UK-UAE Economic Overview

Both the United Kingdom and the UAE are considered leading economic powers in the global scene. According to the most recent World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index report, the UAE’s economy has now become the best rated in the Arab World and is also the world’s 12th most competitive. The report also provides interesting insights into the current economic climate in the UAE, as it shows that the local economy now rubs shoulders with well-established European powers, such as Denmark and Norway. Moreover, the data suggests that should economic growth continue to rise at this pace, the UAE’s economy will be soon able to catch up with countries like Sweden or the United Kingdom. The Emirates have undergone a very rapid recovery following the period of decline experienced during the global financial crisis. Between 2007 and 2009, the UAE’s economy dropped to the 37th position in the Global Competitiveness Index, a fact that makes their recovery all the more significant.

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Future opportunities for collaboration

The future looks bright and full of opportunities for strengthening the economic ties between both countries. For instance, the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan has set out to diversify the local economy beyond its current reliance on the profits derived from oil and gas exploitation, focussing instead on the research and development of new technologies. This is where the UK industry sector comes into play.

In September 2014 the president of the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research announced that this institution was planning a series of joint ventures with 26 British companies. This would serve to bring together the expertise of UK leading firms and the potential of the UAE’s brightest graduates, who are set to work in high-value industry areas in the UK, which include aerospace, defence, biomedical, and engineering.

Likewise, talks have already taken place to explore the possibility of joint collaboration in the security industry. In January 2014, members of the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation met with UAE officials to discuss how the British security industry could help the UAE prepare for the Expo 2020 by providing security equipment and police training. It is expected that more than 100 British companies will have the opportunity to take part in this exchange.

What does all this mean to you? There are multiple opportunities for growth and development arising from the close economic ties between the UK and the UAE. A Master in Accounting and Finance can improve your future prospects and help you successfully navigate the current economic climate. Gaining a qualification in this area can improve your own marketability in an  increasingly competitive job market, where only the best qualified individuals have a chance to get ahead. There has never been a better time to invest in your future with a postgraduate qualification.

A brief overview of UK-UAE economic relations

Although both countries are economic powerhouses in their own right, it is useful to look at their common economic ties. The UK and the UAE have a solid history of prosperous bilateral relations, whose origins can be traced back to 1971. According to the UAE’s embassy in London, there are more than 100,000 UK citizens living and working in the UAE, and Emirati tourists and visitors contribute significantly to the British tourist sector. Every year, the UK exports goods to the UAE for the value of £3.2 billion, and conversely, the UAE exports over £1 billion worth of goods to the UK. In fact, the UAE is among the UK’s top 15 largest export markets.

The potential of bilateral economic relations was further enhanced by the 2009 UK-UAE Joint Economic Committee, in which both countries agreed to increase mutual trade links by 60 per cent in just six years. This target was surpassed in 2013, two years ahead of time. In addition, several Memorandums of Understanding have been signed since 2008 to guarantee collaboration in the strategic renewable energies sector.

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