Article image: Main types of industry in the UAE

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Rapid economic growth prompted by discovery of oil reserves on the territory of the UAE, has given boost to the active development of different sectors of industry. Its share in the UAE’s GDP (as of 2000) constituted only 46%. The basis of the industrial sector of the Emirates is oil and gas industry, which provides today around 33% of GDP.

Currently, the United Arab Emirates is the third largest producer of “black gold” in the Gulf area. An average of almost 2.2 million barrels of oil per day is produced in the country. The total reserves of valuable fuel are around 200 billion barrels whereas the reserves of natural gas are about 5.6 billion cubic meters. Most of oil is produced in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

Other industries in the UAE

Among other industries, an important role in the economy of the UAE is played by the energy sector, production of construction materials and fabricated metals, water distillation as well as textile and food processing industry. The development of all these industries was triggered primarily by the construction boom, when construction of new hotels, shopping malls and skyscrapers needed thousands of kilometers of plastic pipe, tons of cement, electrical equipment and other goods. In addition, another task was to provide the constantly growing population with consumer goods and food.

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The construction industry in the UAE has been rapidly developing since 1960. Initially the industry was represented by small factories producing tiles, marble slabs, building blocks, prefabricated pools, etc, whereupon some large cement factories and others were built. Besides, small companies engaged in manufacture of PVC and polyethylene sheets, tubes and other materials and components for construction operate in the UAE. They fully meet market needs of the Emirates. In addition, such products are exported to other countries.

Since the late 60s of the last century, factories producing soft drinks and food have boosted their presence in the United Arab Emirates. They include canning plants, companies producing fish, meat, dairy products, flour mills, plants producing carbonated drinks, etc. As for consumer goods industry in the UAE, it is mostly concentrated in Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, Sharjah and Ajman. The rest of the economy is represented by medium and small factories. Production of clothes is the third largest sector of the economy (after oil industry), yielding the palm only to the production of aluminum.

Pharmaceuticals, electronics, high-tech manufacturing, services and other business sectors also have enhanced their presence on the market.

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