Emirates Airline is on track to become the biggest in the world
Jebel Ali is the largest container port outside of Asia
Image: DP World
Dubai International Airport is among the world’s busiest
Dubai Metro is the first driverless system in the world
Dubai’s unique global position provides optimum trading conditions
Image: Shadow Photography
A Global Hub
The Middle East’s top trading economy – it recorded a trade surplus of US$94m in 2011 – the UAE is a dynamic hub for global commerce, with unmatched infrastructure that provides seamless connectivity for businesses worldwide.
Dubai International Airport stands alongside Paris, London and Hong Kong as among the world’s busiest in terms of international passengers. Last year more than 51 million people passed through its terminals, and it is projected to have the highest footfall of any international airport by 2015. Dubai’s flag-carrier, Emirates Airline, is also on track to become the biggest in the world, while Dubai ranks sixth globally measured by air cargo traffic.
The emirate’s shipping ports are also among the world’s top 10 busiest, with Jebel Ali ranked as the largest container port outside of Asia. If you added all the cargo unloaded in Los Angeles and Long Beach – two of America’s biggest ports – it would be roughly equivalent to that of Dubai.
The UAE enjoys a strategic location on the new Southern Silk Road between Asia, Europe and Africa, a situation that provides optimum trading conditions and means the UAE is poised to take advantage of economic activity among the world’s fastest growing and developing economies as part of the ‘South-South’ trade trajectory. Thousands of Chinese businesses use Dubai as a hub for Africa. Indian traders use the emirate to access the world. Latin American ‘multi-latinas’ see Dubai as a launch pad into South Asia. And, of course, Western multi-nationals use Dubai as a hub for the Middle East. Dubai is both a unique trans-continental trade hub and a nexus for innovation in the fields of technology, culture and the wider knowledge economy.
The UAE continues to develop in areas ranging from environmental engineering to software development, and from film production to biotechnology. For example, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is a research university focused on alternative energy and sustainability. Situated inside the zero-carbon, zero-waste Masdar City project in Abu Dhabi, programmes are carried out in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – just one example of international partnerships that support development of the UAE’s knowledge economy.
Such initiatives are a legacy of the UAE founding fathers’ recognition of the importance of investing in education and facilitating entrepreneurship. Forty years ago there were few schools and no universities; now there are more than 1,200 schools and over 70 universities. The country has the highest percentage of female high-school graduates who enrol in university anywhere in the world.