United Arab Emirates Country Risk Report

Published 23 June 2015 | Quarterly

  • 54 pages
  • Instant access to your report online and PDF format through your account library
  • Includes 3 free updated quarterly reports
United Arab Emirates Country Risk Report

Core Views

  • We expect relatively solid growth over the coming quarters, with real GDP forecast to expand 4.0% and 3.8% in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

  • We expect Dubai to outperform Abu Dhabi, with the former benefitting from increased activity in the trade and tourism sectors, in addition to our expectation that the all-important real estate industry is now set for sustained growth.

  • Credit growth to the private sector will remain relatively slow through 2015 as commercial banks continue to increase provisioning against potential loan losses due to the debt funding cliff.

Major Forecast Changes

  • On the back of weaker oil prices, we have lowered our forecast for the UAE's fiscal surplus from 3.5% to -4.9% in 2015.

Key Risks To Outlook

  • Any attack by Islamist militants would result in a fundamental reappraisal of both the UAE's, and the wider region, risk profile.

  • A further uptick in tensions between the West and Iran could result in a deterioration in the UAE's sovereign risk profile given the close proximity and deep trade ties between the two countries.

Macroeconomic Forecasts (United Arab Emirates 2013-2016)
Indicator 2013 2014e 2015f 2016f
National Sources/BMI
Real GDP growth, % y-o-y 5.2 3.9 4.0 3.8
Nominal GDP, USDbn 402.3 412.2 380.9 410.1
Consumer price inflation, % y-o-y, eop 1.5 3.7 4.0 3.5
Exchange rate AED/USD, eop 3.67 3.67 3.67 3.67
Budget balance, % of GDP 6.7 4.2 -5.5 -4.1
Current account balance, % of GDP 16.1 15.1 4.9 8.8
Executive Summary
Core Views
Major Forecast Changes
Key Risks To Outlook
Chapter 1: Political Outlook
SWOT Analysis
BMI Political Risk Index
Domestic Politics
The End Of Soft Diplomacy
TABLE: Political Over vie w
Long-Term Political Outlook
Three Challenges For The Coming Decade
Chapter 2: Economic Outlook
SWOT Analysis
BMI Economic Risk Index
Economic Activity
Robust Growth Outlook Amid Lower Oil Prices
TABLE: Eco nomic Acti vity
TABLE: GDP By Expe nditure
Dubai Economic Activity
Infrastructure And Tourism To Drive Outperformance
TABLE: Dubai - GDP Forecast
Abu Dhabi Economic Activity
Non-Oil Sectors To Drive Growth
TABLE: Abu Dhabi - Major Infrastructure Pro jects
TABLE: Abu Dhabi - GDP Forecast
Fiscal Policy
Falling Into First Deficit For Five Years
TABLE: Mai n Sovereig n Wealt h Funds
TABLE: Fiscal Policy
Chapter 3: 10-Year Forecast
The UAE Economy To 2024
Greater Caution, Slower Growth
TABLE: Long-Term Macroeco nomic Forecasts
Chapter 4: Operational Risk
SWOT Analysis
Operational Risk Index
Operational Risk
tABLE: UAE Operatio nal Ris k
Availability Of Labour
TABLE: MENA - Availability Of Labour Ris k
TABLE: Employme nt by Sector
TABLE: Top Ten Origi n Cou ntries of Immigra nt Labour (-000)
Crime Risk
TABLE: MENA - Crime Ris k
TABLE: Crime Statistics , 2005-2006
Chapter 5: Key Sectors
TABLE: Autos Total Mar ket - Historical Data And Forecasts
Food & Drink
TABLE: Food Consumptio n Indicators - Historical Data & Forecasts
Other Key Sectors
Table : Oil and Gas Sector Key Indicators
Table : Infrastructure Sector Key Indicators
Table : Pharma Sector Key Indicators
Table : Defe nce and Security Sector Key Indicators
Table : Telecoms Sector Key Indicators
Table : Freig ht Key Indicators
Chapter 6: BMI Global Macro Outlook
Global Outlook
Deflationary Pressure
Table : Global Assumptions
Table : Developed States , Real GDP Growt , %
Table : Emerging Markets , Real GDP Growth, %

The United Arab Emirates Country Risk Report helps businesses with market assessment, strategic planning and decision making to promote growth and profitability in the United Arab Emirates and is an essential tool for CEOs, Chairmen, Finance Directors/CFOs, Managing Directors, Marketing/Sales Directors with commercial interests in this emerging market..

An influential new analysis of the United Arab Emirates' economic, political and financial prospects through end-2017, just published by award-winning forecasters, Business Monitor International (BMI).

Key Uses

  • Forecast the pace and stability of the United Arab Emirates' economic and industry growth through end-2017.
  • Identify and evaluate adverse political and economic trends, to facilitate risk mitigation.
  • Assess the critical shortcomings of the business environment that pose hidden barriers and costs to corporate profitability.
  • Contextualise the United Arab Emirates' country risks against regional peers using BMI's country comparative Risk Ratings system.
  • Evaluate external threats to doing business in the United Arab Emirates, including currency volatility, the commodity price boom and protectionist policies.

The United Arab Emirates Country Risk Report by Business Monitor International (BMI) includes four major sections: Economic Outlook, Political Outlook, Business Environment and Key Sector Outlook.

Economic Outlook:

How will the Emirati economic policy-making and performance impact on corporate profitability over 2013-2017?

BMI provides our fully independent 5-year forecasts for the United Arab Emirates through end-2017 for more than 50 economic and key industry indicators. We evaluate growth, and also forecast the impact of economic management.

Economic Outlook Contents

The United Arab Emirates Country Risk Report features BMI's forecasts with supporting analysis for 2013 through to end-2017, set against government views and BMI's evaluation of global and regional prospects.

Key Areas Covered:


  • Full 10-year forecasts with data - for key macroeconomic variables including GDP (real growth and per capita), population, inflation, current account balance and the exchange rate.
  • BMI's comprehensive Risk Ratings system - rates each country worldwide for economic and political risk, and rates the business environment, within a global and regional context.

Written Analysis:

  • Economic Activity - real GDP growth, employment, inflation, consumption (retail sales and confidence).
  • Balance of Payments - trade and investment, current and capital account.
  • Monetary Policy - interest rate trends (bank lending and deposit rates) and inflation (producer price and consumer price).
  • Exchange Rate Policy - currency controls, foreign investment flows, exchange rates and foreign exchange reserves.
  • Fiscal Policy - macroeconomic strategy and policies, government finance and tax reforms.
  • Foreign Direct Investment - approvals, inflows and climate.
  • External Debt - debt profile (short and long-term plus public and private sector exposure).
  • Global Assumptions - forecasts for each year to end-2017 covering: major commodities, growth in key regions, inflation, and interest and exchange rates, in the United States, Japan, China and the eurozone.

Key Benefits

  • Rely upon BMI's 100% independent forecast scenarios for the United Arab Emirates and underlying assumptions - we take no advertising and are privately-owned.
  • Exploit the benefits of BMI's comprehensive and reliable macroeconomic database on the United Arab Emirates, sourced and fully maintained by BMI from an extensive network of private sector, government and multilateral contacts.
  • Gain key insights into the current and future direction of government economic policy, which could significantly affect your company's business prospects, from BMI's team of analysts and economists.

Political Outlook:

What are the political risks to doing business in the United Arab Emirates over the next 5-years?

BMI's United Arab Emirates country Risk Ratings evaluate the short- and medium-term threats to political stability.

Political Outlook Contents

  • SWOT Analysis for the Emirati Market - Political Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing the United Arab Emirates.
  • Political Stability and Risk Assessment - BMI's Risk Ratings assess explicit short- and long-term risks to political stability; latest ratings, rankings and trends for the United Arab Emirates' risk are compared with regional and global averages.
  • Current Administration and Policy-making BMI assesses the threats to the continuity of economic policy, and likely changes to the business operating environment.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark United Arab Emirates' risk profile against its neighbours, the global and regional average, allowing easy comparison of risks between key business markets.
  • Identify, evaluate and anticipate political and security risks to the business environment, and to your company's current operations and future plans.
  • Gain valuable insights into government and policy-making, through BMI's specialist team of analysts and economists, and their network of private and public sector sources.

Business Environment

Business Environment Risk Ratings with SWOT Analysis - Business environment Risk Ratings for the United Arab Emirates, benchmarked against ratings for regional neighbours.

Country Competitiveness - Competitiveness of the United Arab Emirates' business operating environment in supporting corporate growth and profitability, compared with regional neighbours.

Business Environment Contents

  • Domestic Environment - Transparency, cronyism and corruption; labour market flexibility; corporate tax burden; interest rate levels; sophistication of banking sector and stock market; levels of business confidence; infrastructure and IT.
  • Foreign Direct Investment - Analysis of foreign investment regime; foreign ownership laws; attractiveness of business environment to foreign investors.
  • Foreign Trade - Analysis of trading environment, government trade policy, liberalisation measures, tariffs and membership of trade areas.

Key Benefits

  • Assess your company's evolving exposure to country specific operational and business risks, using BMI's in-depth analysis of the legal and regulatory business environment.
  • Understand your market's comparative strengths and weaknesses in the key areas of commercial infrastructure and business institutions, using BMI's proprietary global Business Environment Risk Ratings.

Key Sector Outlook

Which industry sectors in the United Arab Emirates will grow fastest, and where are the major investment opportunities in the market?

BMI's identifies investment opportunities in the United Arab Emirates' high growth industries including automotives, defence & security, food & drink, freight transport, infrastructure, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals & healthcare and telecommunications & IT.

Key Areas Covered:

  • Market Overview - Size and value of each industry with developments over 2008-2012, covering major industry key performance indicators (KPIs) that have impacted company performance.
  • 5-year Industry Forecasts - Forecasts for each year over 2013-2017, using BMI's proprietary industry modeling technique, which incorporates all key domestic and international indicators - including economic growth, interest rates, exchange rate outlook, commodity prices and demographic trends - to provide fully integrated forecasts across, and within, each industry.
  • Demand- and Supply-Side Data/Forecasts - BMI's industry data covers both the output of each industry and the domestic demand, offering clear analysis of anticipated import/export trends, as well as capacity growth within each industry.

Key Benefits

  • Target strategic opportunities in high growth industries, which are benefiting from global mega trends, and thus offer strong investment and growth opportunities.
  • Compare the growth path of different industries to identify which are best placed to benefit from domestic and international economic prospects, and which have historically suffered from volatile growth trends - a key indicator of future risks.

Benefit from discounts when you add multiple products to your basket
2 Products SAVE 10%
3 Products SAVE 15%
4 Products SAVE 20%
5 Products SAVE 25%
6 Products SAVE 30%
7 - 20 Products SAVE 35%
21 Products or more SAVE 40%