Social and economic inequality in MENA region

Social and economic inequality in MENA region






Looking at the UAE economy needs a consideration of its position in the MENA region. In the MENA region, the UAE takes the third position after Saudi Arabia and Iran. The country’s GDP reached $360 billion in 2012, it is expected to be higher in 2013 as a good trend in business, and economics remains (Forstenlechner, 2010). The country is today ranked among the fastest growing economies in the world. An evidence of this trend is the growth of the UAE GDP that reached 20.8% in 2012 making the country to attain a $360 billion mark in GDP against $298 billion in 2011.

The United Arab Emirates is increasingly breaking from its reliance on natural resources such as petroleum and natural gas. These natural resources however play a key role in the country’s economy. Cities like Abu Dhabi are marked with massive growth in both economic and infrastructure due to the intensified trade in oil and natural gas resources. The UAE is currently said to have construction projects in progress amounting to over $350 billion (Forstenlechner, 2010). Being a member of World Trade Organization plays an important role in the countries international trade and business relations.

The UAE Domestic Development

The Abu Dhabi government has contributed much on the UAE development and economic growth. Abu Dhabi is the leading government in the UAE. Abu Dhabi initialized its own Vision 2030 under the authority of the UAE president. The Vision 2030 was developed as a way of initiating planned and organized economic growth and development projects. The recent developments have made the country emerge from its position as among the least developed countries in the world to the topmost emerging economies attracting the entire world. The country has reached to a point whereby its income level is comparable to those of developed nations. Unlike most other developed countries whose development is marked by hypothetical development stages, the UAE development abilities are linked to its rich oil and natural gas resources (Government of Abu Dhabi 2008). The revenue obtained from these natural resources is highly considered the main facilitator of economic development in the UAE.

Economic development is usually difficult and lengthy for most countries. These stages of economic development usually involve intense processes of savings as well as capital accumulation. Natural resources within the UAE made the country embrace mainly the resource-based industries as one of the key development strategies. Most of the industries were organized in such a way that they utilize the natural resources. The country also initiated strategies that would develop improvement in income as a way of boosting social welfare and development of economic infrastructure especially in Abu Dhabi (Government of Abu Dhabi 2008). The country economic development is therefore highly integrated with social, cultural, economic, as well as political contexts. Beside all these aspects of economic development, the important human factors in terms of goals, objectives, as well as sources of economic growth are interrelated.

The political context in Abu Dhabi as a government has contributed much on the UAE development. Abu Dhabi creates a center interest in the UAE development efforts since it happens to be the leading government in the UAE. Abu Dhabi has great resources and not only relies on petroleum and natural gas resources but also it relies much on the foreign sector for economic growth. Abu Dhabi has favorable conditions such as a huge shipping port that accommodates ships that would not be accommodated elsewhere in the UAE. Abu Dhabi sets its growth strategies in such a way that its foreign sector has to be advanced (Smeets and Bayar 2012). This aspect is seen through the construction of the Abu Dhabi port under the authority of Abu Dhabi government. The port development project was started in 2006 with the aim of revamping transportation as well as trade within the Abu Dhabi government. The main idea was to enhance the country’s international relations through improvement of trade by sea, by air, and by road. Other than enhancing trade and international relations, the projects was meant to create jobs

In other regions within the United Arab Emirates, oil acts as the main facilitator of economic growth and development. Before oil was discovered in the UAE, the country depended on subsistence agricultural farming, nomadic animal husbandry, as well as extraction of pearls and their trade. The UAE also had aspects of fishing and seafaring as part of its economy. There were limited natural resources until oil resources were discovered that the country broke from relying on substance economic activities to oil related industries (Smeets and Bayar 2012). Its economic development realized a significant change in the 1970s when massive oil productions began as well as an added advantage from the relatively high oil prices in the world at that time.

The development of the UAE could be associated with its high political as well as social stability. The existing political structure perfectly suits the tribal society of the country. The Emirates government ensures that there is uniform distribution of oil resources in terms of social and economic development projects and infrastructure. Equal distribution of resources was also done to ensure salary increments, provision of higher social and economic standards, and improved access to social amenities, such as health facilities and education resources as well as increased living standards ( 2012). The UAE has ensured that there is a high maintenance of human rights traced back to the formation of the state. Establishment of strong human rights is one of the main factors enhancing political and social stability. Political ground in relation to the social aspects of the UAE also brought a great aspect of the country’s economic growth by becoming a member of various associations that are regional and international. These associations brought in the influence of the UAE economic growth and development by the foreign community. Some of the key organizations include the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the United Nations. Other organizations in which the UAE trade and promote its business relations include Arab Gulf Cooperation Council as well as Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Sustainable Energy Resources

The UAE has high availability of sustainable oil and natural gas resources from which all industries can benefits. The natural oil and gas resources are wide spread and could be found in both offshore and onshore areas within the country. Natural resource availability has seen the country emerge to be one of the top countries economically and the first country in the middle easy to establish and use nuclear energy. Establishment of nuclear energy was done under deliberate steps with the international Atomic Energy Agency ( 2013). The country accepted bid from South Korea to construct four nuclear plants with the first having been started in 2012. Each one of the seven states is meant to benefit from the nuclear energy. The ambition to improve in nuclear energy is in line with full development by 2020.

To ensure that there is safety in the use of nuclear energy, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council commissioned a study to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy. These member states include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, as well as Oman. France however accepted on working with the council to ensure that the UAE applied safety strategies in the use of nuclear energy ( 2013). The nuclear plants are established under environmentally promising grounds to avoid excessive pollution.


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