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Country data

Iran 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012f 2013f 2014f
Nominal GDP ($bn) 315.5 254.8 287.4 348.6 383.8 390.0 403.9
GDP per capita ($) 39.075 31.074 34.778 40.951* 43.774 43.185 43.424
Real GDP growth (annual change, %) 3.2 -4.8 1.7 3.9 4.4 4.0 3.9
Government revenue (% of GDP) 39.0 27.1 29.6 34.3 35.1 34.3 33.6
Government total expenditure (% of GDP) 17.5 27.6 25.0 23.3 21.8 23.3 22.7
Total government debt (gross, % of GDP) 12.5 23.9 22.1 17.4 16.6 16.7 16.8
Current account balance (% of GDP) 7.1 3.1 2.5 14.6 17.3 15.2 15.6
Value of oil imports 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Value of oil exports 103 68.1 74.6 111.6 116.8* 116.4 113
Inflation (%) 6.6 1.2 0.9 0.8 1.1 2.0 2.5
Click to see full economic data (2005 - 2018 forecast)
Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database; Last updated: June 2014

Doing business in...

A guide to doing business in the UAE

MEED’s guide to doing business in the UAE

An essential companion for anybody seeking to do business in or with the federation of the United Arab Emirates

Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

Doing business in Abu Dhabi Subscription

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the UAE’s seven emirates

Burj Khalifa

Doing business in Dubai Subscription

Sandwiched between Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, Dubai is the second largest emirate in the UAE in terms of economy

Sharjah Blue Souk

Doing business in Sharjah Subscription

Sharjah is the third largest economy in the UAE, after Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Umm al-Quwain

Doing business in Umm al-Quwain Subscription

Umm al-Quwain is located between Ras al-Khaimah and Ajman and has a reputation as a quiet, tranquil emirate, where fishing and date farming remain key contributors to the economy


Doing business in Ajman Subscription

Covering about 259 square kilometres, Ajman is the smallest of the UAE’s emirates in terms of land area, occupying the stretch of coast between Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain


Doing business in Fujairah Subscription

Fujairah is the only one of the UAE’s seven emirates located on the Gulf of Oman

Ras al-Khaimah

Doing business in Ras al-Khaimah Subscription

Ras al-Khaimah, often known simply as Rak, was the last of the emirates to join the UAE and forms the most northerly part of the country

Basic information about the UAE Subscription

An overview of the UAE

Abu Dhabi

UAE economy Subscription

Few countries have experienced such a dramatic rise as the UAE over the past 50 years

UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan

History of the UAE Subscription

The origins of the UAE lie in a truce signed in 1820 between nine Arab sheikhdoms in the area

Useful contacts in the UAE Subscription

Information providers, UAE legal contacts and municipalities

The steps to setting up a business in the UAE Subscription

Leading experts in business incorporation talk to MEED about establishing a company in the UAE

Tax in the UAE Subscription

John Belsey, head of international tax practice for the Middle East branch of professional services firm Deloitte, outlines the UAE tax regime and discusses its future development

Hiring clause: Provisions in free zone rules may differ to the Labour Law

UAE employment law Subscription

For any company in the UAE, onshore or in a free zone (with the exception of Dubai International Financial Centre), the requirements of Federal Law number 8 of 1980 and its amendments, otherwise known as the Labour Law, are compulsory

Free trade zones in the UAE Subscription

Free trade zones enable international companies to set up in the UAE without a local sponsor


Types of company in the UAE Subscription

Federal law in the UAE sets out the legal forms of an onshore company that can be established

Doing business in the UAE Subscription

Leading experts in business incorporation talk to MEED about establishing a company in the UAE

UAE trends

The price of labour and materials has been rising since 2010, but the decline in oil will provide respite from inflation

A window of opportunity Subscription

27 January 2015 | By

The price of labour and materials has been rising since 2010, but the decline in oil will provide respite from inflation and encourage clients that want to move ahead with projects despite oil price concerns

Supply and demand: Domestic gas consumption has outsripped production in recent years

Abu Dhabi takes on gas deficit Subscription

20 January 2015 | By

The Shah project is providing a boost to gas availability in the UAE, but it is only part of its strategy

Railway construction

Rail projects safe from oil price drop Subscription

19 January 2015 | By

No sign of delays for existing rail and metro projects across the GCC although new project plans unlikely to materialise this year

Average LNG import prices to Japan

GCC LNG exporters hit as prices plummet Subscription

14 January 2015 | By

Lower Asia demand growth and tumbling crude price signal weak liquefied natural gas market in 2015

Falling crude prices are accentuating the excess supply of hotel rooms in Dubai

Dubai tourism sector to cool on oil slump Subscription

12 January 2015 | By

Ahmed Ramdan, group CEO of the local hospitality consultancy Roya International, discusses the impact of falling oil prices on tourism in Dubai

Dubai freehold villa supply pipeline

Dubai property market regains balance Subscription

12 January 2015 | By

Dubai’s real estate market has matured, and will continue to see slow but sure growth on the back of confidence fuelled by the Expo 2020 win

Bosch provided the audio system for the 60,000-spectator capacity grandstand at Dubai's Meydan Racecourse

Dubai projects showcase technological innovation

12 January 2015 | By

Expo and Smart City programmes will require cutting-edge products and installations

Dubai hotel rooms

Dubai’s budget hotel dilemma Subscription

11 January 2015 | By

While there is strong demand in the emirate for mid-range and budget hotels, the cost of land is holding back development of sector

Abu Dhabi

UAE goes ahead with balanced budget Subscription

8 January 2015

In early January, Dubai released details of its spending plans for 2015. With only 4 per cent of government revenues coming from oil

Middle East contract awards December 2014

Middle East contracts awarded: December 2014 Subscription

7 January 2015

Over $6bn of contracts awarded in December in the Middle East

Filter UAE analysis by sector

MEED comment

Coal-fired power plant

Coal back on the agenda

27 January 2015 | By

GCC and North Africa look to coal for power generation

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

ADX must attract more foreign investors

27 January 2015 | By

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange must lure oversees investers to ensure market stability

Masdar International photovoltaic competition solar panels in Abu Dhabi

Dubai positions itself as region’s renewables hub

22 January 2015 | By

Emirate has become one of the most active renewable energy markets in the region

gas flare

UAE gas crunch continues

20 January 2015 | By

Measures taken to curb energy consumption

Dubai in the UAE

Diversified Dubai drives ahead

20 January 2015 | By

Emirate is tendering major projects despite oil price slump

Saudi Aramco's Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia

Masters of the new world energy order

18 January 2015 | By

The GCC, the worlds’ biggest energy exporter, and the US, the world’s largest energy consumer are emerging as leaders in a new world energy order

Marassi al-Bahrain development

UAE real estate investment buoyed by Eagle Hills

8 January 2015 | By

Eagle Hills and Al-Mabaar combine portfolios as Abu Dhabi reignites international real estate investment

With Opec production likely to stay constant for at least six months, US hydrocarbons production is now the major source of uncertainty for the oil market

Arab countries will not blink first on oil

22 December 2014 | By

Regional energy ministers take tough stance on output

More MEED commentary

Special Reports

Opec secretary-general Abdullah al-Badri

Opec sets the tone for 2015

15 December 2014 | By

Regional producers are not about to cut oil production and the assumptions that have underpinned forecasting in recent years have to be revisited

The Burj al-Arab, in Dubai

UAE: Funding Dubai's new building boom

4 December 2014

Economic diversification is essential to the future of the UAE

Abu Dhabi, capital city of the UAE

UAE: Abu Dhabi adopts more assertive foreign policy Subscription

10 September 2014

Rapid development over the past 20 years has turned the UAE into an economic powerhouse in the Middle East

Region: Political stability a must to be able to go nuclear

Nuclear: Backing key to plans Subscription

7 August 2014

The highly regulated nature and requirements of the nuclear power industry means foreign support is key to the region’s ambitions

More UAE special reports

Market presentations

Dubai creek

Managing the Boom: The Outlook for the Middle East Subscription

23 July 2014

Opportunities and challenges for businesses in the region created by the new projects boom


Webinar: Impact of Expo 2020 on Dubai construction Subscription

4 February 2014

Dubai is expected to spend more than $7bn on infrastructure in preparation for the World Expo

Middle East Outlook 2013

A region in transition: Middle East outlook 2013 and beyond Subscription

18 August 2013

Insight and analysis on the economic and projects outlook for the Middle East

Project Finance

Webinar: Middle East project finance outlook Subscription

17 June 2013

Market constraints to continue, with deals flowing to most stable markets in the region

Mena renewables 2013

Webinar: MENA Renewable Energy Subscription

12 May 2013

In this presentation, MEED discusses the trends and prospects for renewable power in the region

After the Uprisings webinar

After the Uprisings: The outlook for business in the Middle East in 2013 and beyond Subscription

4 March 2013

A webinar on the region’s business environment, providing current data and exclusive expert analysis drawn from MEED’s team of experts

Top 100 projects 2012

Top 100 projects: The Middle East market gains momentum Subscription

3 February 2013

This webinar examines projects market trends in the region and forecasts which countries and sectors will grow in 2013


Webinar: Project opportunities in GCC wastewater Subscription

15 May 2012

Join MEED for an exclusive online seminar looking at the Gulf wastewater sector

More MEED webinars

Top 10 projects


Rank Project Name Sector Contract value ($m)
1 Baraka Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 3 Power 4,000
2 Upper Zakum Full Field: Early Production Facility: Offshore: EPC 2 Oil 3,790
3 Baraka Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 1 Power 3,100
4 Abu Dhabi Airport Expansion: Midfield Terminal Complex Transport 2,960
5 Baraka Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 2 Power 2,500
6 Ruwais Carbon Black and Delayed Coker Project Oil 2,470
7 Dubai Pearl: Towers Construction 2,400
8 Baraka Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 4 Power 2,000
9 Nasr: Phase 2: Full Field Development: Package 2: Platforms & Wellheads Oil 1,900
10 Umm Al Lulu Field Development: Full Field Development: Phase 2: Package 2 Oil 1,690
Click through to the full data table on the UAE's biggest projects in construction
Click through to MEED's Q3 2014 Top 100 Projects report
Source: MEED Projects; Data compiled: November 2014; All projects are in execution

Project awards

Tebodin wins Abu Dhabi gas lift contract

Tebodin wins Abu Dhabi gas lift contract Subscription

12 January 2015 | By

Dutch group wins subcontract from Galfar Engineering to add gas lifts at 30 additional oil wells

Abu Dhabi prepares to award Bab sour gas design and management deals

Abu Dhabi prepares to award Bab sour gas deals Subscription

12 January 2015 | By

Early study on estimated $10bn gas field development awarded to US engineering group Fluor

Dreamz by Danube development

UNEC awarded Dubai residential deal Subscription

5 January 2015 | By

Danube awards construction contract to local firm for villa development in Dubai

FNC starts work on Fujairah Business Centre Subscription

29 December 2014 | By

Contraction of office complex to be completed in three years


Drake & Scull wins Abu Dhabi healthcare work Subscription

17 December 2014 | By

Abu Dhabi healthcare project secured by engineering subsidiary

Building works

Al-Jaber wins $125m Upper Zakum contract Subscription

16 December 2014 | By

UAE contractor to carry out civil works on artificial islands at Abu Dhabi offshore oil field

Tecnimont wins $2.3bn Al-Dabbiya field deal

Tecnimont wins $2.3bn Al-Dabbiya field deal Subscription

15 December 2014 | By

Italian firm to carry out third-phase expansion of surface facilities at Abu Dhabi field

Petrochemicals plant

Tebodin wins UAE oil and chemical design deals Subscription

10 December 2014 | By

Projects include carbon dioxide recovery for Abu Dhabi Gas Industries

The Al-Mina area of Dubai (foreground) with Dubai Maritime City (background)

Omniyat maritime city project commences Subscription

10 December 2014 | By

Omniyat announce details of new project

CH2M Hill wins Al-Ain carriageway contract

CH2M Hill wins Al-Ain carriageway contract Subscription

1 December 2014 | By

US consultancy will carry out design and feasibility studies for Sarooj-Sanaiya project

Projects trends

Gulf projects index

Iran drags down Gulf index Subscription

27 January 2015

Losses in UAE, Iraq and Iran wipe 0.5 per cent off regional projects index

Gulf projects index

Qatar the worst performer on Gulf index Subscription

20 January 2015

Qatar’s project market declines by 2.1 per cent after the scrapping of Al-Karaana project

Gulf projects index

Gulf index records modest growth Subscription

13 January 2015

Saudi Arabia’s projects market sees sole decline in region

More Gulf Projects Index



Suzanne al-Anani Subscription

22 January 2015

Suzanne al-Anani, CEO, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects

Mohammed Alabbar Subscription

22 January 2015

Mohammed Alabbar is chairman, Emaar Properties

Ernie Pienaar Subscription

7 January 2015

Ernie Pienaar is chief operating office at Currie & Brown Middle East

Stuart Bowie Subscription

16 October 2014

Stuart Bowie is managing director at GAC Dubai

Nicholas Browne Subscription

16 October 2014

Nicholas Browne is global director at GAC Bunker Fuels Ltd.

Meena Mathews Subscription

16 October 2014

Meena Mathews is Gulf Agency Company’s regional manager, P&I for the Middle East Region

More UAE biographies

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MEED events

AHIC 2015

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2015

Hotel Development for Tomorrow’s Traveller

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