Economic Sectors & Markets

These reports analyze the performance of the main economic sectors of Dubai/UAE economies such as real estate and construction, finance and insurance, retail and wholesale trade, transport and telecommunication, tourism and hospitality.

UAE has a growing consumption of pharmaceutical products and the local production is not sufficient to meet the country’s demand. During the COVID-19 pandemic the demand for many pharmaceutical products has increased, but high import dependency and trade restriction of major pharmaceutical exporting countries created risks in some medications. This report aims to identify these risks and provide recommendations to mitigate these risks in the UAE’s pharmaceutical market.
UAE imports around 80% of its food consumption. However, due to the Corona-19 virus there might be some Food Security problems in UAE. This report aims to find food exporting countries which have low Corona cases and can supply major food items to UAE.
With this sudden shift in education system in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether it will be good to continue the adoption of online learning in post-pandemic, and how such a shift would impact the role of education sector on the economy. This report aims to identify the business opportunities in Online Education System of Dubai and describe the benefits of it.
Dubai has reasonably busy legal market. The demand for legal services has increased over the past few years due to some growing demand in national economy and in the region. In particular, the liberalization in some sectors of UAE and Saudi Arabia, regional conflicts, and falling rents in Dubai have kept region’s law companies busy for some time. With the impact of COVID-19, law firms in Dubai should see the importance of technology to streamline the process and boost work flow efficiency.
The recent roll out of a set of standardized regulations that govern Telemedicine in UAE has paved the way for a boom in the sector, particularly as the pandemic accelerated the shift towards consumer-centric care.

This report looks at key milestones in the development of Dubai’s Telemedicine industry. It provides estimates of the domestic and regional market size, goes over the value proposition, and highlights Dubai’s competitive landscape.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out in early 2020, many countries were coping with food shortages and supply chain disruptions. However, Dubai did not face any food shortages during the pandemic, due to its diversified import strategy, and developed trade logistics infrastructure. The study has found that the UAE recorded a 6% growth in sales of fresh food products in 2020, which reached $7.9 billion and recorded 4% growth in sales of packaged food products during the same year. Moreover, online sales of UAE food and beverage market surged 255% year-over-year in 2020 and it is projected to reach $619 million by 2025.
Information and communication technology (ICT) sector accounted to 4.1% of Dubai real GDP in 2018 and expected to have positive outlook in the medium term. In 2018, Dubai ICT sector recorded an annual real GDP growth of about 2.7%. Over the period 2011-2018, the sector registered a robust CAGR of about 6% .
The UAE remains the most attractive market in the region for food and beverage. In UAE, the consumption of staple food, meat, and beverages is growing strongly by value and volume.
There are also large investment opportunities in food manufacturing, Halal food and innovative agriculture. The country is becoming a major hub for F&B trade in the MENA region.
Trade data indicate that flowers are one of the potential products which can boost the trade and investment between Dubai and the Netherlands. Moreover, GCC countries have a growing demand for Dutch flowers and Dubai can play a significant role in re-exporting fresh cut flowers of the Netherlands to the region. This report aims to describe Dubai flower market and trade opportunities in this market.
Growth in usage of Internet, especially over mobile phones and increased usage of mobile applications have led to increased Internet sales of food and beverage around the world.
Internet retailing of food and beverage is also estimated to have recorded strong increase over the last 5 years in the UAE. Retail E-commerce is therefore an important channel for existing and new businesses in the food and beverage sector in the UAE and around the world.
The technology and innovation have affected the composition of the world trade in goods. In particular, with the increasing penetration of digital technology and innovation, world trade in some goods and its parts may rise while the trade in other products may decline or even disappear in the coming decades. This report provides opportunities in new product trade and describes the positive impact on Dubai exports.
Dubai's "wholesale and retail trade" sector contributed around 27% of the emirate's GDP in 2017, making it a major driver of growth in the domestic economy. The emirate's retailing activity continued to show recovery in 2018 supported by solid fundamentals that include higher government investment in the run-up to EXPO2020, an overall improvement in regional macro-economic conditions, along with a steady influx of tourists to the emirate. This report provides the sector's latest figures, highlights major current trends shaping Dubai's retailing market, and goes over the future prospects for this vibrant economic sector.
This report reviews the recent developments in the UAE and Dubai financial sector, covering the major 3 segments of the financial market namely, the banking sector, capital market and the insurance
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) covers 69 countries, 65% of the world’s population, 40% of the world’s land and 34% of the global GDP. The BRI is expected to decrease trade cost and lift trade barriers among many countries involved in this initiative. UAE is a “natural cooperative partner” of BRI with an important geographical location and huge logistic potential. This report analyses UAE trade benefits from BRI and describes the opportunities offered by this initiative.
The Free Zones play a significant role in Dubai’s economy. The introduction of free zones in Dubai and the successful development of these zones are one of the core factors which changed Dubai to what it is now. The report describes facilities and benefits offered by Dubai Free Zones, and provides recommendations to attract the new businesses into the Free Zones.
Over the last two decades, Dubai has positioned itself as one of the most renowned maritime hubs globally and has become a serious player in the global maritime industry. Dubai maritime sector is deep but also wide, composed of more than 5500 companies engaged in some 13,000 activities, from shipbuilding, container logistics and dry bulk cargo handling to port services  and maritime engineering services and dredging. Currently, the maritime industry contributes some 7% of GDP, at around US$ 7.3bn almost doubled compared to 2015 with GDP of US$ 3.9bn. The sector is also responsible for around 3.3% of the emirate’s jobs, with some 76,200 people working in maritime-related industries. Shipping contributed the largest share to maritime GDP, followed by port operations, maritime engineering and support services.
On the back of improved conditions in the US economy as indicated by higher real GDP growth and low unemployment rates, by December 2015 the US Federal Reserve embarked on launching monetary policy normalization by tightening its monetary stance through raising interest rates and downsizing its balance sheet size. And due to the Dirham peg to the US dollar, the UAE monetary policy should follow that of the US. However, in ?recent years the UAE economy is witnessing a relative slowdown compared to historical trends, which imply that the UAE economy should follow a more loose monetary policy rather than tight one. This report attempts to assess the likely impact of tight monetary policy on the UAE economic outlook and the possible channels of transmission.
Although the share of renewable energy (RE) is very small in the UAE's total energy consumption, it has become economically very attractive over the past few years. UAE has ambitious plans for the introduction of RE at a national and Emirate level. The government has introduced a lot of policies to support the development of RE sector and set targets for the increase of alternative energy resources. In 2017, UAE was the second-largest investor in RE sector in the Middle East and Africa. The report shows the past and future trends of RE in UAE and discusses potential opportunities in this sector.
UAE government encourages local companies to export to foreign markets, but some firms are experiencing high tariff rates in importing countries. Several attempts have been made to decrease these tariff rates through WTO and trade agreements, but not so much progress has been achieved.
According to WTO, the average tariff rates faced by UAE's export products ranges between 4% and 15.9%. This report shows import tariff rates for selected UAE products in foreign markets and discusses trade opportunities for UAE products through export and product diversification.
Key words: import tariff rates, trade agreements, trade diversification, metal, chemicals, plastic, cement, food.
Money exchange business in the UAE is developing due to the large number of expatriates, country's strong economic growth and its continuous investment in infrastructure and development projects. The report shows the trends of global transfer of remittances and compares the cost of remitting money from the UAE across countries and payment instruments. Furthermore, the study provides also recommendations for the exchange business to save cost and reduce transfer time.
Keywords: Remittance Service Provider, Money Transfer Organization, foreign exchange
"Despite challenging global and regional economic and political environments, Dubai continues to be one of the world's leading centers for the construction industry. Major projects continue to roll out, while existing ones finish off or morph into new developments. This report highlight the recent trends in Dubai construction sector with detailed information on Dubai project industry by status, sector and subsector."
The UAE is one of the top countries in consumption of consumer electronics and appliances. Furthermore, due to its strategic location, the UAE, especially Dubai, has been an important supplier of electronic products to the Middle East, Africa and CIS countries.
This report shows recent and future trends in consumption of consumer electronics and appliances in the UAE market. Moreover, the report also discusses trade opportunities in this sector.
The travel and tourism industry has played a key role in UAE's economic diversification policy, with the government showing great determination to transform the country into one of the world's top tourism destinations. Such efforts have already started materializing, placing the country at the 26th position out of 185 countries in terms of the relative importance of travel and tourism's total contribution to GDP. With the aim to better understand the UAE's travel and tourism market landscape, his report highlights its size, composition, recent trends, and outlook for the coming 5 years.
There are 43 landlocked countries (LLCs) in the world and the UAE has good trade relationships with these countries. On average African LLCs have much bigger market, European LLCs are the richest and Asian LLCs are the closest market to Dubai among all regional LLCs. The study compares all LLCs by shipping costs and by economic as well as logistic performance.
Fruits and vegetables market has a significant contribution to food security of the UAE. However, as climatic conditions of the UAE are not agricultural friendly, it has resulted in a high dependency on fruits and vegetables imports. Traders face several administrative and trade barriers in fruits and vegetables trade due to high number of trade procedures and country of origin issues. The study describes trends and opportunities in fruits and vegetables trade and discusses some issues and concerns faced by traders in this market.
Dubai GDP (at constant prices) is estimated to have reached $102.3bn (AED375.6bn) during 2016 after realizing 2.7% y-o-y growth; however, going forward, growth is likely to regain traction and converge with the medium-term growth average of 3.8%, recorded in the past 5 years, driven by EXPO2020 and the Emirate's 2021 strategy.This report takes a close look at the most dynamic sectors in Dubai; namely: restaurants and hotels, logistics, education, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade with the aim of highlighting recent trends and developments, as well as identifying any potential business opportunities.
Over the next two years, the US dollar real effective exchange rate is expected to appreciate further due to the expected positive growth of the US economy and the expected hike in the Fed Reserve interest rates. This report assesses the likely impact of the recent appreciation of the US dollar real effective exchange rate on the UAE economic activity. the report look at the different channels of US dollar appreciation impact such as the trade channel and the financial channel.
Despite the recent global economic challenges such as the drastic fall in oil prices and slowdown in global foreign demand for trade, Dubai construction sector is expected to be resilient and stable over the next five years . Factors such as the government commitment to maintain the same level of investments in the run up to EXPO 2020, positive demographic factors and flourishing tourism sector, all these factors are expected to underline Dubai construction sector momentum. Based on recent data published by BMI, MEED and Deloitte, Dubai major projects by sector and status over the period 2016-2030 are highlighted in this report. Finally, a list of most lucrative investment opportunities within Dubai construction sector were identified.
The UAE is the largest re-exporter of rice in the world, accounting for 81% of global rice re-exports. The country has huge potential to diversify its rice indirect trade towards GCC, East African and North American countries. The UAE offers cheaper FOB price in rice re-exports to several destinations, such as Somalia, Kenya, Oman and Yemen, and the UAE can also help to boost India's role in basmati rice market, since it has very good trade relationships with major basmati rice importers.
The report analysis the UAE economic structure, performance and sectors. It also discusses the country's credit developments, exchange rate, foreign trade, FDI and the business climate.

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