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
, 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