The UAE Today – Aired March 2010
Al-Salaam Alaykum. Welcome to the United Arab Emirates.
At first sight, the UAE seems like a contradictory destination, an Islamic state where traditional Arab lifestyles continue alongside a very frantic version of Western consumerism. But it is this balance that is the secret to its success. It is also a very safe destination in the Middle East. This nation is leading the way for the future of Arabia.
One of the most highly industrialized economies in the world, the United Arab Emirates lies in the heart of the Arabian Gulf, and shares land borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. It is a federation of seven neighboring emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwan, Ras al-Khaimah, and Fujairah.
The leadership of the United Arab Emirates is both hereditary and federal. The presidency and premiership follows the hereditary line of the Al Nahyan clan in Abu Dhabi, and the Al Maktoum clan in Dubai.
The UAE has the world’s third-largest reserves of oil, with Abu Dhabi alone having 9% of the global supply. Not surprisingly, this braces the national economy, and is the leading contributor to the GDP. It is said that at current levels of production, oil reserves will last for only another century and the UAE is looking at diversifying its industries. And while they have not been spared by the current global economic crisis, both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have become models to the world of sound, sustainable growth.
Through its development of healthy tourism, trade, manufacturing, construction and energy sectors, the United Arab Emirates has become the most modern nation in the Middle East. But today is a very challenging time for the UAE, as it is in the rest of the world, and more than ever, both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are working hand in hand to adapt to a challenging global economy.
The UAE attracts people from more than 200 nationalities, drawn to the nation’s promises of security and balanced living.
Glitzy and over the top, Dubai lives for attention. On the surface it is materialistic and only functions to treat every guest like a VIP, but this is the whole idea. One only needs to see the hotels in Dubai to know why tourists from all over the world are willing to pay a premium. Dubai’s hotels are not cheap, but you do get a lot of value. More than places to rest your head, they are exercises in luxury and relaxation, and are destinations in themselves.
Tourism in Dubai has slowed down due to the current economic crisis, but hotels are still seeing good business even amidst serious competition.
The United Arab Emirates is a rapidly diversifying society that has successfully integrated its core values and heritage into its ambitious economic agenda. Whether you are coming for business or tourism, the UAE welcomes the world.