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The Unites Arab Emirates and Germany –

a strong relationship

The UAE comprises the seven emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras

al-Khaimah and Fujairah, which were united as a federal state in 1971. The UAE covers a total area

of 83,600km² and has a

population of 9.3 million

, which is expected to rise to approximately 15.5

million in 2050.

The UAE has become a

multiethnic society

, and Emirati nationals account for less than 20 per cent

of the population. About two-thirds of the immigrants are Asians (comprising 50 per cent of the

total population), mainly from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Arabs

and Iranians represent 23 per cent while expatriates from other countries, including Europeans and

Americans, account for 7 per cent of the UAE’s population.

Over the past two generations the UAE has experienced an unprecedented transition from a Be-

douin, pre-industrial society to an urban country with cutting-edge technology. It has become


of the most developed countries in the Arab Gulf and one of the richest countries in the world.

The UAE has one of the world’s highest GDP per capita (USD 44,771 in 2014). The country is still

a largely commodity-based economy, with shipments of oil and natural gas accounting for 40 per

cent of total exports and 38 per cent of GDP.

In order to vary its economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenues, the UAE has pursued a

market diversification strategy that has resulted in the

steady development of industries such as

logistics and transportation, as well as trade and tourism.

Thanks to its strategically advantageous location, the UAE as a whole, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in

particular, has become one of the world’s most important international air transport hubs. The UAE

provides enormous possibilities for all types of companies

to perform commercial activities in the

UAE. Thus, the UAE is one of the most important trading partners for Germany, Switzerland and



UAE has strengthened its position in the Arabic world economy

, recently returning to its

pre-crisis economic level. The region’s economy is projected to grow at a healthy pace, supported

by long-standing investments and successful accomplishments,

such as the Expo 2020, which is

increasingly gaining greater international prominence.

Local companies headquartered in Germany,

Switzerland and Austria

Since the 1970s, German companies have played an instrumental role in the modernisation and

diversification of the Arab economies. Germany and the UAE first established diplomatic relations

in May 1972. In April 2004 both countries agreed to form a strategic partnership. In January 2009

the countries’ foreign ministries agreed to strengthen political relations and maintain extensive

trade relations. Today, trade between Germany and the UAE is worth AED 50 billion per year, with

more than 1,000 German companies currently operating in the UAE.

German companies have an excellent reputation worldwide.

The “Made in Germany” seal stands for innovation, quality and

cutting-edge technology. However, the world’s fourth largest

economy consists not only of global players, but also of many

world market leaders that happen to be small and medium-sized

enterprises that form the bedrock of the German economy. All

of these companies benefit from Germany’s sound economic

conditions and highly qualified workforce.

Accounting for 5.2 per cent (2012) of total imports, Germany is one of the major import partners of

the UAE. Germany‘s most popular export goods are machinery, vehicles, electronic equipment, steel

and plastics. Consequently,

the majority of GSA companies in the UAE comprise manufacturers

from these industrial sectors.

HR & Salary Report 2015