Currencies by Country:

What is the Emirati dirham (AED)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives United Arab Emirates a Aa2 rating, with a stable outlook. Fitch has a stable outlook with a AA rating. Finally, S&P last issued a AA rating, with a stable outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

Central Bank Rate

The current central bank interest rate is 1.00%. This is the same as 2011, which was 1.00%.

GDP

In 2010 the total GDP was $297,648,476,848 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $39,623. It grew by 1.43% over the previous year.

Unemployment

The latest unemployment rate for 2008 is 4.00%.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the head of state is President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The Emirati dirham, often denoted by AED, is the official currency used throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the dirham is in full use today, this was not always the case. The first currency in the UAE was the Bahraini Dinar, which was implemented when the Trucial States (made up of the seven emirates) met to discuss their unity in 1966. Later that year, in September, all the Trucial States with the exception of Abu Dhabi replaced the old currency with the Qatar-Dubai Riyal. This continued until December 2, 1971, when the United Arab Emirates Dirham became the official currency. The AED was issued by the United Arab Emirates Currency Board from 1973 until 1982. Thereafter, it was issued by the United Arab Emirates Central Bank. Since the late 1980s, the nation’s government has employed a fixed exchange rate for the Dirham against the US Dollar.

Moody’s Rating
Aa2, 09 Jul 2007
S&P Rating
AA+ *

* Note: The S&P rating is for Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

The UAE is a federation of seven separate emirates including Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The Supreme Council is made up of the rulers of the seven emirates. The Supreme Council elects the President and Vice-President every five years along with a Council of Ministers. A 40-member Federal National Council, taken from all emirates, reviews proposed laws. There are no political parties and courts exist at local and national levels based on secular and Islamic law.

Prominent Figures

N/A

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview:

The United Arab Emirates economy is characterized by a high income per capita and a large annual trade surplus. The UAE’s great wealth can be largely attributed to its rich oil and gas production abilities; the commodities’ output constitutes almost a third of GDP, and thus the fortunes of the economy fluctuate with the commodities’ prices. While the UAE was once described as an impoverished region of desert principalities, today it is a modern state with a high standard of living (per capita GDP was number 35 out of 232 countries ranked by the CIA Factbook in 2005). Based on current production levels, the UAE’s oil and gas reserves should last for over a century more.

GDP Breakdown:

The components of the UAE’s Gross Domestic Product are the agricultural sector (4%), industrial sector (58.5%), and services sector (37.5%). [2003]

Agricultural Products:

The UAE produces a variety of agricultural products, most notably: dates, vegetables, watermelons, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and fish.

Overview:

The main industries of the UAE economy include: petroleum, fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, petrochemicals, construction materials, boat building, handicrafts, and textiles.

Foreign Trade:

The UAE exports crude oil (45%), natural gas, dried fish, and dates-and also re-exports a number of items (such as textiles, consumer electronics, cameras, watches, gold, motors, scooters and perfumes). As for imports, the nation’s main demands are machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, and food. As of 2004, export trading partners of the United Arab Emirates are Japan, South Korea and Thailand, and import partners are China, India, Japan, Germany, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

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