exported in 1962, petroleum dominates the economy of the UAE.
At one time an underdeveloped area, by 1985 the region had
the highest per capita income in the world -- $19,120.
immense wealth has been invested in capital improvements and
social services in all seven of the emirates. Petroleum
production is centred in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Industrial
development is essentially petroleum related and is limited
by a lack of trained personnel and raw materials. The desert
supports limited irrigation for agriculture; in addition,
fishing, sheep herding and poultry provide domestic food
sources. The UAE enjoys a large trade surplus because of its
seven constituent parts of the UAE are Abu Dhabi, the
largest and richest in terms of oil, Dubai, the commercial
centre, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm al Qawain and
Ajman. The main cities and towns of each emirate are all on
the southern shores of the Arabian Gulf except for Fujairah
which is a coastal strip on the Gulf of Oman outside the
Strait of Hormuz.
Dhabi is the only one of the seven emirates to qualify as an
oil state in the same sense as Kuwait or Qatar. Like those
two, Abu Dhabi has diversified into petrochemicals and other
oil-related industries. Dubai is the second-richest emirate.
Its oil income is now about one-quarter of Abu Dhabi's;
however in the years before Abu Dhabi became rich, Dubai
supported itself as the main trading and smuggling port in
the region. In addition to being one of the main business
centres of the Gulf today, it also has a huge dry-dock
complex, one of the Middle East's busiest airports and a
large free trade zone at Jebel Ali.
receives a modest income from oil and it also has a very
busy airport, Dubai's nearness notwithstanding. It is the
main entry point for tourists visiting the UAE. Sharjah's
airport and its seaport derive considerable income from
most northern of the emirates, Ras al-Khaimah, is also
dependent upon its oil income. It has also invested heavily
in tourism. Fujairah, the only one of the seven emirates
without a coastline on the Gulf, is also seeking tourists
but it remains primarily a cargo port. Fujairah, Umm al-Qawain
and Ajman all receive substantial subsidies from the federal