According to Euromonitor, the UAE remains the most attractive market in the region for retailers, ranking 5th this year, and retail sales exceeded US$56.6 billion in 2016. The retail sales turnover is expected to exceed US$71 billion by 2021.

The country remains very attractive to retailers as 86% of the population lives in urban centres. In addition, it is a low risk destination as other countries in the region battle the effects of low oil prices. The UAE’s retail sector is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 4.9%, according to Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. And while a new VAT will likely have an impact on retail sales, analysts remain confident in the UAE’s long-term prospects.

The sector contributes around 11% to the country’s GDP, while Dubai’s retail and wholesale sector accounts for 29% of GDP. E-commerce growth has averaged 30% over the past few years, and reports forecast more activity and growth in the coming years.



UAE Economic

The economy of the United Arab Emirates (or UAE) is the second largest in the Middle East (after Saudi Arabia), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 414 billion (AED 1.52 trillion) in 2018.

The UAE has been successfully diversifying its economy,particularly in Dubai, but still remains heavily reliant on revenues from petroleum and natural gas, which continue to play a central role in its economy, especially in Abu Dhabi. More than 85% of the UAE’s economy was based on the oil exports in 2009. While Abu Dhabi and other UAE emirates have remained relatively conservative in their approach to diversification, Dubai, which has far smaller oil reserves, was bolder in its diversification policy. In 2011, oil exports accounted for 77% of the UAE’s state budget.

Tourism is one of the bigger non-oil sources of revenue in the UAE, with some of the world’s most luxurious hotels being based in the UAE. A massive construction boom, an expanding manufacturing base, and a thriving services sector are helping the UAE diversify its economy. Nationwide, there is currently $350 billion worth of active construction projects.

The UAE is a member of the World Trade Organization and OPEC.

UAE economy
Dubai Port


  • Jebel Ali, Dubai. : 
  • Mina Rashid, Dubai.
  • Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi.
  • Mina Khalid, Sharjah.
  • Khor Fakkan, Sharjah.
  • Port of Fujairah, Fujairah.



The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a special economic zone in Dubai covering 110 ha, established in 2004 and a financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) markets. DIFC has its own independent, internationally regulated regulator and judicial system, common law framework, global financial exchange, tax-friendly regime, and a large business community.