Economic Openness of the UAE

  • 3 February 2014

Since its establishment in early 1970s by the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul), the UAE has understood that openness to the outside world and greater integration with the global economy as pre-requisites to any development plan that meets international standards in various fields. The UAE is of the firm belief that openness to the outside world is a must for nations aspiring to play an influential role in global economy.

The UAE’s wise leadership under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God bless him) is a staunch believer in these principles which serve as a launching pad for setting up a network of economic relations with the outside world. This was highlighted by H.E. Sultan Said Al Mansouri, Minister of the Economy,who during his meeting with a German delegation recently, pointed out that “the UAE’s wise leadership believes that its economic open-door policy will boost the country’s international standing and realizes that strong relations with all countries should be part of its development plans and strategies. It is also essential to benefit from the experience of advanced nations and adapt them to serve the national economy and boost competitiveness.”

While self sufficiency in raw materials, production inputs and energy sources is a prerequisite to national security and an important factor in sustainable development, it should be noted that total self-sufficiency is impossible for any nation, regardless of its economic strength. Moreover, such self-sufficiency would be economically unfeasible. Therefore, openness to the world is not a matter of choice. In addition, there are nations which are blessed with exceptional resources for whom openness to the outside world offers an opportunity to play an influential role on the international economic stage. Thus, financial and economic resources, ambitions and outlook toward using these resources help in achieving this end.

The UAE is one such example. It has managed over the past few decades to build an excellent economy, mature and competent enough to compete in global markets. The UAE economy has become a major economic hub in the region and a catalyst to global economic growth through its activities related to finance, banking, tourism and real estate activities, or by serving as trade and financial hub on the global economic map.