chapter on Human Rights for more information on children’s rights. The strategy is based on a UN programme called ‘A World Fit for Children’ and the recommendations of ‘The Arab Childhood Plan 2004–2015’.Strategy for the Advancement of Women’. and environment. social work. media. legislation. health. the GWU. In the first phase of the programme. The campaign seeks to heighten awareness among women about their constitutional rights and to build their capacity to defend their legal rights. The strategy seeks to activate the role of women and to ensure their positive participation in eight key areas: education. embarked on a national initiative with staff of the GWU and other women’s organisations in a capacity-building exercise.

In that arena. These include empowering women and building their capacities as human beings and citizens to play an effective role in society. the First Ladies in the Organisation. we will work to project the real image of the Arab woman. the focus now is on achieving the goals of the AWO. an inter-governmental body established under the umbrella of the League of Arab States. to create a real qualitative shift in the mechanisms of work and the activities of the organisation… I will also be committed to the enhancement of the position of Arab women on the regional and international level. This clearly reflects the progress made by UAE women and their active participation in both regional and international arenas.The GWU has also been instrumental in helping to establish the Arab Women Organisation and has taken part in all its conferences (see below). with the knowledge that we are an integral part of the world. Abu Dhabi hosted the Women Media Forum in 2002 under the title ‘Woman and Media: towards a promising media landscape’. As Sheikha Fatima. Arab Women Organisation The second conference of the Arab Women Organisation (AWO). formulation of its general policy and creation of the executive mechanisms. Following the completion of its organisational structure. who was chairperson of the AWO from 2007 to 2009. The Forum culminated in the promulgation of the Abu Dhabi Declaration on Women and Media. which provided a strong foundation for the launch of the Women Media Strategy as well as the endorsement of the first media convention for Arab women. and in decision-making circles. culture and civilisation. we will interact with what goes on. . in the labour market. 192 > UAE 2010 Right: UAE women enjoy careers as pilots and engineers with national air carriers. the UAE was elected as a member of the Social Development Committee of the UN’s Social and Economic Council. was held in Abu Dhabi in November 2008. Since 1975 the GWU has also participated in all significant major international conferences on the development of women. Based on this commitment and in implementation of the recommendations made during the first Arab Women summit held in Cairo in 2000.” Media Strategy Recognising that the media plays a pivotal role in social development. changing media stereotypes of Arab women and their role and status in society is a key component of Sheikha Fatima’s strategy. we will be affected by the developments around us. In February 2007. commented after following the conference: “I will continue to work in consultation with my sisters. will contribute to them with what we own from our wealth.


she declared: ‘If the decision to go to war is made by men. become the makers of peace’. in cooperation and coordination with the UNHCR. commencing in 2010. a media monitoring project for Arab women and the media professions programme. over an implementation period of six years. Arab women are contributing to human security through a pioneering initiative that came in the form of the Women For Peace Conference which was held in 2002 in Sharm el-Sheikh with the participation of women’s organisations from Arab and non-Arab countries and the UN. authenticity and civilisation as well as Arab and Muslim values of our society. The aim was to promote the establishment of a global movement of women to play an active role in spreading the culture of peace. is basically a universal issue but one where women can play a major role both in the peace movement and by helping to attain their own security. through openness and positive dialogue among civilisations. Sheikha Fatima had set up a special fund for women refugees. Sheikha Fatima believes.The Women Media Strategy contained recommendations for implementing three programmes that were formally launched under the umbrella of AWO during the second conference in Abu Dhabi: namely the setting-up of a media agency for Arab women. removing obstacles that hamper the expansion of UAE women’s participation and work in the media. Even before this conference. then women can. 194 > UAE 2010 . she believes. Sheikha Fatima elaborated on the thinking behind the strategy: “I also look forward to media that would reflect our national identity. To confront this issue. thereby enhancing the role and status of women in society.” Human Security Human security. The strategy aims. to create a positive media culture towards Arab women. focus on efforts to make their achievements on all levels more visible. embody our values. avoid focusing on stereotypes of women but rather safeguard their dignity. and should. needs cooperation and coordination on a global level. and earmarked US$2 million to improve the lives of women refugees in war zones. In her inaugural address made at the second meeting of the Supreme Council of the AWO.

The organisation is looking forward to other Arab countries joining them to serve the cause of women. The first phase of the initiative was launched in February 2007. participating in the fourth session of the supreme council of the AWO held at the First Ladies’ level in Tunis. The NAWD also facilitates an exchange of views and enables Arab women to connect with their Arab and Islamic culture. During the Tunis summit. it was agreed to hold a symposium in 2010 at the United Nations and to issue a book about the second Arab Woman Conference held in Abu Dhabi. 195 > women . will run up to November 2010 and will involve direct communication with Arab migrant women. ‘For Arab women to achieve progress and contribute effectively to the institutions of civil society’. Another major milestone was the addition of Iraq to the membership. Network for Arab Women Sheikha Fatima launched the Network for Arab Women in the Diaspora (NAWD) during the first AWO conference in Bahrain in 2006 to help Arab women living abroad keep in touch with each other. Tunis Summit Sheikha Fatima. while at the same time remaining true to their identity. religious teachings and cultural values’. The second phase. Sheikha Fatima stressed that a united approach among the First Ladies of the Arab world would be a significant factor in assisting Arab women to overcome obstacles that hamper their progress. which would contribute to alleviating the physical and psychological hardships that families experience in times of armed conflicts. ‘women must pursue education and keep abreast of progress. which got under way from March to October 2008. adding that ‘we have resolved to continue cooperation with leading Arab women at all levels to empower women to contribute effectively in sustainable growth’. national allegiance. thereby relieving the isolation they face away from their home countries.The issue of security was discussed intently during the second AWO summit. bringing the number of members to 16 countries. The fourth and final phase will feature direct online dialogue. saw the collection of data from over 1000 distinguished Arab women academics and professionals in various countries around the world with a view to informing young Arab generations in the Arab world about their achievements. in June 2009. The third phase. which was inaugurated at the second AWO conference in Abu Dhabi in 2008. and the conference urged the implementation of international conventions concerning the protection of women. and provide information for them. underlined the importance of the periodic sessions as they provide the opportunity to assess and evaluate results and plan for the future. she continued.

education Education has been a top priority for the UAE Government since the formation of the federation in 1971. In the ensuing 38 years. reducing what was once a high rate of illiteracy among nationals to roughly 7 per cent and providing free universal access to primary.  U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 . secondary and higher education for all UAE citizens. the nation has made considerable strides in educational attainment.

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Many Emirati parents in major metropolitan areas send their children to relatively higher-performing private schools and all but a small minority of expatriate children are enrolled at private institutions. according to the same studies. Since 2008. the education sector has taken on a new significance: its reform and improvement represents a critical step in the country’s ongoing development aims. but at the same time presents major challenges for policymakers if they are to succeed in plans to diversify the economy and reduce private-sector dependence on imported labour.  A key component of Government strategy has been the decentralisation of educational authority from the federal Ministry of Education to local education bodies in each emirate. But the challenges associated with improving the education system are ongoing. when the Ministry of Education released its strategic plan for educational reform.706 billion was earmarked for education. 51 per cent of nationals are under the age of 19 while 26 per cent are under the age of nine. That challenge can be starkly summed up by demographic figures: according to the 2005 census. Three major bodies – the Ministry of Education. Other significant developments included the appointment of a new education minister. or Dh9. in the spring of 2009. At state schools. it has been working toward replacing the old school curriculum with a new standards-based curriculum developed by 198 > UAE 2010 .In recent years. most of which are run by for-profit companies. Primary and Secondary Education Addressing the performance of public schools at primary and secondary level has been at the top of the Government’s agenda for the past decade and in 2009. and Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority – are working to improve the sector. Over the last year. Studies commissioned by the Ministry of Education in 2001 and 2005 found that only 44 per cent of teachers had a degree in education and most new teachers spent only two weeks on average in training before commencing work. the Abu Dhabi Education Council. government entities at the federal and local level have sought to improve the quality of private schools through inspection and accreditation schemes to ensure that every child in the UAE receives a quality education. in order to provide students with adequate preparation for the demands of university coursework and private-sector employment. The Government’s plans are linked to a reform of the P-12 school system. Humaid Mohammed Al Qattami. which has full jurisdiction over the northern emirates. teachers were paid significantly less than those at their international counterparts. 23 per cent of the federal budget.


has produced a curriculum in the majority of Abu Dhabi schools that focuses on acquiring skills. In 2006. and overhauling special education. established in 2005. In June 2009. PPP was to last for three years. Initially seen as a pilot programme. 200 > UAE 2010 . but has now been extended. ADEC launched a public private partnership programme (PPP) in its public schools. which charts the course of their reform agenda through 2018. ADEC.the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC). and providing quality professional development for teachers without degrees or certificates in education. developing a model for school accreditation. ADEC released its strategic plan for the P-12 sector. increasing instruction hours in English. There are currently 11 companies working in Abu Dhabi’s partnership schools. retraining teachers. The scheme pairs local schools with international firms that are charged with introducing Abu Dhabi’s new curriculum.

having hired close to 500 native English speakers to teach in its public schools. Problems with English teaching at government schools in general have caused delays for pupils entering universities. Similar strides to improve local schools in Dubai have been made by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).ADEC has also increased the amount of instruction in English in Abu Dhabi schools. In 2009. a regulatory authority set up in 2006. ADEC has also lengthened the school day to come closer to international standards and is also investing heavily in professional development for principals and teachers. Major steps have been taken in the past two years toward collecting reliable data on public and private schools through a number of initiatives such as school 201 > education . as well as working toward teacher certification. where English is the primary language of instruction (see below). ADEC announced that it would replace 100 old school buildings with new environmentally sound designs over the next decade.

science. This is particularly important given the fact that a relatively high percentage of students in the Emirates are enrolled in private schools: in Dubai 50 per cent of all students are in private schools. into teaching. Arabic and English. In an effort to ensure uniform standards across all schools. ADEC transferred approximately 8000 expatriate students studying in government-run evening 202 > UAE 2010 . Results from Dubai’s participation in TIMSS revealed that students at UAE public schools are lagging behind their international peers in maths and science testing. The federal Ministry of Education has also announced plans to participate in the next round of two international exams: TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). in particular. and to meet the challenge of attracting men. The data will be used to target key areas for improvement in schools. while the number for Abu Dhabi stands at around 40 per cent. Dubai’s KHDA introduced the first-ever comprehensive school inspections during the 2008–2009 academic year. ranging from the use of corporal punishment to poor teaching provisions in key subject areas such as maths. private schools in the emirate fell under the jurisdiction of the federal Ministry of Education. Prior to the KHDA’s formation in 2006. education authorities have introduced inspections and accreditation schemes at both federal and emirate levels.  Many private international schools in the UAE are accredited by international bodies and there are currently 17 International Baccalaureate schools operating in the country. Accreditation and School Inspections There has been significant improvement in private education across the UAE. all of which have obtained approval from the International Baccalaureate Organisation in Geneva to run their programmes.inspections (see below) and participation in international benchmarking exams. which revealed a number of inadequacies in the worst performing schools. Inspections of Abu Dhabi’s schools will also be undertaken under the supervision of ADEC. In the autumn of 2009. Summary inspection reports were published on the KHDA website for parents to read. and the authority published a report on the state of Dubai schools in the spring of 2009. The UAE is also striving to build a national teaching force.

which is due to be implemented in 2010. In the autumn of 2009. The Ministry of Education began integrating national students from a variety of special needs centres into regular public schools in 2009. and the Government has embarked on several partnerships that have allowed top global universities to establish campuses in the Emirates.schools into regular public schools.  The Abu Dhabi Education Council is also releasing a new set of bylaws for private schools in 2010 under which penalties will be incurred for non-acceptance of children with special needs. 203 > education . will be rolled out in the northern emirates to ensure that public and private schools are meeting uniform standards. Most private schools are presently ill-equipped to accommodate children with severe physical and intellectual disabilities. ADEC will have closed down approximately 70 private schools that operate out of villas. foreign universities are flocking to the UAE to set up centres of learning. The law was subsequently amended in 2009 to replace references to disability with the phrase ‘special needs’ (see chapter on Human Rights). Federal universities are expanding to accommodate growing student populations. Special Education Reforms to special education are under way across the country. the ministry is drafting a new set of standards for public and private schools to ensure that schools comply with the new law. which. if successful. By 2012. the Cabinet passed the UAE Disabilities Act. At the federal level. but most graduates from these centres do not leave school with an academic diploma. New policies are being developed by the government to address these gaps. a comprehensive law that requires public and private schools to provide equal access to all children. Integration is considered key to the reform of special education at both federal and local levels. The nation is poised to become a hub for higher education in the region. A number of private centres exist. In 2006. the Federal Government launched a pilot accreditation scheme. tertiary education in the UAE is undergoing rapid growth and change. A timeframe for requiring schools to meet accreditation standards will also be released. Higher Education  Like the P-12 sector.


Policymakers are also meeting the challenges posed by a lack of proficiency in basic English. The UAE University in Al Ain admitted 3146 students. announced it had secured US$1 billion (Dh3. These ‘bridge’ programmes eat up a substantial percentage of the state higher education budget: in 2008 Zayed University spent approximately Dh40 million (US$10. the Higher Colleges of Technology 7423. and Zayed University 1813. Mubadala. which would have allowed them a chance to bypass remedial English classes and proceed directly into university coursework at UAEU. 13. 62.8 per cent were male. Of those students admitted. the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research awarded 550 scholarships to students wishing to pursue their education abroad. which is scheduled for completion in 2011.315 the previous year.67 bn) of financing for the new Zayed University campus. In 2008.102 secondary school graduates were awarded a place at one of three federal institutions or given a scholarship to study abroad. to allow UAE citizens to pursue higher education at universities abroad.8 mn) on its ‘academic bridge’ programme – approximately 20 per cent of its academic budget. For the second consecutive year. an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government. Prior to 2008. Zayed University also received accreditation in 2009 from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. the medium of study at university level.UAE citizens can attend federal universities free of charge and generous scholarship funds exist through the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and other organisations. In December 2009. This would help institutions to cope with growing numbers of UAE citizens expected to apply to university in the coming years. down from 13. During the 2009–2010 academic year. both private and governmental. The new campus. will accommodate up to 6000 students and staff. 205 > education . In 2008 only 8 per cent of Emirati university applicants posted scores higher than 185 on the Common Educational Proficiency Assessment exam. A new formula that would link funding to the number of qualified students is pending approval from federal authorities.2 per cent were female and 37. Significant investment in the federal university system took place in 2009. which is to be built on 75 hectares in the new Capital District. a funding deficit meant that thousands of UAE citizens were denied places at federal universities despite meeting university qualifications. making it the first federal university to be accredited by an outside monitoring body. every UAE citizen who qualified for a place in the federal university system was able to take up that place as a result of an emergency funding increase.

opened in 2008 to train residents in the Al Gharbia (Western)Region in tourism-related jobs. but the KHDA. The project is funded entirely by the Abu Dhabi government. The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) system offers thousands of UAE citizens a more technically oriented education. NYU is the first major American research university to open a comprehensive liberal arts college in the UAE. a sector with enormous potential for local employment.The UAE University is the oldest university in the country. funded by the Abu Dhabi Government. A number of foreign universities. The plans for NYU Abu Dhabi. and Etisalat’s colleges and university. The autumn of 2010 will mark a significant milestone for tertiary education in the UAE. which regulates education in Dubai.  Aside from the HCT. A new vocational education centre. the Emirates Aviation College for Aerospace and Academic Studies. several other institutions provide vocational and technical education in the UAE. Among them are the Etihad training centre. UAEU has plans for significant expansion. Foreign universities must obtain accreditation to operate in the UAE from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research unless they are located in free zones. universities could open in Dubai’s free zones without such accreditation. More than 40. have opened campuses in the UAE in the last five years. represent a project unlike any other in global higher education – to create a top international liberal arts university in the Gulf as part of a ‘global network’ that includes NYU’s campus in Washington Square. and a new campus is under construction in Al Ain. Until 2009. it educates over 12. The first class of students. Like ZU.000 students have graduated from UAEU to date. now requires that universities in free zones be accredited by its own University Quality Assurance International Board or the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. from the Paris Sorbonne to Michigan State University. will start coursework in the autumn of 2010 in a temporary downtown campus until NYU Abu Dhabi’s permanent home on Saadiyat Island is completed in 2014. and run by Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Corporation (TDIC). and will function independently of other local universities and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. first announced in October 2007. recruited from around the world.000 students every year. New York. offering a wider variety of choice to local students. 206 > UAE 2010 . with the opening of the Abu Dhabi campus of New York University. the Emirates Institute for Banking and Finance. With ten colleges.

and now runs seven executive-education programmes. The Petroleum Institute (PI) was founded in 2001 with the aim of establishing itself as a ‘world-class’ institution in engineering education and research in areas of significance to the oil and gas and the broader energy industries. with offerings in film-making and acting. Abu Dhabi. DSG now offers two graduate programs – the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. a research and teaching institution focusing on good governance and public policy in the Middle East. which is connected to the Abu Dhabi government’s ambitious carbon-neutral Masdar City project. 207 > education . In February 2008. The Dubai School of Government (DSG). The Emirates Foundation has also been supporting research into areas such as science and engineering. one of the world’s largest graduate business schools. launched its first masters programme in 2009. In the autumn of 2009. has been operating a Middle East campus in Abu Dhabi since 2007. Developed with the support of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. in film-making and documentary film-making. it will launch its first bachelor’s degree programme in 2010. and provide fellowships to especially talented students and researchers. which has been designed in cooperation with Harvard Kennedy School. it will offer Masters degrees and PhD programmes in science and engineering. the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) opened its doors to its first class of graduate students.INSEAD. which is awarded by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. a branch of the New York Film Academy opened in Abu Dhabi. information technology and environmental sciences. DSG researchers produce reports on important issues affecting the Arab world. INSEAD’s campus was also established to better understand and contribute to the development of the MENA region through in-depth research of important business topics of both regional and global interest. is a private not-for-profit research centre devoted to the study of renewable energy. In addition to acting as a graduate school. and will also offer its first MA programmes. The PI’s sponsors and affiliates include the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and four major international oil companies. and the Executive Diploma in Public Administration (EDPA). The institute. The campus has modern instructional laboratories and classroom facilities and is now in the planning phase of three major research centres on its campus in Sas al-Nakhl.

health Health care provision in the UAE is universal and pre-natal and post-natal care is on a par with the world’s most developed countries. As a consequence. at 78. has reached levels similar to those in Europe and North America.5 years. life expectancy at birth in the UAE. U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S 2010 .

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crisis management and disease control. giving the public more information on where to seek treatment. Since his appointment in May 2009.Policy A number of unforeseen events in 2009 impacted on health strategy in the UAE: the global financial downturn and emergence of the H1N1 virus were not only unexpected and unplanned. Dr Hanif Hassan. Fujairah. Ra’s al-Khaimah and Ajman. Daman. HAAD has recently amended a number of policies such as the licensing policy for oversees applicants. The first meeting of the UAE National Committee for Organ Transplantation was held in December 2009 to discuss progress of legislation regarding the issue of cadaver transplants. who can now apply for a licence online rather than coming to the UAE. also underwent some major changes in 2009. The Ministry is focusing on bringing health care in the northern emirates up to par with the services offered in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and has restructured a number of committees including the National Committee Against Diabetes and the Medical Committee for the Eradication of Polio. which has full jurisdiction over the northern emirates. In November it launched the Violations Committee in an effort to be more transparent. it will be an independent body with its own budget and target. The efforts of the three major health bodies – Ministry of Health (MoH) Health Authority–Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) – switched rapidly and effectively to preventive medicine. This will be responsible for operating all the public hospitals in Sharjah. Once up and running. The MoH. also set about amending its repayment scheme to a payments by results system. Possibly the most significant policy advancement in the northern emirates was the creation late in 2009 of a Federal Health Authority. 210 > UAE 2010 . the national insurance company based in the capital. most significantly the appointment of a new health minister. The aim is to allow the MoH to focus on regulation and legislation. Clinical outcomes will be published. the Minister has shifted the focus of the MoH and is concentrating on completing current projects rather than embarking on new ones. but created circumstances that were entirely new to the UAE. Umm al-Qaiwain. Hospitals and clinics have to submit case-by-case data to the insurer who will work out a repayment figure based on the performance of the facility.


Its hub in Abu Dhabi is expected to open in 2010 and have a dramatic effect on services. in accordance with federal law. The 200-bed Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital in Dubai is currently being built and is expected to be ready in 2011.9 million. The National Reference Laboratory will be the first of its kind in the region and will test a large number and variety of samples that are currently sent abroad. Abu Dhabi nationals were brought under the scheme from 1 June 2008. In January 2009 DHA began a mandatory relicensing programme that saw almost 6000 physicians register to have their credentials verified against tailored standards on a par with international guidelines.000 when the scheme was introduced in 2006. the health services company that operates government hospitals and clinics in Abu Dhabi. a diabetes and obesity centre and a medical fitness centre. part of the Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Development Company. in Al Ain city. For now. strategy and funding. Umm al-Qaiwain Hospital is also undergoing a revamp costing more than Dh400 million and the new 400-bed Jebel Ali Trauma and Emergency Centre in Dubai is due for completion in 2010. The process is ongoing with the ultimate aim of boosting quality of patient care. SEHA. financial considerations forced decision makers to rethink some of the plans. Eventually. However. Health Insurance The introduction of mandatory health insurance in Abu Dhabi for expatriates and their dependents over two years ago was a major driver in reform of healthcare policy. The Ajman Health Zone and the MoH are embarking on a Dh500 million expansion project involving Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Hospital and the creation of a number of primary health centres. It will reduce waiting times for results and costs to local healthcare providers. up from around 150. and Al Ain Hospital. is funding a multibillion-dirham project to replace Al Mafraq Hospital. health care in the UAE remains a focus of investment with a number of government and private projects being undertaken in 2010. New Facilities Despite the financial climate. Abu Dhabi continues to lead the way. every Emirati and expatriate in the country will be covered by compulsory health insurance under a unified mandatory scheme. Mubadala Healthcare.In 2008 DHA embarked on a four-year transformation programme with heavy focus on regulation. by 2013. 212 > UAE 2010 . 40 kilometres outside the capital. launched the first part of its major pathology laboratory project in Dubai in December 2009. The number of insured people in the emirate has reached approximately 1.

The move underlined HAAD’s determination to ensure that the scheme is sustainable. the National Insurance Company. Road traffic accidents also account for 15 per cent of all deaths in Abu Dhabi. in newspapers and on billboards across the emirate. individuals will have to register with an outpatient clinic that would receive a set fee to manage the patient’s care. Adverts featuring Sheikh Khaled were displayed in cinemas. the BP-Ford Abu Dhabi world rally driver. Under the proposal. The DHA’s plans. There are a number of cultural barriers that are slowly being eroded but still affect serious issues such as cancer. The MoH continued to work during the year on a federal health insurance law that would unify access to health care across the UAE. which is one of the top three most common causes of death. Despite this. Employers or sponsors will pay a fee to the government.It has taken some time for the insurance system to evolve and HAAD and Daman. as ambassador for its campaign. launching a number of public health campaigns and introducing new policies. announced in January 2009. to introduce a new health-funding model that would essentially provide free access to basic health care to every resident in the emirate. were later postponed. cardiovascular disease and obesity– related illnesses are avoidable. HAAD focused heavily on preventive medicine in 2009. which would be mostly used to provide care for employees. Assessments are being made as to its compatibility with the present and planned systems for Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The UAE has very high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. diabetes affects one of five people in the UAE and cardiovascular diseases account for 28 per cent of all deaths. The population is still young and experts predict a rise in many of the lifestyle diseases in coming years. it tackled safety on the roads and worked with Sheikh Khaled Al Qassimi. In June. In June. have made a number of amendments in an effort to boost competition and ensure the sustainability of the system. In terms of preventive medicine. Preventive Medicine  It is fair to say that now more than ever preventive medicine and public health are critical to the long-term well-being of the UAE population. HAAD cut the dental entitlement for UAE nationals in the Thiqa programme down to 50 per cent after discovering it was being abused and fraudulent claims were being submitted to Daman. the majority of cases of diabetes. 213 > health . on television. rescheduled for phased introduction starting in 2010. a pattern that is repeated across the country.

More than 10. including raising awareness about key lifestyle factors. HAAD has been vaccinating schoolgirls aged 17 in public and private schools across the emirate. such as smoking. Official figures show that 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases are diagnosed in the late stages and the chance of survival is just one in three. Health officials put a heavy emphasis on spreading messages about preventive medicine in an effort to reverse the upward trends predicted for the future. after breast cancer. 214 > UAE 2010 . which can lead to cancer.Early detection of disease symptoms is crucial to not only saving lives but getting a better understanding of the epidemiology. The Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office for the WHO released a report in 2009 predicting that the number of cancer deaths in the region would more than double by 2020 if countries did not adopt more unified and integrated cancer control programmes. It is the second most common cancer in the UAE. leading to improvements in prevention.000 schoolgirls have been given the Gardasil vaccine as a protection against cervical cancer.

Daman also includes breast and prostate cancer screening in its enhanced plans for men above 45 years old and women older than 35. Only 30 per cent of breast cancer cases in the emirates are diagnosed in the early stages when the chances of a cure are much higher. and the tobacco industry. Tobacco use is another issue taken very seriously by health officials in the UAE. In January 2010 the Government passed a federal tobacco law that bans smoking in most public places and imposes other restrictions on the use of tobacco.It is also compulsory for women aged between 40 and 60 to get a mammogram when renewing their Thiqa health insurance card. primary health care and public awareness. The DHA is currently undertaking a year-long campaign that focuses on training medical staff to provide smoking cessation counselling. 215 > health . The draft federal law has been in existence since 2006 and is expected to be implemented later in 2010.

216 > UAE 2010 . 13. This is one of the highest rates in the region. people will be encouraged to visit a family doctor who can monitor their health and look out for any potential warning signs of health problems in the future. H1N1 Swine Flu The H1N1 pandemic presented an unexpected and significant challenge to the UAE’s health services. The DHA is also working on establishing a better primary healthcare model that ties into its plans for health funding and strategy. It created the Technical Health Committee for Combatting Swine Flu. It reinforced the importance of raising awareness about prevention rather than treatment. the largest government hospital health facility on Abu Dhabi Island. understanding of the virus and its epidemiological characteristics. restaurants. Sixty-eight per cent were overweight or obese and less than half – 47 per cent – had normal cholesterol levels. Primary health care is another crucial tool in public health policy. most emirates have their own smoking bans in malls. forward planning and implementing mitigating effects were crucial to ensuring minimal loss of life and best management of positive cases. and the administration of the vaccine.000 people of all ages and nationalities. more than a quarter of men in the UAE smoke.6 per cent of women. schools and medical community. The aim is to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to public health.2 per cent of boys aged between 13 and 15 use tobacco including shisha. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. According to WHO statistics.Even without the federal ban. However. which was instrumental in dealing with the pandemic. compared to around 2. has recently launched a comprehensive family medicine clinic network to encourage people to utilise the skills of family doctors who can help with preventive medicine and monitor health. cinemas and other public spaces. Public Health In order to solve a public health problem. education sessions for the public. cafes. Cooperation between different agencies. implementation of new rules governing diagnosis and treatment. it surveyed 28. The results showed that 18 per cent were diabetic and a further 12 per cent were borderline diabetic. In 2009 the MoH released results from one of the largest surveys ever done in the UAE. and something the UAE is working hard to improve. Through its funding system.2 per cent of girls and 25. The MoH took a federal approach and led public awareness campaigns. it is crucial for everyone involved to have a proper understanding of exactly what the problem is. In conjunction with the Ibn Sina Pharmacy group.

containment was no longer an option and it concentrated on mitigating the effects. the elderly. at Friday sermons. At the beginning of the outbreak in April. airports. Any high-risk individual who presented with flu-like symptoms was treated as a positive H1N1 case without waiting for official tests. local pharmaceutical company Neopharma was given a license by the MoH to produce 20 million capsules of Oseltamivir BR Flu. However as in all countries. borders and seaports to prevent the virus from entering the country. and everyone entering the country was required to complete a health questionnaire. When the UAE received 40.  Information on preventive measures was delivered in media outlets. The official death toll released by the MoH was six.The Ministry liaised closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO). Pregnant women. following its advice and implementing policies regarding high-risk groups such as young children. Training sessions for teachers in all public and private schools were held in every emirate and memorandas were sent on a regular basis to all hospitals and clinics. the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions were most affected. Pregnant women and members of the medical and healthcare community were expected to follow in early 2010. Otherwise healthy individuals who displayed symptoms were either administered Tamiflu or sent home to rest. As the global situation evolved. ambulance services and education authorities formed consultation groups to establish best practices for limiting the impact of the virus. Hajj pilgrims were given priority. labour officials. Thermal scanners in airports were used to identify positive and suspected cases early. in malls. officials stopped counting individual cases and focused on mitigation. the MoH concentrated national efforts in airports.000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. hospitals and schools. those with chronic diseases and pregnant women. 217 > health . To avoid any shortages of the antiviral drug used to treat the H1N1. Government agencies including the police.

it has been the hardest hit by the fall in advertising revenues that The UAE is the commercial heart of the Middle East’s media sector. . serving as both a regional hub for a rapidly growing list of international media companies and as a fertile field for the development of one of the region’s most robust domestic media industries. because the local industry saw the most growth in the region during the boom that preceded the global economic downturn. Nevertheless.

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Wakalat Anba’a al-Emarat. whose initials from its name in Arabic. the National Media Council has served as the country’s media regulator. the effort to bring electronic television audience measurement to the UAE. WAM Emirates News Agency. regional and Arab affairs via satellite and internet. twofour54. is the country’s primary outlet for Government news. give it the widely used epithet of WAM. and plays a significant role in helping to diversify the nation’s economy. to ensure that the media is an attractive and accessible profession for the nation’s young people. ‘People meter’ technology. as well as the publication of newspapers. and has long been considered one of the most important steps that the Middle East’s television industry could take to boost advertising spending and thereby raise production values. responsible for issuing media licences as well as running the external information department. which measures viewers’ habits and produces audience ratings in real time. is widely used in more developed television markets. particularly in the largely untapped digital realm.As a result. Beyond licensing. Founded in 1976. The UAE is also making considerable investments in media training institutions. periodicals and books in free zones. Licences cover media personnel and companies. National Media Council Since picking up where the dissolved Ministry of Information left off in 2006. the Emirates News Agency and the UAE Interact daily news website. the agency transmits news on national. from the shifting of media assets from Dubai’s Arab Media Group to Dubai Media Incorporated to the merging of private pay-TV giants Orbit and Showtime. the global media industry sees enormous potential in the Middle East media sector. However. and the UAE stands perfectly poised to capitalise on these opportunities. as well as via a central news 220 > UAE 2010 . The NMC is also charged with enforcing the country’s media law. as Yahoo’s purchase of Maktoob in August 2009 showed. such as the vocational academy at Abu Dhabi’s media zone. the sector is in the midst of a series of consolidations and reorganisations. magazines. along with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash serves as the Chairman of the NMC. which is in the process of being overhauled in order to protect journalists and enhance ‘freedom of the press’. which is governed by an executive committee and a dedicated board of directors. the NMC has taken a proactive approach to regulating the country’s media industry by spearheading.

Zahrat Al Khaleej magazine and Majid magazine) and several other media-related businesses. Sana’a. ADMC’s digital media arm formed a partnership with Silicon Valley gaming start-up Gazillion Entertainment to create the region’s first massive multiplayer online games studio in Abu Dhabi. Gaza. Much of the innovation has happened in its digital division. Abu Dhabi Classics. Meanwhile. Riyadh. It employs more than 2000 people. Baghdad and Tunis. and the country’s first radio station blending Arabic and Western pop music. Beirut. directed by Robert Rodriguez. United Printing Press and LIVE.portal run by IPS. a co-production with Imagenation’s partner. Amman. Khartoum. to over 1000 newspapers and 2000 broadcast media worldwide. ADMC also turned heads when its television arm. beginning in 2010. Jerusalem. became the first free-to-air broadcaster in the region to win the exclusive regional rights to the English Premier League. The National newspaper. a number of publications (Al Ittihad newspaper. ADMC’s billion-dollar film fund subsidiary. In the period under review. Warner Bros. as well as the first classical music station. in 2009. Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC). Imagenation Abu Dhabi. ADMC owns and operates a range of television channels. Star FM. Imagenation’s other Hollywood partners include Participant Media. has managed to break ground for the region in nearly every platform of commercial media. which owns a fleet of outdoor high-definition television production vans. the husband-and-wife team that formerly headed DreamWorks Studios. created in 2007 as a public joint stock company from the assets of Emirates Media. Abu Dhabi Media Company In less than two years. National Geographic Abu Dhabi. through a joint venture with Avarto Mobile Middle East formed in 2008. National Geographic Entertainment and Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald of Parkes/ MacDonald Productions. also covering the Arab cities of Cairo. the region’s first legal download site for digital content. 221 > media . took a minority stake in Vevo. WAM’s staff of around 25 reporters outside the UAE span the globe from Islamabad to New York. Hyde Park Entertainment. Damascus. Rabat. a network of radio stations. led by Shorts. an online music video portal created by Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Algiers. The company also launched the first free-to-air National Geographic Channel. including Imagenation. Abu Dhabi TV. and continued the roll-out of GETMO Arabia. saw its first crop of Hollywood films hit the theatres in 2008.

Its business incubator. Thomson Reuters.Media Zones When CNN launched its new Middle East-focused news show. Print Media At a time when print media is suffering steep declines in much of the world. 2009 was a tougher year. founded in 2001 by Tecom. which were accompanied by a freelance visa programme for media professionals working with the zone’s partner companies. These parks’ growth has been supplemented by the growth of smaller media free zones such as Fujairah Creative City and RAK Media City. as compared to the same period in 2008. The UAE’s original media zone was Dubai Media City. twofour54 ibtikar. including well-known brands like CNN. to foster the growth of Dubai’s knowledge-based economy. as well as its state-ofthe-art high-definition production studios. and is expected to continue to grow by about 30 to 40 per cent per year in the number of registered companies and gross leasable area through 2013. about US$333 million of which went to Arabic papers. named twofour54 after the capital’s GPS coordinates. BBC. such as BBC. also launched in 2009 with a ventures fund to invest in media entrepreneurs and a creative lab to turn media-related ideas into commercially viable propositions. 222 > UAE 2010 . a subsidiary of Dubai Holding. DMC is one of a cluster of media free zones run by Tecom. twofour54 tadreeb. with an overall drop of 36 per cent in advertising spending during the first three quarters. Dubai Studio City and the International Media Production Zone. Twofour54 also teamed up with MTV Networks International to launch Comedy Central Studios Arabia. including Dubai Internet City. live from its fourth international news hub in Abu Dhabi’s media zone in November. in the past year.14 billion (Dh4. The debut was the latest in a string of launches from the zone. Of course. Prism. the UAE remains a beacon. The year 2009 saw the formal launch of the zone’s vocational training academy. according to the Pan Arab Research Center. it was clear that a new age of media had begun in the UAE’s capital city. Today it has more than 30 buildings with more than 1200 registered businesses. CNN and Rotana. MBC and CNBC. which will develop and produce Arabic-language comedy content for the Middle East market. twofour54 intaj. a place where 70 per cent of the population still reads a newspaper every day and about the same percentage of advertising spending goes into print. with the decline of the UAE’s big-spending property market.18 bn) in newspapers in 2008. following its founding in October of 2008. Advertisers in the UAE spent US$1.



Television Television in the Arab world is unlike anywhere else. tripling the number of locally produced programmes. This past year was a period both of bold new ventures and consolidation. The National. a privately owned paper based in Sharjah – though the tabloid Emarat Al Youm has made inroads in recent years. DMI acquired AMG’s Noor Dubai television and radio stations. The UAE has also begun to garner international attention for its television production. as well as the first free-to-air National Geographic Channel. with the relative newcomer. the American Idol-like show produced by Pyramedia. which turned 40 this year. Prince of Poets. Sama Dubai. Dubai One. In terms of readership. Alroya Elektisadya. Within this vast choice. Wall Street Journal and Daily Telegraph. Dubai Sports Channel and the Dubai Racing Channel. 225 > media . Minister of Presidential Affairs. It also has focused this year on expanding its own programming. launched in April 2008 with a staff of 240 journalists hired from publications like the New York Times. Dubai Media Incorporated’s Al Bayan. Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 3. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the closing ceremony of Dubai Media Forum. as satellite owners from Morocco to Saudi Arabia share access to the same feed of more than 400 free-to-air channels. the print industry remains strong. the parent company of Dubai TV. The Arabic-language market is dominated by three broadsheets – ADMC’s Al Ittihad. a new media company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. Abu Dhabi Al Emarat and the sports channels Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya and Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 2. a subsidiary of Tecom. fast gaining market share. Left: H. E-Vision. both more than 30 years old. and Al Khaleej. the English-language market is led by Gulf News and the Khaleej Times. as well as several print titles and a printing press. Abu Dhabi TV and Dubai TV have staked out a respectable market share. despite the closure of some magazines and the scaling back of some newspapers such as the Dubai-based business daily Emirates Business 24/7 and 7 Days. Abu Dhabi TV. launched its first pay-TV channel this year. registering among the most popular channels. won the Association of International Broadcasters award for most creative specialist genre. H. with Dubai One.However. the English-language channel. which runs an array of channels including Abu Dhabi Al Oula. I-Media. taking over an array of media assets formerly held by Arab Media Group. in March 2009. with Dubai Media Incorporated. launched the UAE’s first Arabic-language financial daily. In November. It also became part of the UAE’s first high-definition broadcast package when it signed on to offer an Abu Dhabi HD channel as part of Etisalat’s cable service.

000 screenwriting contest designed to help launch the career of an up-and-coming film-maker. now in its second year. . reached a new level of maturity during its third run. It culminated in the Black Pearl Awards. guided by the expertise of the conference’s partner. A-list stars from Demi Moore to Naomi Watts walk the red carpet at the country’s film festivals. held in April in Dubai. DIFF Since its launch in December 2004. focuses intently on the region. which traditionally runs parallel to the Middle East International Film Festival in the autumn. a US$100. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed inaugurated Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. created by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) in 2007 and taken over by the newly created Abu Dhabi Film Commission in 2008. MEIFF The Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF). documentaries and shorts from more than 50 countries. The six-day festival. with winners including Emirati film-maker Maher Al-Khaja’s The Fifth Chamber . The leading organisation in this effort has been The Circle. Tell Me a Story to Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.Film As sources of funding for film-makers dry up around the world. H. Gulf Film Festival While these larger film festivals have an international sweep. whose lifetime achievement award was given to Vanessa Redgrave. the ten-day festival held each October at Emirates Palace. with selections ranging from Yousry Nasrallah’s Scheherazade. 226 > UAE 2010 Left: H. ADMC’s Imagenation Abu Dhabi. the UAE’s rapidly professionalising film industry has drawn increasing global interest. while behind the scenes.Ouija. culminates with the awarding of the Sasha Grant. The conference. was dominated by films from the UAE. the Gulf Film Festival. the Dubai International Film Festival has shown more than 400 films. Last year’s third annual Circle Conference brought together producers. financiers and executives from around the world. the Gulf’s first full-length horror film. Government-funded organisations work to educate a new generation of local film executives and financiers who will create a lasting indigenous film industry in the UAE. The sixth edition of the festival was held from 9 to 16 December 2009 in conjunction with Dubai Studio City. The festival’s lifetime achievement awards were given to Egyptian film legend Faten Hamama and Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachcha.


notably piracy and the lack of distribution systems. a project of ADACH that funds the translation. especially among the younger generation. as Nokia opened its first Nokia Music Store in the region in the UAE in December 2008. The main aim of the fair is to inculcate the habit of reading. a project of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation. which campaigns against the violation of intellectual property rights. which took place in November 2009. a joint venture between ADACH and the Frankfurt Book Fair. showcases books of more than 750 publishers from nearly 42 nations. which had a special focus on rights. and so the Ministry of Economy has taken a tough stance on protecting copyright. and to make quality books available at affordable prices. and GETMO Arabia launched the same year. which aims to translate more than 1000 books in the three years since its launch in 2008. and in the process establishing the UAE as a leader in the GCC’s publishing industry. In October. with an average 400. The organisation helped found a UAE Publishers Association in 2009.Books Ever since the United Nations identified a ‘knowledge deficit’ in the Arab world though its controversial 2003 Arab Human Development Report. Sharjah International Book Fair has been in operation since 1982. and Tarjem. the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.000 visitors visiting annually. it must be able to protect intellectual property. Meanwhile. 228 > UAE 2010 . a gang that illegally imported and sold thousands of DVDs was jailed in a landmark sentence. Kitab also works year-round to tackle the most fundamental problems preventing Arabic publishing from becoming a profitable enough industry to support professional authors. The UAE has also been the birthplace of the Middle East’s legal downloading culture. enjoyed record crowds at its nineteenth edition in March 2009. organised by Kitab. following raids on a Dubai warehouse by undercover police officers working with the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance. This is a ten-day annual event that bridges cultures in one educational place. in preparation for Abu Dhabi’s historic hosting of the International Publishers Association Copyright Symposium in February of 2010. Two translation projects responded directly to the UN’s criticism: Kalima. the institutions of the UAE have been meeting this challenge headon. printing and distribution of foreign literature into Arabic. The twenty-eighth session of Sharjah Book Fair. Intellectual Property Protection It is clear that if the country is to become the creative hub for the region.

In 2009.Organisations and Awards The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was established in 2007 to reward significant achievements in Arabic culture and promote interest in Arab literature.000 (Dh1 mn) went to Pedro Martinez Montávez. From 2005 to 2007 the Foundation awarded 35 grants. brought together more than 600 journalists and keynote speaker Seymour Hersh to discuss investigative journalism in the region. rising to 107 in 2008. The club also hosts the Arab Journalism Awards. and society and heritage (see also chapter on Social Affairs). held in May 2009. a professor in Semitic philology at the University of Madrid who has worked to build bridges between his home country of Spain and the Arab world and has translated the works of many Arabic poets. established in 1999 as a centre of journalistic excellence and a forum for journalists to debate. comprising 12 different categories. The Dubai Press Club. 229 > media . the Emirates Foundation changed the way it gives its out its grants to focus on three instead of six main areas: youth development. The eighth Arab Media Forum. its top prize of US$367. In 2009. knowledge creation. runs two major initiatives that support the local media industry. now in their eighth year.

and at the same time forging bridges between East and West. .culture Heritage and Culture are central to national identity and the UAE is making considerable efforts to preserve its traditional culture. the country is undergoing a cultural renaissance with particular emphasis on investment in world-class resources. stimulating and encouraging local participation. introducing international best practices into all areas of cultural activity. At the same time.

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intellectual. also allowing older citizens a chance to take part as mentors. the Ministry signed an agreement with the Emirates Writers’ Association to collaborate in the publishing of works by local writers and poets. Looking towards the future. education. calligraphy and ornamentation locally and internationally. which ran from June to November. another on promoting the revival of local traditions and another looking at innovations by young Emiratis. Music. During 2009. while several books were also issued. which provided opportunities for young Emiratis to take part in cultural. several major initiatives were undertaken by the federal Ministry of Culture. including a poetry anthology to celebrate the birth of the UAE. in both the cities and in smaller towns. extending not only throughout the country but also overseas. which celebrates the birth of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in the field of formal Arabic and local Nabati poetry. in its Abu Dhabi counterpart and in the newly-launched Al Ain Book Fair. traditional and old calligraphy as well as classical ornamentation. sports and entertainment activities. the Ministry took the lead in arranging nearly 100 different events and activities. One major international initiative by the Ministry during the year was the organisation of the UAE’s first pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Towards the end of the year. which ran for several weeks was the Summer in my Country project.Ministry of Culture Initiatives During 2009. to mark the UAE’s thirty-eighth National Day. focusing on sport. Following the success of the programme. The Ministry also launched a new Scientific Innovation Award during the year. on 2 December. The award is worth a total of Dh 950. and with further support from the Emirates Foundation and the 232 > UAE 2010 . thereby helping to transfer their knowledge of cultural heritage to the younger generation. One such initiative. the development of libraries and the preservation of heritage. plans are being drawn up to merge it with another project designed to promote knowledge of folklore and traditional arts. The Ministry also participated in the Sharjah International Book Fair. the Ministry also organised the seventh annual Borda Award. 2009 With Emirates Airline acting as a major sponsor. dance and theatre were among cultural activities arranged. one of the top cultural events in Europe.000 for the winners and is intended to encourage poetry. the oldest and largest in the country. Youth and Community Development.

It’s Me’ and was designed to offer a playful and provocative look at what has been described as the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event. the ‘Dialogue of Cultures’ project. audio. to introduce local culture to a European audience. The Ministry also took part in BookExpo America. the pavilion was called ‘It’s Not You. the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print. Other activities overseas included a week-long ‘UAE Cultural Days’ festival in the German capital of Berlin. an important part of showcasing new talent from the contemporary art. The following review presents some of the events and developments that took pace during 2009. which is designed to bring together people from all cultures to exchange views. the individual emirates are also showing increasing attention to the need to promote and to conserve culture and heritage. the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment. This was the first occasion on which a country from the Gulf has taken part in the Biennale. film and digital channels. during July. This was followed up by an Emirati-German art exhibition in Hamburg. the UAE Writers’ Union. One feature of the pavilion was the participation of over 60 volunteers from the UAE. The highly successful Abu Dhabi Classics series celebrated its second season by treating the Emirates Palace audience to the Middle Eastern debut of the New York Philharmonic with pieces by Beethoven and Mahler. Besides initiatives at a federal level. and in the London Book Fair. In particular. the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision seeks to establish the emirate as a regional centre for culture with a global capital city as its hub. as well as holding a concert inside the recently renovated Jahili Fort in Al Ain. the Sharjah Department of Information and Culture. including the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH). which was chosen as the occasion on which to launch another Ministry initiative. the largest publishing event in North America.Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA). along with several other organisations. 233 > culture . with the aim of narrowing the distance between nations and enhancing better understanding among civilisations. the National Media Council and the Emirates Heritage Club. the UAE national folklore troupe proving to be a particular success. design and architecture scene in the Emirates. Music ADACH was responsible for several important musical events in 2009. TV.

The ninth Sharjah Biennial opened in March 2009. 50 masterpieces from the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York were displayed in a unique exhibition at Emirates Palace. An offshoot of the globally acclaimed festival of world music (WOMAD) included Abu Dhabi and Al Ain on the global circuit of cities in which this festival is staged. Visual Arts The year 2009 commenced with the first-ever Emirati-only exhibition held in Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. organised in collaboration with TDIC. New York University Abu Dhabi and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. of the ‘Sounds of Arabia’. Calligraphy Museum and The Theatre Association. is another step in the preparations of audiences for the upcoming Saadiyat Island development of world class museums and art pavilions. ADACH was also the initiator. with events taking place across a wide range of venues including the Sharjah Art Museum. such as Andrea Boccelli. Al Qasba. In addition. Featuring 87 local artists exhibiting their work together for the first time.This year. including the Soloman R. while Abu Dhabi-based events presented some of the biggest names in music. entitled ‘Emirati Expressions’. Guggenheim Foundation. the Louvre. showing from 17 November and continuing to 4 February 2010. organised by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and ADACH. Sharjah Old Port. organising concerts for children. a year-long programme of performance focusing on Arabic music. the exhibitors ranged from veteran painters to a new generation of photographers. A number of exhibitions. Popular music events in 2009 included the series of concerts entitled ‘Dubai Sound City’. Sharjah National Theatre. video and installation artists. talks. the first-ever big music festival in the UAE. the Classics series invested time and effort into educational programmes. the Heritage Area of Sharjah. in May. with two months of art exhibitions and cultural events. 234 > UAE 2010 . The three-day event was held in April 2009 with participants including world renowned artists such as Youssou N’Dour and Jivan Gasparyan. including a show of the Peter and the Wolf fairy tale. workshops and book signings were held in collaboration with partners. More than 80 artists and performers participated in the biennial. The exhibition. The Abu Dhabi Art Fair took place between 19–22 November. graphic designers. Coldplay and the Killers.


Art Dubai. which organised the third photojournalism exhibition. the project aims to support and strengthen the local and regional art scene with an exhibition of the works of up to 15 visual artists. Organised by RAK Hospital and partner organisation Swiss Art Gate UAE. In April 2010 Ra’s al-Khaimah hosts a unique contemporary art competition for local artists on the theme ‘Tracking the Emirates’. Tashkeel studios continued supporting and exhibiting young and emerging artists of UAE. while Traffic Gallery’s founder and owner Rami Farook has become the British Council’s International Young Design Entrepreneur (IYDE) 2009.Another contemporary art festival. museum directors. artists.000 visitors from across the Middle East. South Asia and beyond. In the climate of thriving new 236 > UAE 2010 . and Meem Gallery in Dubai. On a smaller scale. took place in March 2009. attracting an audience of over 14. including leading curators. Some of the highlights included Ghaf Gallery in Abu Dhabi. the UAE’s growing number of vibrant galleries continued with exciting and challenging exhibitions in 2009. which brought together two of the most influential veterans of the Iranian art scene – the sculptures of Parviz Tanavoli and photography by the award winning film director Abbas Kiarostami. 80 museum groups and over 300 international press.

The Department also organised many other exhibitions and events such as summer camps and talks throughout the year. the UAE’s oldest gallery in Bastakiya area of Dubai – the Majlis Gallery –celebrated its twentieth birthday.talents and projects. The Culture District is the first of the island’s seven developments that will feature the Guggenheim and Louvre museums. with photographic works inspired by storytelling. as well as the Sheikh Zayed National and Maritime museums. changing landscapes. The island saw its first exhibition ‘Art Cars Expo’ in October 2009 in a temporary venue. continued an active programme of work in 2009. The Sharjah Art Museum in conjunction with TATE Britain and the British Council held ‘The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting’ exhibition early in 2009. 237 > culture . domestic life. designed by the world’s leading architectural figures. and archaeology and restoration. while the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation organised ‘My Father’s House: The Architecture of Cultural Heritage in December 2009’. The already well-established Sharjah Museums Department. Museums The development of museums and art pavilions in Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island is continuing at full speed. which oversees seventeen museums and cultural institutions.

which has a long tradition in the region. The objects displayed included treasures from the Ottoman Empire. The film explores Abu Dhabi’s development through the eyes of Wilfred Thesiger and his two bedouin guides Salim bin Kabina and Salim bin Ghubaisha. Literature and Poetry 2009 was a very vibrant year in the field of literature and poetry. The meeting of classical Arabic poetry and media continued through the regionally highly successful television shows – Million’s Poet and The Prince of Poets – broadcast on Abu Dhabi TV and poetry TV channels. other developments in this cultural medium included the production of a 60-minute documentary Changing Sands by Pyramedia in Abu Dhabi. Maha Gargash’s book about a woman’s life and loves in the UAE of the 1950s and 1960s was published by the prestigious HarperCollins in the United States. particularly the latter. The UAE was also one of a dozen nations elected to a four-year term on the United Nations Educational. Representatives of 114 countries met to decide on inscriptions for the list of intangible heritage. Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s World Heritage Committee. The Prince of Poets also won the International Broadcasting Award in London for the specialist genre TV category. Another exciting development was the publication of the English translation of UAE national author Maha Gargash’s Sand Fish: A Novel from Dubai. 238 > UAE 2010 . The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi was also a site of a huge ADACH-organised exhibition entitled ‘Islam: Faith and Worship’. while ADACH’s Kalima initiative is translating more than 100 works of classic and contemporary titles into Arabic annually in accordance with its founding mission. have rarely been on public display at all. The UAE was among 12 nations to put forward the sport of falconry for consideration in the list. the former is still alive. Many of the artefacts on show had never before been allowed to leave their museums in Istanbul and.The United Nations Education Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) held a conference for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Abu Dhabi in September. indeed. The Poetry Academy (part of ADACH) signed a deal with the family of the Emirati poet Hamad Khalifa Bou Shihab for publication all of his works. Film Besides the annual Middle Eastern International Film Festival and the Dubai Film Festival (see chapter on Media).

society and community development. highlighting perspectives on culture. a Brazilian party procession and a number of free concerts of local and international music acts. such as Dr Shirin Ebadi. Jalal Luqman. dance and animation. A more classical performance was held in Al Ain’s Al Jahili fort with a mostly Arab cast performing the tale of Richard III set in the contemporary Arabian Gulf. The show.The field of documentaries was further enhanced by the second running of Documentary Voices: Social Awareness Film Festival held in Dubai in November 2009. This year’s participants included several Nobel Prize laureates. The Arabic reworking of Shakespeare’s piece was adapted by the Kuwaiti-British dramatist Sulayman Al Bassam and performed in March 2009. and many other figures from the fields of politics. Theatre The hugely popular Freej cartoon characters. A number of local artists were also engaged in the live art creations of customised Formula One replica cars across Abu Dhabi. was accompanied by a number of cultural events on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche as well as Yas Island. Aerosmith and the Kings of Leon. The Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix weekend. inspiring youth of the region and allowing renowned intellects from around the world to come and deliver lectures and develop ideas. Other Cultural Events The latest Festival of Thinkers was held in Abu Dhabi in November 2009. Organised by the Higher Colleges of Technology. one of the greatest events on the 2009 calendar. science. These included the Arabic Culture weekend. included live music. the conference aims to foster and celebrate thinking. 239 > culture . Professor John Nash and Dr Rajenda Pachauri. economics and arts. This initiative is a cutting-edge programme of documentary screenings and workshops designed to develop and empower film-makers. free screenings of films on the beach. made their stage debut in a fantastical new play called Freej Folklore held in January in Madinat Jumeirah. the creation of Mohammed Saeed Harib. The artists included Wasel Safwan. Dana Saif Al Mazrouei. the biggest Arabic stage performance set so far. Khalid Mezaina and the Mizmah collective of young female artists from Zayed University. bringing the famous characters of Freej to real life. The Yasalam entertainment programme also included concerts by Beyonce.

. including the fauna and flora that are to be found within it.environment The conservation and protection of the environment of the United Arab Emirates. is perhaps one of the most complex tasks that the country currently faces. The high temperatures and low rainfall that are responsible for its highly arid desert environment have meant that the native fauna and flora have had to adapt in a variety of ways to be able to survive.

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Even a small rise in sea level. in which the overwhelming majority of the country’s inhabitants live and where much of planned development is due to take place. commercial and industrial use has grown dramatically. 242 > UAE 2010 . The population has grown from around 180. while quarrying stone for construction has had a significant impact on much of the Hajar Mountains. could have a devastating effect in the coastal zone. is low-lying. much of it being immediately supra-tidal salt-flats. in the form of airports. the amount of land being used for residential. prompted by the melting of the polar icecaps as a result of global warming. to around five million today. As a result. scientific studies are detecting signs that sea level in the Gulf may have already started to rise.Any minor changes in climatic conditions could have a seriously damaging effect upon the UAE’s biodiversity. Moreover. A further aspect of the complexity of environmental protection is the challenge posed by the country’s rapid economic growth. Indeed. ports and highways. the lengthy coastline. has taken further toll on what was formerly natural habitat. just over 40 years ago.000 in 1968. in particular along the country’s Arabian Gulf coast. The extension of the infrastructure.

the UAE coastline is already significantly different from what it was a few decades ago. is the pace of the change. This process is not something new: a pattern of evolving shorelines can be traced back over thousands of years. Towards a Sustainable Balance The challenge to conserve the environment. 243 > environment . has been accepted by Government as a major priority. however. once undisturbed islands are being developed and areas of salt-flats once subject to occasional inundation have been back-filled. As a result. in many areas. Indeed.In the coastal zone. Not only is an ever-larger part of the country’s area affected by human development. with the ultimate objective being to reach a sustainable balance between environmental protection and the needs of development. but the rate of change is such that there is little time for species of flora and fauna to adapt or to move. however. insufficient research has been undertaken on what forms of life are actually present. What is new. with large urban communities being constructed. the demand for new residential communities has meant that land has been reclaimed from the sea.

Any minor changes in climatic conditions could have a seriously damaging effect upon the UAE’s biodiversity. 244 > UAE 2010 .

so as to control the expansion of demand and will look at ways in which renewable energy resources can be used in the production of water. At the same time. for example. one of the most pressing tasks is to conserve the limited supplies of fresh water. during studies leading up to the declaration of the reserve. that is threatened with extinction in the UAE. including groundwater. In Abu Dhabi. the exploitation of underground aquifers. following extensive study by the EWS and the Fujairah Municipality was the declaration of the country’s first mountain reserve. particularly for agriculture. Covering over 220 square kilometres including a large buffer zone. where any future development will be tightly controlled. have continued to work on proactive programmes of scientific research and the preparation and implementation of ever-tougher regulations and guidelines. the Wadi Wurrayah Reserve is home to the endangered Arabian tahr. along with local agencies. a distant relative of the goat. 245 > environment . Among its tasks are the preparation of an inventory of all water resources in the emirate. far exceeds any recharge that may occur as a result of scanty annual rainfall. all-embracing policy on water usage is developed. Another important step. Meeting Challenges In the UAE’s arid climate. a Permanent Committee for Agriculture and Water Resources was established in Abu Dhabi in late 2009. includes several thousand square kilometres of desert as proposed nature reserves. a number of previously unknown invertebrate species were discovered. an endangered marine mammal. and now covers an area of nearly 3000 square kilometres. new areas of natural habitat have been given protection. Nearly 20 per cent of the UAE’s population of dugongs. The reserve is also home to a wide range of other fauna and flora. managed by EAD. Although most fresh water is now provided from seawater. and an assessment of future needs. It will also seek to maximise efficiency of water usage.The federal Ministry of Environment and Water. In order to ensure that a coherent. The Al Gharbia 2030 Plan. live in the area. through desalination and power plants (see chapter on Water and Electricity). of which the most active is the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). has been enlarged to include several more islands. the Yasat Marine Protected Area. responsible for nearly four-fifths of the UAE’s land area. Educational campaigns have been designed with the help of non-governmental organisations such as the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS) to raise public awareness of the need to protect the environment and to reduce consumption of energy and water. and. part of Abu Dhabi’s vision for the future. desalinated water and wastewater.

not simply in terms of its impact on the environment but also because of the effect it has on neighbouring villages. Recent surveys undertaken on behalf of EAD have shown that populations of most of the commercially important species have declined dramatically in recent years. there are encouraging signs that the country continues to be attractive to wildlife. the colony is the largest ever recorded on the Arabian Peninsula. In Dubai. Thirteen crushers were closed for failing to improve their performance. undertook a campaign to enforce higher standards. Although tough legislation has been enacted. In spring 2009. When implemented. but the Government is determined to ensure that the industry is forced to adhere to international standards in terms of pollution. only 63 per cent of the quarries and crushers in Ra’s al-Khaimah were adhering to the new guidelines. implementation has posed a challenge and inspections of fishing operations at sea are to be increased. Despite the pressure on the UAE’s environment from development. the number of fishing trips fell from 7300 in 2004 to 5900 in 2008. Another major concern. and had completed a set of preliminary guidelines by the end of the year. as well as a local approach. fishing boat owners who are too old to go to sea themselves are now able to benefit from a government scheme that pays them a salary related to the number of boats that they own. Satellite tracking has shown that birds from the area migrate as far away as the Caspian Sea. A moratorium on new fishing licences was imposed in Abu Dhabi in 2002 and. the Ministry of Environment and Water. is the country’s quarrying and rock-crushing industry. they are expected to reduce emissions by up to 60 per cent. The Ministry also began evaluation of cement and clinker factories. Containing nearly 2000 nests. working with the environmental authorities in Ra’s al-Khaimah and Fujairah. Whereas in January 2009. . One step that can be taken is to reduce the number of fishing boats. 246 > UAE 2010 Right: Above average rainfall in 2009 helped to fill the underground aquifers that supply water to agricultural areas.000 birds present. partly as a result. and with up to18. a major new breeding colony of greater flamingos was found close to Abu Dhabi’s Musaffah industrial zone. where most quarrying operations are located. underlining the necessity for conservation to adopt an international. A series of tough new regulations were endorsed by the Cabinet in 2008 and during 2009. and was afforded immediate protection. the figure had risen to 97 per cent by August. which can then be taken out of service.Another resource that is being over-exploited is that of the country’s fish stocks. The rock itself is needed for the continuing construction programme. One concern is that too many fish are being caught before they reach the age of maturity.



76 million cubic metres of water were trapped in dams in mountain areas. part of the United Nations Environment Programme. these involve toxic or otherwise harmful phytoplankton and can cause severe mortality among fish stocks. Nature’s Surprises Amidst a year of effort designed to conserve and protect the UAE’s environment. was utterly unexpected. While the UAE usually receives some rainfall in most years. which are being rapidly depleted as a result of rising demand for water. such as the houbara bustard. in 2004. The outbreak lasted for several weeks. which breeds in Central Asia but migrates to the Arabian Gulf. 249 > environment . while December also saw heavy rainfall throughout much of the Emirates. The snow covered an area of around 5 square kilometres to a depth of around 10 centimetres. and organised by EAD in association with Britain’s Department of Food. accompanied by heavy rain in low-lying areas. an estimated 5. although this year’s snowfall. a fall of snow in late January on Jebel Jais in northern Ra’s al-Khaimah. the country’s highest mountain. Correctly known as harmful algal blooms (HABs). again on Jebel Jais. the vagaries of the global climate also affected the country. causing severe disruption to fisheries. Following a conference in late 2008 held in Abu Dhabi. Another. Snow had only fallen once before in the memory of local residents. Africa and Asia. Rural Affairs and Agriculture and the Convention on Migratory Species. was much heavier. the UAE has now been chosen as the headquarters for a new international agreement on the conservation and protection of migratory species of birds of prey throughout Europe. natural event was a major outbreak of ‘red tide’ in the northern emirates of Umm al-Qaiwain and Ra’s al-Khaimah and on the UAE’s east coast during the summer.The United Arab Emirates has worked for many years with other countries on the basis of bilateral agreements to protect particular species. Snow is so unusual in the Emirates that there is no word for it in the local dialect. Left: The fragile arid environment of the UAE poses a challenge to even the most adaptable of flora and fauna. providing a much-welcomed boost to agriculture and also recharging underground aquifers. less welcome. As a result of good rainfall in March.

conferences and exhibitions) fosters economic diversity. boosts development.exhibitions The conference and exhibition sector is a significant contributor to the economy of the UAE and a major strand in the UAE’s strategy for continued development. encourages business relationships and contributes significantly to the image of the country worldwide. In addition to providing a platform for the direct promotion of trade. MICE (meetings. . incentive.

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On completion in early 2011. it is no surprise that the UAE attracts world-class exhibitions and events on a regular basis. the super-luxurious. a shopping mall with restaurants. Capital Centre will also feature Capital Gate. it completed the transformation of its largest exhibition hall. The year 2009 also saw completion of the first phase of the Exhibition Centre marina development in time for the prestigious Abu Dhabi Yacht Show (see below). the UAE. strong economy. When the country’s sophisticated infrastructure. conferences and concerts are staged. Asia and Africa. retail outlets. the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Companyowned ExCeL London.Strategically.000 square metres of live event space. ADNEC continues to upgrade its facilities and in 2009. is uniquely positioned to capitalise on this sector and has built large state-of-the art exhibition and conference facilities with accompanying luxury hotels to cater to the needs of visitors and exhibitors. It stages over 100 live events every year and welcomes over 1. significantly expanding the scope of the live events that ADNEC are capable of staging. ADNEC also benefits from its relationship with its subsidiary. including seven hotels. Capital Centre will house a new business and residential micro-city of 23 towers. at the crossroads of Europe. the 7920-squaremetre multipurpose Hall 12.18 bn) Capital Centre development. Surrounding ADNEC is the Dh8 billion (US$2. Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre In 2009 the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) launched the Advantage Abu Dhabi initiative with a view to promoting its MICE industry. the 2. Recent estimates indicate that 65 per cent of the total exhibition space currently available in the GCC is situated in the UAE. This offers business event organisers funding and non-financial government support to bring their shows to the capital. which it purchased in 2008. the ‘Galleria’.8 million people annually. and cinemas. a 35-storey signature tower. into an indoor auditorium capable of seating up to 5700 spectators. . secure hospitable environment and diverse leisure opportunities are taken into consideration. a fully integrated community project that is considered to be a major strategic element of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision. and its own monorail. seven-star venue where many major conventions. Abu Dhabi’s impressive new high-tech exhibition centre features strongly in this initiative as does the Emirates Palace Hotel. The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC) has 73. ExCel was named as London’s ‘Business Venue of the 252 > UAE 2010 Right: IDEX acts as a gateway for defence manufacturers and suppliers to secure contracts in the region.3 kilometre waterfront Marina Zone.


and focused on some of the important issues facing the industry. regional ministers from throughout the Middle East region. ADNEC’s facilities have facilitated the exponential growth of the exhibition. came from 89 countries. ADIPEC Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC). including those outlined below.000 industry personnel attending the 2008 event. just one of the many major industry awards acquired by ADNEC. The conference programme brought together a host of industry executives and academics. with 1500 exhibiting companies and 37. including the British Prime Minister. Some of the Gulf’s largest and most significant international exhibitions are held at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi. other VIPS and dignitaries.Year’ for the second year running at the Visit London 2009 awards. is a four-day biennial oil and gas exhibition. Key attendees. A number of companies 254 > UAE 2010 .

Environment 2009 The fifth edition of the Environment Exhibition and Conference was held at ADNEC from 19 to 21 January 2009. waste and air quality management solutions. Environment 2009 had an exhibitor profile that included pollution treatment and recycling. featuring 256 exhibitors from 28 countries and showcasing a range of water. risk prevention and management. energy. among other areas. sustainable development. A conference on ‘Sustainable Management for Coastal Zones’ was also held in conjunction with the exhibition. regulation.announced high level deals during the course of the event. audit and consultancy. protection of natural and cultural resources. 255 > exhibitions . and training and education. Organised in conjunction with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). The next ADIPEC will take place from 1 to 4 November 2010.


politicians. In 2011 IDEX will again act as a gateway for manufacturers and suppliers to secure contracts within the region. scientists. protecting and safeguarding many of the traditional values of the Emirates as reflected in the activities that dominated life in the region: horsemanship. ADIHEX Launched in 2003. hunting. the inaugural event of which was held from 19 to 21 January 2009. government and environment sectors showcased the present and future state of alternative energy technologies. was the ninth edition of the Middle East’s biennial premier defence exhibition and conference. finance. hunting. held from 22 to 26 February. art competitions and traditional hunting activities. The summit is a part of a major initiative to bring together the world’s leading experts. including alternative energy. Abu Dhabi takes the lead in addressing global energy concerns by hosting the World Future Energy Summit (WFES). Visitors can purchase the latest camping. the conference explores the future of the energy industry.000 gross square metres. fishing. WFES 2010 was held from 18 to 21 January 2010.Future Energy As the world’s fifth largest oil producer. IDEX Officially supported by the UAE Government and coordinated with the active assistance of the UAE Armed Forces. Total deals signed during the five-day event exceeded Dh18 billion. 257 > exhibitions . the International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) is a fast-growing annual event that has rapidly gained international recognition and widespread popularity. A record-breaking 897 companies from 50 countries and over 150 official delegations from around the world attended the exhibition. WFES 2009 hosted world-renowned speakers including ministers. and venture capitalists in the field of future energy under one umbrella. 12 national country pavilions and 300 leading international exhibitors from energy. in the Middle East. as well as enjoy a Left: The World Future Energy Summit addresses global energy concerns. innovators. IDEX provides a venue for the defence industry to display new technologies and equipment to prospective buyers from the growing defence markets in the Middle East. Asia and Far East. and equestrian equipment. green construction. The show is dedicated to encouraging. In addition. saluki beauty contests. which spread over 108. falconry. IDEX 2009. environmentalists and experts in clean energy. In addition. The show features camel and horse auctions. and the arts and crafts that support and revolve around them. business leaders.

featuring more exhibition space and format changes designed to showcase new models. In 2009. For a full list of exhibitions. ADIHEX is organised by the Emirates Falconers’ Club supported by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the breeding stables of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Power Generation and Water Middle East 2009. conventions and conferences at its venues in 2008. A key focus of the event is the protection of endangered wild falcons. 573 companies from 37 countries participated in the event. the international property investment and development event. Yacht Show Abu Dhabi Yacht Show (ADYS) was launched in 2009 by ADNEC at their new marina facility to meet the needs of the Middle East yachting market. as well as the nations’ mutual love of horses. The show is organised by Informa Yacht Group (IYG) whose portfolio includes running the Monaco Yacht Show and The Super Yacht Cup. International Jewellery and Watch Exhibition Abu Dhabi 2009. amongst others. LNG and LPG Industries.adnec. The inaugural event reported sales totalling US$200 million (Dh735 mn). confirming the growing importance of Abu Dhabi as a leading super and mega-yacht destination. and conferences in 2008. Middle East International Communications Exhibition and Conference. which ran from 30 September to 3 October 2009. Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) and Airport Expo Other Exhibitions at ADNEC Other significant exhibitions include MECOM 2009. driven 258 > UAE 2010 . and establishing ADYS as the place to view many of the world’s most exclusive boats.1 million visitors at exhibitions. Abu Dhabi Medical Congress 2009. was celebrated with the first performance outside Europe of the British Household Cavalry’s Musical Ride./ Dubai World Trade Centre Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) experienced a 10 per cent increase in visitor volumes for exhibitions. welcomed a total of approximately 1. GASTECH 2009. Military links between the UAE and the UK. conferences and events visit http://www. and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. meetings. The second edition will be held from 25 to 27 February 2010. with many leading shows across a range of sectors showing strong growth in the number of exhibitors and visitors.designated heritage area dedicated to the deep-rooted traditions of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. the leading conference and exhibition for the natural gas. Cityscape. The DWTC venues.

The total value of deals signed during the five-day event was in the region of US$14 billion. airport security.000 guests in an air-conditioned. with 14-metre-high ceilings and over 9000 square metres of covered exhibition space. The number of visitors rose fractionally to 551. helicopters. cargo planes. GITEX GITEX Technology Week focuses on the region’s high-growth ICT and telecommunications sector. which also included enthralling aerial displays conducted daily throughout the airshow. the biennial Dubai Airshow is the foremost aerospace event in the Middle East and one of the three largest aerospace exhibitions in the world. concerts and other events for over 10. to travel and technology. More than 3000 companies participated in the 2009 edition of the annual show. DWTC’s success as an organiser is also evident as it successfully stages a range of important exhibitions and events. including spare parts. has the capacity to host conventions.056 visitors in the same period in 2008.823 companies from more than 80 countries exhibited in the 55 exhibitions that were hosted or organised by DWTC during the first half of 2009. The eleventh edition included displays of some of the best in military and commercial aircrafts. DWTC continues to provide enabling infrastructure to support growth in the regional MICE sector. ranging from health care and construction. Year after year. The new Sheikh Saeed Halls at DWTC comprise four inter-connected halls. including the multipurpose Trade Centre Arena. as well as developers from the world’s leading IT companies. highlighting the importance of GITEX. Dubai Airshow Running from 15 to 19 November 2009 at the Dubai Airport Expo. A total of 890 companies from 47 nations participated in the event. and engines. all-weather environment. This Arena. maintenance. Microsoft launched Windows 7 PC in collaboration with HP. 259 > exhibitions . The GITEX Technology Week Global Conference attracted senior executives from some of the Middle East’s business and government organisations. which ran from 18 to 22 October in the new Sheikh Saeed Halls. The number of exhibitors was up more than 7 per cent on the same period in 2008. and record growth in leading shows across a number of sectors that are core for the strategic development of the region. A record number of 21.938 in the first half of the year from 551. a week before the global launch. private executive jets. a constant and reliable revenue source for Dubai’s hotel industry.


DUPHAT International Pharmaceuticals Conference and Exhibition.GETEX The twenty-first edition of GETEX Dubai. Vietnam. For a full list visit www. More than 2000 exhibitors and 5000 delegates attended DICEC for the exhibition. Cambodia. brought together manufacturers and distributors actively seeking local and regional partners to win a share of the annual market in a healthcare sector expected to continue growing at 16 per cent a year. headed a list of top speakers at this year’s forum under the title. which had broken all previous records. Arabian Travel Market A stronger-than-expected exhibitor presence from a global travel and tourism industry beset by economic turmoil was evident at the sixteenth Arabian Travel Market (ATM). which was held at DICEC from 26 to 28 October. Arab Health. Former US Vice-President Gore. Romania and Nigeria as well as representation from the private sector in Ecuador. Dubai International Arabian Horse Championships. ‘A New Beginning’. Middle East International Motor Show. the Middle East’s leading education fair. brought together national tourism bodies representing six continents. 261 > exhibitions . The presence of 2100 exhibitors was a marginal reduction on the 2008 edition. Other Exhibitions at DICEC Nobel Peace Prize Winners Al Gore and Desmond Tutu were the key speakers at Leaders in Dubai Business Forum 2009. which was held at DICEC from 5 to 8 May 2009. This is one of the most important education-oriented exhibitions in the region and an ideal networking platform for international academic institutes and authorities specialising in the field of education and scientific research. as well as the 2009 HRD and Training Conference. took place at DICEC from 15 to 18 April 2009. including new-to-market showings from the Left: The biennial Dubai Airshow is the foremost aerospace event in the Middle East. which ran from 26 January to 29 January 2009. Other important exhibitions held at DICEC include CABSAT. who served under President Clinton for eight years. Arab Health The four-day Arab Health exhibition. GETEX also hosted the 2009 Global Forum on Technology and Innovation in Teaching and Leading. The show. Slovenia and San Marino.dicec. billed as the region’s premier travel and tourism showcase.

ae/ Ra’s al-Khaimah Ra’s al-Khaimah has a 37. The structure of the new exhibition centre is designed to merge with its surroundings.rakexpo. The innovative building will have a superior high-tech finish. 262 > UAE 2010 . Visit http://www. the Sharjah World Book Fair. its calendar includes Services and Recruitment Fair. Rakeen. and Ramadan Festival. Middle East’s largest trade show for the metal working. metal manufacturing and steel fabrication industry.Expo Centre Sharjah Sharjah pioneered the region’s exhibition industry in 1977 when it opened an exhibition complex in the emirate. presenting the Middle East’s largest trade platform for high quality Chinese products and services. For a full list of exhibitions visit http://www. Expo Centre Sharjah was granted membership of UFI. with an investment of Dh183. African and Asian Fair.400-square-metre exhibition complex close to the active business centre of the city. aimed at UAE nationals in the banking and finance sectors. Chinese Commodities Fair. the Middle East’s exclusive trade show for machinery. the Expo Centre Sharjah was inaugurated as the centrepiece of a larger Expo City. Arabic Trading Fair. and Conmex. and supported by the Ra’s al-Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These include Steelfab. the biannual Mideast Watch and Jewellery Spring and Autumn Shows. the global association of the exhibition industry. RAK Book Fair. a longstanding international book fair organised by the emirate’s Department of Culture & Information.expo-centre. In an effort to increase foreign investment into the emirate. Expo Centre Sharjah is bordered by Al Khalid a full list of events. Twenty-five years later. In 2009.000 square metres of floor space managed by Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). using technologically advanced ceramics that have been developed by RAK Ceramics. Formally inaugurated in 1996. maintaining the majestic beauty of the sand dunes.46 billion (US$400 mn) RAK Convention & Exhibition Centre in 2008. making it an attractive option for marine events such as the highly successful Gulf Maritime Exhibition. With 128. Sharjah Education Show. unveiled plans for a Dh1. as well as boost tourism and trade.5 million (US$50 mn). the Expo Centre hosts regular specialised trade fairs. equipment and vehicles used in the construction industry. the National Careers Exhibition. Ra’s alKhaimah investment company.

It is centrally located between both the international airport and Fujairah Trade Centre on one side and the seaport and free zone on the other. the Fujairah International Agricultural Exhibition. a number of internationally important exhibitions have been held at the centre since its establishment.Fujairah The Fujairah Exhibition Centre (FEC) on the east coast covers 1080 square metres of indoor floor for a full list of events.fujairahexhibitioncenter. management offices and service utilities. an outdoor display area. 263 > exhibitions . Industry and Agriculture. Fujairah International Education and Training Exhibition and the Syrian Products Show. Visit http://www. the Motor Show. a specialised crusher and building equipment show. FEC also hosts seasonal fairs for the general public. These include Buildex. exhibition halls. Established by the Fujairah Chamber of Commerce.

Designed by Foster + Partners. one of the world’s leading architectural teams. Better Life’. the precipitous sand-dunes of the UAE’s legendary deserts. helping to recreate the changing patterns and colours of the UAE’s natural and urban environments. but also in the reflective nature of its outer covering. design and construction that is involved in Expo participation. thus gaining maximum value from the extensive planning. The UAE has chosen ‘The Power of Dreams’ as the central thread of its participation in Expo 2010. is ‘Better City. Inspired by one of the country’s most evocative natural landscapes. The exhibitions within the pavilion expand on this unifying concept to show how the UAE has harnessed its dreams of a better life and applied imaginative thinking to lead the twenty-first century urban agenda. to be held in Shanghai from 1 May to 31 October 2010. the UAE’s Expo 2010 pavilion is a triumph of form and function. the largest available to country exhibitors. The general theme of Expo 2010. assisted by innovations in science and technology. Following completion of Expo 2010 it will be dismantled and moved to a more permanent location in the UAE. The building’s strong appeal lies not just in its unusual organic form. blending nature and architecture to create a fascinating structure that commands attention and reinforces the Expo 2010 theme. social and contemporary contexts focuses on how economic prosperity.Expo 2010 The UAE is participating at the 2010 World Exposition (Expo 2010). Exploration of the theme in the historical. 264 > UAE 2010 . a theme that resonates with the UAE’s development history. with a pavilion on a 6000-square-metre plot. the building will be a truly recyclable pavilion. at which over 200 countries and institutions are exhibiting.

and this section will show the true wealth of the country. visitors are presented with displays that provide information about the pavilion itself and about the exhibits. as they follow two young people with magical powers. 265 > exhibitions . community and connectivity. visitors enter a specially created urban ‘environment’ where they ‘meet’ Emiratis and learn about their diverse lives. The five sub-themes of Expo 2010 are addressed and reflected throughout the exhibition. visitors enter into the spacious volume of the large ‘dune’ and here they are taken on a virtual journey through the UAE. Secondly. used to say that wealth is measured in people. The founding father of the UAE. culture and diversity. The exhibition is in five stages. Next. not money or buildings. concepts that are central to UAE aspirations for better city-living. Sheikh Zayed. There is no better way to gain a bird’s eye overview of the incredible places and experiences that the country offers. Firstly.transformed the UAE from a rural society to thriving urbanised communities where over 200 diverse cultures live and work in harmony. The country’s participation at Expo 2010 is being coordinated by the National Media Council. twin theatres present a six-minute widescreen film entitled ‘In the Blink of an Eye’ that focuses on the extreme contrasts between the UAE in 1971 (at its formation) and today when standards of living and urban environments are among the best in the world. in the queue line. Finally visitors pass through an ‘Information Area’ inside the pavilion and a ‘Cultural Garden’ in its grounds. with particular focus on key concepts such as growth and sustainability. After coming face to face with Emiratis in a six-minute experience.

excellent weather conditions and a secure friendly environment. . Combined with a central geographical position.sports High-profile sporting events are now synonomous with the UAE where sporting venues are among the best in the world. the UAE has proven to be the ideal location for sporting extravaganzas. superb hotels.

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was an apt expression of that passion. in overtime against Argentinians Estudiantes de la Plata. golf. The pride that was engendered by the UAE’s hosting of the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup in December. watersports and just about anything to do with cars and horses.But the country is more than a sporting spectators’ paradise: participatory sports are popular throughout the country. As expected. put up an impressive show at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Egypt. Sports sponsorship is also a major focus of UAE companies and organisations and has proven to be extremely successful in heightening international awareness of the country. with the opportunity to watch sporting idols such as Lionel Messi. The year brought mixed results for the senior national team as they were unable to repeat their 2007 Gulf Cup success and failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. with a special emphasis on football. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A four-nation friendly tournament followed in Al Ain and the UAE extended their winning streak to four. The former Slovenia international got off to a good start as his first two games brought a 1–1 draw against Palestine and a 3–1 win over Jordan in friendly matches. bringing to home grounds the glamorous stars of international football. where they reached the quarterfinals before losing 1–2 to Costa Rica following an injury-time goal. champions of Asia. 2–1. tennis. The UAE will also host the 2010 Club World Cup in December 2010. getting the better of a young Czech Republic side in a penalty shootout 4–3 before ceding 1–0 to Iraq in the final. in the 268 > UAE 2010 . Juan Sebastian Veron and Xavi battle it out for their clubs on home soil. Katanec’s side also went on to surprise English Premier League club Manchester City 1–0 at Zayed Sports City Stadium. The youth team. with Hamdan Al Kamali scoring the only goal from a spot kick. firmly entrenched in the collective conscience. The nation celebrated the arrival of world-class club football at Zayed Sports City Stadium. But their fortunes took an upswing after a change of coach with Srecko Katanec replacing Dominique Bathenay at the end of the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. Spanish club FC Barcelona won the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup. Football Football is immensely popular in the UAE. Messi scoring the winning goal and earning himself the Golden Ball award.

High-profile sporting events are now synonymous with the UAE where sporting venues are among the best in the world. .

The Grand Prix.5 kilometres and contains 21 corner twists. both for Al Ain. Further good news comes from the capital. Motor Sports Motor sports and cars in general engender as much passion as football in the hearts of Emiratis. On the domestic front. the world champion. . snaking through grandstands that can accommodate over 50. rally-driving has been an extremely popular sport here for many years. The venue is set to raise the bar for future local and international events and it will also be the home of the national team and a venue for major events. was won by the German Sebastian Vettel driving for Red Bull Racing-Renault alongside his Australian team-mate Mark Webber. The Brazilian joined his former Real Betis and compatriot Rafael Sobis at the Abu Dhabi club. joined them on the podium. The national junior team also reached the quarter finals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria before being knocked out by Turkey on 4 seconds of extra-time. Unfortunately the UAE’s beach soccer team. and Al Shabab’s new signing Carlos Villanueva. winners of the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Beach Soccer Championship games of 2007 and 2008.H. The Briton Jenson Button. spearheaded by UAE citizen Mohammed bin Sulayem who has made the 270 > UAE 2010 Right: Formula One celebrations on the podium at Yas Island Circuit. The first Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the seventeenth and last race of the season was held with much fanfare over the weekend of 30 October to 1 November 2009. Built on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and designed by Hermann Tilke. Although Formula One is a newcomer to the UAE motorsports scene. were unable to emulate their previous successes and failed to progress beyond the group stages of the 2009 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai. the first day-night race. The other high-profile newcomers include Argentina’s Jose Sand and Marcio Emerson of Brazil. Abu Dhabi. the Yas Marina Circuit stretches 5.000-seat stadium with a moving roof is being constructed. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan gave Dh50 million to the UAE Football Association to upgrade facilities at amateur football clubs.000 cheering spectators. the second season of the Pro League attracted even bigger stars with the former AC Milan and Real Betis forward Ricardo Oliveira moving to Al Jazira for a record €15 million. where a 65. The UAE can now boast one of the best venues in the Formula One circuit. The sport received a boost when President H.



BP Ford Abu Dhabi’s second driver Jari-Matti Latvala finished seventh. Mohammed bin Sulayem has 14 Middle East Championship titles to his credit. with the final phase culminating within the dense forests of the Welsh countryside. Tennis Briton Andy Murray claimed the title in an electrifying two-hour 45 minutes final against world number one Rafael Nadal in the inaugural Capitala World Tennis Championship staged in Abu Dhabi in January 2009. the tournament saw six of the world’s top-ranked players vying for the prize of US$250. The UAE Desert Challenge. In the international motorsport arena. A new international motorsports fixture – Rally Abu Dhabi – will debut in the emirate in 2010 as a World Rally Championship (WRC) event with the aim of becoming an official WRC event in 2011. entered a new era in March 2009 when it was renamed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the five-day motor sport spectacular being staged in its entirety across Abu Dhabi emirate under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). subject to the inaugural rally’s success.000 in a winner-takes-all scenario before a crowd of 5000 at Zayed Sports City Stadium. Left: Andy Murray winning the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. Held over three days.transition from competitor to administrator in recent years. ATCUAE is retaining its role as event organiser. the Desert Challenge is now the season-opening round. 273 > sports . has been staged in Dubai in December since the mid 1980s. Also representing the UAE was Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi. President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) and Vice President of the FIA. who ascended 34 places in the event’s last two days to finish twentieth overall. The success of the 2009 event has established the capital city as host of one of 2010’s most anticipated events on the tennis calendar. as well as a worldwide television audience. The BP Ford Abu Dhabi’s Mikko Hirvonen finished second behind the six-time world champion Sebastien Loeb of Citroen. The Dubai International Rally. Originally the last round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship. and a round that decides the champion for the year. one of the world’s most prestigious international cross-country rallies. the final round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship. the 2009 FIA World Rally Championship saw ADTA-sponsored Team Abu Dhabi perform to the best of their abilities throughout each of the fifteen stages of the race.

including the creation of national junior training centres in each of the seven emirates. along with more grassroots schemes for young players. replacing the system started in 2007. Novak Djokovic triumphed over David Ferrer to clinch the title in the men’s singles while the American Venus Williams defeated Virginie Razzano in the women’s event. the local tennis scene is undergoing a major overhaul under the auspices of Tennis Emirates. These strategies have been developed in consultation with the National Olympic 274 > UAE 2010 . the body responsible for promoting local players. This includes the affiliation of all tennis academies in the country with Tennis Emirates in order to standardise training methods. The staging of major international sporting events not only brings visitors to the country. The scheduled season has also undergone changes and will now run from October to September. A ranking system will be introduced.The 2009 Dubai World Tennis Championships also witnessed some of the most exciting matches of the season. it also serves to stimulate local sporting enthusiasts and inspire them to greater efforts. In this context. The International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) ‘Play and Stay’ scheme will be employed to encourage new players into the sport as well.

Golf The UAE is home to some incredible golf courses and this list is growing with the inauguration in 2009 of the Greg Norman-designed Earth Course in Dubai and the completion of the Saadiyat course. Other popular golfing venues include Abu Dhabi Golf Club. 275 > sports . the home of the Madrid Masters.Committee in order to produce players capable of competing in international events such as the Olympic Games and the Davis Cup. Many of these world-class golf courses host major golfing events. designed by Gary Player. producers of some of the world’s top seeded players. the UAE narrowly missed out on a Group Three entry of the Asia/ Oceania Zone of the Davis Cup in Dhaka. the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. the Emirates Golf Club and the Jebel Ali Golf Resort. Tennis Emirates has also entered into a cooperation agreement with the Spanish Tennis Federation. In recent times. also dubbed the ‘Magic Box’. The team included 16-year-old Rashed Al Falasi who was part of the winning doubles team. Bangladesh. in Abu Dhabi. The UAE national team players will now be able to practice at the Madrid Tennis Federation’s (MTF) headquarters.

Both players were selected by the Emirates Golf Federation to participate in the Uniqa FinanceLife Open as part of the Golf Club Gut Murstatten at Lebring in Austria. triumphed.5 million European Tour event at the Emirates Golf Club. in 2007 and 2009. Khalid had previously competed twice in the Desert Classic. Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia.In December 2009 Lee Westwood from England won the inaugural Dubai World Championship at the spectacular new Earth Course in Jumeirah. Bahrain. held in February. which officially opened the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Another new event on the UAE golfing calendar was the Saadiyat Beach Classic. Twelve teenagers took part in 2009. The American Chris DiMarco was the first to have his name etched on the iconic Falcon Trophy in Abu Dhabi in 2006.2 million for selected children’s charities. Khalid Yousuf and Ahmad Al Musharrekh. Ahmad also won the individual championship with a gross 216 in the same competition. The capital city was also the venue for the Abu Dhabi Junior Championship in which 18-year-old Joele Neale. winner of the last two order of merit titles. They had also played key parts in the previous GCC Golf Championship where they guided the UAE team to second place behind the winners. So far. including one from the UAE. Known as the ‘crown jewel’ of the European Tour’s three-stop ‘Desert Swing’. along with top ten-ranked Paul Casey. The championship kicked off the 2010 European Tour and is another popular event in the ‘Desert Swing’. Westwood and Mcllroy. with Germanys Martin Kaymer making it a double also in 2008 and 2010. competed in the fifth Abu Dhabi Championship in January 2010 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. the UAE has produced two golfers. a celebrity Pro-Am. who compete on the international circuit. This marked a major comeback for Westwood. three days after the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. The event replaced the European Tour Order of Merit. The 2009 edition of the Dubai Desert Classic. who finished ahead of compatriot Ross McGowan and 19-year-old Rory McIlroy of Ireland. 276 > UAE 2010 . raising over Dh1. the tournament was won by Rory Mcllroy. The Dubai World Championship was the final round in the season-long ‘Race to Dubai’ in which the top 60 tour players competed for a staggering US$10 million prize fund to be shared among the first 15 players. with a course record of 66 and a personal best of 23 underpar for 72 holes. marked the twentieth anniversary of the US$2. Casey won it twice.

tragedy struck on 11 December with the deaths of European Champions Mohammad Al Mehairi from the UAE and Jean-Marc Sanchez of France. The traditional dhow-racing season begins in October with the first heat for the 22-foot class at the DIMC. However. Victory entered the last leg of the championships in Dubai in December 2009 as defending Class 1 World.Watersports Emiratis are at home on the water. Middle East and Edox Pole Position Champions. Ajman and Umm Al-Qaiwain provide superb facilities. International teams. with the Dubai Muscat Offshore Sailing Race taking place in November. in May. a watersports event that is far from traditional. Dubai will host the prestigious Louis Vuitton Trophy series in 2010. Local knowledge has also been put to good use in powerboat racing. In fact. Fujairah International Marine Club and similar clubs in Sharjah. having sustained the country in one form or another for millennia. imparting maritime skills and providing competitive experience for local youngsters. sailing. a younger generation of sailors call upon their knowledge of local winds and tides as they set off from near the island of Sir Bu Nu’air in a modern-day re-run of the pearling fleet’s race home. following a racing accident during race one of the Dubai Grand Prix. including America’s Cup challengers. Dubai International Marine Club. enabling enthusiasts to indulge in their favourite pastime throughout the year. Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Here Emiratis have excelled on the world stage. Middle East and Edox Pole Position Champions. the warm and usually calm blue waters of the Gulf provide great scope for a range of watersports and Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club. Keeping the age-old tradition of seamanship alive. Races are held throughout the season for all classes culminating. Not surprisingly. The clubs also run races for all classes of dinghies and yachts. Organisations such as Emirates Heritage Club in Abu Dhabi bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary sailing. the Dubai-based Victory team being the most successful in the history of the UIM and WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championships. and the newly crowned 2009 European Champions. The season ended on a sombre note with Victory team’s Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir bin Hendi driving Fazza 3 as Class 1 World. Victory 1’s Mohammad Al Mehairi and Jean- 277 > sports . and boating in general. in the Sir Bu Nu’air dhow race. frequently train in the ideal local conditions and international competitions are often held in the UAE.


However. It was al Qamzi’s best finish in the championship. especially a fondness for the classical Purebred Arabian horses that were stalwart companions for centuries. much of the spotlight was focused on the victories of Emirati apprentice jockey Ahmed Ajtebi on Gladiatorus in the Left: The traditional dhow-racing season culminates in a sprint from Sir Bu Nu’air. but he and Al Qamzi went on to win the team championship. leaving Al Qamzi ten points behind in second and Selio in third. thus raising the total amount to US$26. This passion is expressed in many forms. to be followed by ten Dubai International Racing Carnival fixtures including the fifteenth anniversary of the Dubai World Cup to be held on 27 March 2010. with Kolbjorn Selmer and Jorn Tandberg in Welmax taking third place. and polo.Marc Sanchez were runners-up to their team-mates. to the new Meydan Racecourse. Racing also returned to the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club for the first time since the 2007–2008 season. Jebel Ali hosted the opening meeting for the first time since the 2002–2003 season and saw fixtures increased to 14 for 2009–2010. The brand new Meydan’s opening fixture was scheduled for 28 January 2010. In 2009. The world title went to the Italian Guido Cappellini. amassing 227 points from their closest challengers Cappellini’s Zepter (168) and Team Azerbaijan (155). the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club commenced its programme of 17 scheduled fixtures on 8 November 2009. a re-enactment of the race for home by the old pearling fleets. the centre of racing since 1992. The prize money for this prestigious event has been increased from US$6 million to US$10 million. showjumping. 279 > sports . surpassing his third-place in 2006 and 2007. In 2009 the Eoin Harty-trained gelding Well Armed won the fourteenth Dubai World Cup.5 million for eight races. Team Abu Dhabi driver Thani Al Qamzi narrowly missed out on a maiden UIM World Formula 1 Championship title after finishing second behind Sami Selio of Finland in the final race in Sharjah in December 2009. Equestrian Sports A love of horses runs in the blood of most Emiratis. due to the transition of racing from Nad al-Sheba. who finished third in the race and hence amassed enough points to take his record haul to ten world titles. including horse-racing. Al Qamzi’s team-mate Ahmad al Hameli finished seventh overall because his boat flipped over soon after the start. endurance racing. which was established in 1996. All equestrian and racing activities are supervised by the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF). Meanwhile.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. emerged the winner of the fourth and final race of the Festival.H. owned by President H. organised in major European cities by the EEF. The President of the UAE Championship series for Purebred Arabians. Another strong contender was Rahef. Ajtebi also went on to win the Group 1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Dirt on the Godolphin horse Vale Of York in the US and became the first Arab to compete in the international jockey’s championship in Mauritius. 280 > UAE 2010 .Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. UAE Deputy Prime Minister. The UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation has also built up a very strong infrastructure to support endurance racing. was a particularly successful milestone in the UAE’s bid to promote Purebred Arabian racing and the culture and heritage of the UAE around the world. the festival is a series of races for four-year-old Purebred Arabian horses.H.US$5 million Dubai Duty Free and Eastern Anthem in the US$5 million Dubai Sheema Classic. the third round of the UAE President Cup (Group 1). including the US. Organised in association with the newly named Al Wathba Stud Farm. The Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Flat Racing Festival will kick-off in January 2010 to be held in racing centres around the world. the international racing operation of H. owned by Sheikh Mansour. There are three self-sufficient modern endurance centres or villages in the country at which the carefully monitored and controlled races are run. The debut of Purebred Arabian horse-racing. was first staged in 1994 with the support of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This marked the first time an apprentice as well as the first time that an all-Emirati operation. Among the sport’s strongest supporters are many members from the royal families of the Emirates. Netherlands and Germany. In 2009 Seraphin Du Paon. won races at the Dubai World Cup meeting. at England’s historic Ascot racecourse on 25 July 2009. The two victories earned Ajtebi a place in the Godolphin team.H. Minister of Presidential Affairs. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. owned by H. Purebred Arabian horses are at the core of the UAE’s culture and heritage and Abu Dhabi has taken a leading role in providing support for the breed at home and abroad. France. in which the courage and stamina of Purebred Arabians ensure that they are particularly successful. including the trainer Mubarak bin Shafya and the owners Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and the Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum respectively. several of whom regularly take part in endurance competitions alongside large numbers of UAE nationals and resident foreign riders and visiting riders from abroad.


Minister of Higher Education. The Abu Dhabi Cricket Club became an Associate Club partner of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in England in 2009 enabling aspiring cricketers in the UAE to train under the same expertise that has produced renowned players such as Denis Compton. As per Olympic rules. Sir Ian Botham and Mark Waugh. In late 2002. a handful of English counties have started to compete for the Pro-Arch trophy in pre-season warm-ups in Abu Dhabi and other emirates and the three-year partnership between Abu Dhabi 282 > UAE 2010 . in addition to introducing the game to Emiratis. For the past three years. the UAE hosted the Endurance World Championship which attracted a record 162 competitors. youngsters eagerly anticipate the opening of the ICC’s Global Cricket Academy at Dubai Sports City. Recent developments will ensure that Emirati cricketers have the opportunity to train with the best.H. Preparations are under way to send the first all-Emirati cricket team to Guangzhou. Cricket Cricket administration in the country underwent re-structuring in 2009 with the appointment of a new board under the chairmanship of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. Showjumping also features strongly in equestrian activities and Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum won the Emirates Show Jumping Championship at the Ghantoot Polo and Racing Club in 2009. China to compete in the Twenty20 event at the 2010 Asian Games. The first World’s Preferred Endurance Ride was held in 1999 in the UAE and the event is now an annual feature under a new title: the FEI/UAE World Cup Endurance. The Al Wathba Endurance Village in Abu Dhabi was refurbished and H. In Dubai. This focus on excellence paid off when UAE rider Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum became the youngest endurance rider in history and also the first man to win the coveted FEI World Cup Endurance Championship at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Spain.In 1998. meaning the vast majority of the expatriate-dominated national team will be ineligible to play. only passport holders are permitted to represent the country in the Asiad. The goals of the new regime include establishing cricket at the grassroots. The President’s Cup (160 kilometres) and the National Day Cup (120 kilometres) rides are annual important events here. promoting women’s cricket and unifying governance across all regional cricket councils.

In 2009. playing under the name Abu Dhabi Harlequins. The three-day rugby showcase was held at the Emirates purpose-built facility ‘The Sevens’ and attended by more than 40. kicking off the eight-tournament IRB Sevens World Series 2009–2010 that ends in Scotland in May. which was played on a sand pitch in Al Awir. have also increased its popularity. 283 > sports . to Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi in April 2010. On 5 December 2009 New Zealand clinched the Emirates International Trophy for the second time in three years with a 24–12 win over Samoa in the final of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens. The four-day match against Durham at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is part of an MCC drive to generate new cricket fans. angling to parachuting. This was a far cry from the first tournament. Pakistan also played a three-match ODI series with the West Indies in Abu Dhabi. Suffice to say. Zayed Stadium and Dubai Sports City co-hosted Pakistan’s ‘home series’ with Australia and New Zealand. that if it can be done it is being done in the UAE. in 1969. with a further 750 million watching on television around the world.and Marylebone also enables the MCC to use Abu Dhabi’s stadium and academy during the English offseason as well as to promote the game further in the region. which has become a significant international event over the years. slightly down on the previous year. Other Sports Space does not permit a comprehensive review of all the competitive sports that take place in the UAE. The announcement of the new association coincided with the visit of the MCC World Cricket Committee to the ICC headquarters in Dubai. The local clubs have become increasingly more professional in their approach to the game and Abu Dhabi’s Club.000 people. from ice hockey to jet-skiing. and watched by no more than 250 people. a founding member of the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union. is partnered with London’s Harlequins. Plans are also in place to relocate the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season. the match between the champion county and MCC. Rugby The expatriate community brought their love of rugby with them to the UAE and the sport is now played in a number of clubs throughout the Emirates. Major tournaments such as the Dubai Rugby Sevens.

providing a unique historical record of development in a fast-moving country that straddles East and West. revealing a country and people as never before The UAE Yearbook 2010 DVD-rom is available in will take the reader to updates on a wide range of Yearbook topics. Daily news reports on the UAE.Books. a comprehensive information source on developments that occurred in the United Arab Emirates over the past 12 months.uaeyearbook. These are in fully searchable format.uaeinteract. is a fully interactive presentation on DVD-Rom. films and online resources This year. a searchable news database. an invaluable record of life in the UAE Search the UAE Yearbook library from 2000 to 2010 Access updates on Yearbook topics on www.uaeinteract. Windows & Mac OS ISBN 978-1-905486-59-5 9 781905 486595 . Spanish. The UAE Yearbook 2010 is published by Trident Press Ltd on behalf of the UAE National Media Council. German and Enjoy three high-quality films on the UAE. French. the 2010 Yearbook. Arabic. www. and further information on the country are also available on www. The DVD also contains a library of all the UAE Yearbooks published since 2000. In addition a dedicated website. Features • • • • • Peruse UAE Yearbook Link to the largest website dedicated to the UAE. both geographically and culturally.

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