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Ten interesting facts about the UAE’s economy

Ten interesting facts about the UAE’s economy

Did you know that there are 51 banks in the UAE, with more than 30,000 employees?

August 26, 2008 12:05 by

1. Economic growth in the UAE rose 7.4 percent last year from the year before according to the Ministry of Economy. The country recorded 11.1 percent inflation in 2007, and rental costs contributed nearly 18 percent of that figure.

2. Businesses in the Gulf raised around $16bn from share issues in the past year. That’s the same amount that Qatar Airways agreed to pay when it signed a deal to buy 80 A350 jets from Airbus last year.

3. According to a recent market study, the UAE mortgage market is set to grow from around $5.4bn by the end of this year to around $17.4bn by the end of 2011.

4. The central bank says that home loans in the UAE jumped 55 percent in the year to March. Reports say that Dubai currently has active construction projects valued at almost $300bn.

5. The UAE’s net oil export earnings climbed to $56bn in 2007 from $53.22bn in 2006. According to International Monetary Fund estimates, the country’s oil reserves could last at least 100 years at present output levels and fetch the country a net wealth of $1.6 trillion — the total amount that the Congress Committee estimates the US will spend on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

6. According to Arab Monetary Fund figures, the UAE bourses were the biggest losers in August, with Abu Dhabi capitalization diving by around $12bn from July. Meanwhile, Dubai’s bourse plunged nearly $9bn from the previous month.

7. The country is expected to have invested around $62bn to construct around 30 entertainment resorts and theme parks in UAE by 2012.

8. Currently, there are 23 local banks with 627 branches throughout the UAE, and 28 foreign banks with 141 branches. As of March this year, the total number of bank employees (excluding auxiliary staff), is 33, 445.

9. The British Bank of the Middle East was the first bank to be set up in the country. It started in 1946 – well before the UAE was even founded – in Dubai and later opened a branch in Abu Dhabi.

10. Sheikh Khalifa, the president of the UAE, has been ranked the second richest royal in the world by Forbes magazine, with a fortune of approximately $24bn. Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed came fifth in the list, with an estimated $18bn.

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