Before the discovery of oil in the 1950s, the region's economy was driven mainly by nomadic farming, date palm cultivation, fishing, pearling and seafaring.
Since the discovery of oil, the economy has been influenced mainly by the following sectors:
- extraction of crude oil and natural gas
- wholesale and retail trade
- repair services
- real estate
- business services
As for the economic achievements for the year 2022, the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade crossed the AED 2 trillion mark for the first time in history and totaled AED 2.233 trillion, with a 17 per cent growth from 2021.
The value of non-oil exports touched AED 366 billion for the first time in history, with a 6 per cent year-over-year growth.
The total value of the UAE’s re-exports exceeded AED 600 billion for the first time ever to reach AED 614.6 billion, with a 14 per cent growth.
The UAE’s imports also set a new record in 2022, surpassing AED 1,250 billion for the first time to reach AED 1,252.4, with a 22 per cent growth
The UAE’s GDP at constant prices was AED1.62 trillion in 2022, while GDP at current prices was AED1.86 trillion, an increase of more than AED337 billion compared to 2021, achieving a growth of 22.1 percent.
Refer to the UAE's annual economic and statistical reports for more information.