By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy


UAE news and analysis, tenders, contracts awarded, commentary and economic data

If you are not a MEED subscriber but need access to trusted information, expert analysis and new sales leads then subscribe to the Middle East’s leading business intelligence service now


Country data

Iran 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012f 2013f 2014f
Nominal GDP ($bn) 314.5 259.7 283.9 342 358.9 369.4 381.6
GDP per capita ($) 65,992 51,270 54,411* 63,626 64,840 64,780 64,968
Real GDP growth (annual change, %) 5.3 -4.8 1.3 5.2 3.9 3.1 3.6
Government revenue (% of GDP) 39.1 26.8 30 35.1 37.3 36.1 34.7
Government total expenditure (% of GDP) 17.6 27 25.3 23.7 22 22.1 22
Total government debt (gross, % of GDP) 12.5 23.4 22.3 17.8 17.6 18.2 18.2
Current account balance (% of GDP) 7.9 3.5 3.2 9.7 8.2 8.4 7.9
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 1.7 1.9
Click to see full economic data (2005 - 2018 forecast)
Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database; Last updated: June 2013

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

Dubai Expo 2020


Dubai's Expo 2020 plans in numbers

$7bn Expo 2020 financing costs

$23bn The impact of its successful bid

25 million Expected number of attendees

81,000 Number of new hotel rooms needed by 2020

DIFC sets target to double company numbers

29 January 2014, 12:49 GMT | By

Second-phase expansion of Dubai freezone will increase built-up area by 40 per cent

UAE trends

Abu Dhabi peak power demand forecast

Exports drive growth in Abu Dhabi electricity demand Subscription

24 April 2014, 8:22 GMT | By

Abu Dhabi could face electricity shortfall by 2016 if extra capacity does not come online

Top 100 projects index, Q1 2014

Kuwait’s Clean Fuels Project edges Top 100 Projects value higher Subscription

24 April 2014, 7:17 GMT | By

A busy first quarter for 2014 saw 15 entrants in the MEED Top 100 Projects index

Strategy: Dubai is seeking to use private-public partnerships and stock market listings to raise financing

Dubai’s search for finance Subscription

17 April 2014, 15:16 GMT | By

Faced with a huge debt pile and risk-averse banks, the emirate is seeking new ways to fund its boom

March contract awards

Middle East contracts awarded: March 2014 Subscription

17 April 2014, 12:23 GMT

Over $12bn of contracts awarded in March in the Middle East


The growing appetite for bonds Subscription

10 April 2014, 13:46 GMT | By

Increased corporate activity spurred by strong economic growth is helping to expand the market

Serco is the service provider for the Dubai Metro

Bringing the region's services to life Subscription

10 April 2014, 13:21 GMT | By

Facilities management firm Serco works quietly in the background, providing major services across various sectors in the region, but its CEO is looking to extend its reach

Trade confidence in the Middle East

Confidence among UAE traders grows Subscription

8 April 2014, 7:47 GMT | By

India and China will remain the UAE’s fastest-growing trade routes

GCC and Iraq energy awards

Gulf oil and gas spending hits long-term high in first quarter Subscription

2 April 2014, 8:53 GMT | By

More than $25bn-worth of contracts awarded as three-month period eclipses total for 2013

The UK’s Carillion has been the main beneficiary of UK government funding support and has managed to win contracts on key Dubai projects such as the Dubai Trade Centre District

UK funding to play increased role in Dubai projects Subscription

26 March 2014, 10:37 GMT | By ,

Armed with strengthening support from London, UK companies will find themselves in a better position to handle the growing competition in the emirate

Middle East contracts awarded: February 2014 Subscription

20 March 2014, 12:58 GMT

Over $17bn of contracts awarded in February in the Middle East

Filter UAE analysis by sector

MEED comment


Abu Dhabi edges closer to shortage

24 April 2014, 15:47 GMT | By

Without the addition of generation capacity, the emirate will struggle to address growing power demand


Financing the Dubai boom

17 April 2014, 15:17 GMT

Investor confidence is growing, but Dubai still needs to close several finance deals to attract future funding for revived infrastructure plans

Sheikh Mohammed: Willing to end diplomatic dispute

Mending ties with Islamic Republic

17 April 2014, 13:20 GMT

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, has agreed to visit Iran in a sign of thawing relations between the states

Markets and bonds

Bonds market gains maturity

10 April 2014, 15:39 GMT

An increasingly diverse base of issuers, driven by strong economic growth is helping to deepen the region’s capital markets

Dubai road plans

Double vision for Dubai road link

10 April 2014, 15:33 GMT

Dubai’s main highway is the focus of a feasibility study looking at adding an elevated level in a bid to ease cross-emirate traffic congestion

Gasification at Jizan

Higher bid prices return to the GCC

10 April 2014, 15:24 GMT

European firms have been winning work again for a couple of years now, beating South Korean competition

Private funding

Dubai looks to private funding

10 April 2014, 15:16 GMT

The emirate is seeking to involve the private sector in its power and transport infrastructure sectors

Regional metro schemes

New players to fill metro void

20 March 2014, 16:26 GMT

With the region’s metro boom gathering pace, competition for resources is also mounting

More MEED commentary

Special Reports

GCC real estate

Real Estate: GCC property markets stabilising

18 March 2014, 14:02 GMT

There is an uptick in demand for residential and commercial property across the region, with just one or two exceptions


UAE: Project spending picks up in Abu Dhabi

27 February 2014, 7:27 GMT

Following a spending review in 2011, project activity is picking up in Abu Dhabi


Delivering Dubai Expo 2020

27 January 2014, 6:46 GMT | By

Big bang beginning to a year of fresh starts

GCC construction

Construction: Continuing GCC projects growth into 2014 Subscription

16 January 2014, 13:52 GMT

After such a successful 2013, beating that target will be a major challenge for the GCC projects market in the year ahead

More UAE special reports

Market presentations


Webinar: Impact of Expo 2020 on Dubai construction Subscription

4 February 2014, 5:43 GMT

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, 7:46 GMT

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, 11:40 GMT

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, 12:38 GMT

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, 5:52 GMT

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, 9:23 GMT

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, 11:24 GMT

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

Barzan: The gas project raised $5.7bn

Rebuilding the Middle East: Prospects for the projects market 2012 Subscription

6 February 2012, 5:40 GMT

MEED’s webinar looks at expected growth in the Middle East and North Africa

More MEED webinars

Top 10 projects


Rank Project Name Sector Contract value ($m)
1 Baraka Nuclear Power Plant 3 Power 4,000
2 Upper Zakum Full Field: Early Production Facility: Offshore: EPC 2 Oil 3,790
3 Ruwais Refinery Expansion Project: Process Package 2 (RFCC) Oil 3,109
4 Barakah Nuclear Power Plant 1 Power 3,100
5 Abu Dhabi Airport Expansion: Midfield Terminal Complex Transport 2,960
6 National Housing Scheme Project Construction 2,950
7 Ruwais Refinery Expansion Project: Package 3: Offsites & Utilities Oil 2,700
8 Barakah Nuclear Power Plant 2 Power 2,500
9 Ruwais Carbon Black and Delayed Coker Project Oil 2,470
10 Integrated Gas Development: Ruwais 4th NGL Train Package Gas 2,200
Click through to the full data table on the UAE's biggest projects in construction
Click through to MEED's Q4 2013 Top 100 Projects report
Source: MEED Projects; Data compiled: January 2014; All projects are in execution

Project awards

System Construct awarded Abu Dhabi polymer additives plant Subscription

23 April 2014, 12:47 GMT | By

Polysys Additive Technologies’ plant expected to be complete by the end of 2014

Drake & Scull wins contract for Algeria project Subscription

23 April 2014, 9:30 GMT | By

Scope of work entails building a mixed-use development in Algiers

Prysmian wins contract on Abu Dhabi’s Zakum field Subscription

23 April 2014, 7:39 GMT | By

Italian group to build cable links for submarine electrification project

Technip awarded design contract on Abu Dhabi’s Hail field Subscription

23 April 2014, 7:35 GMT | By

Delayed Japan-owned project moves forward with key contractors now in place

Al-Shafar wins contract for Abu Dhabi Marina project Subscription

22 April 2014, 11:57 GMT | By

Al-Shafar to build a hotel, serviced apartment building, and two residential blocks

Dana Gas selects two contractors for Zora gas field development Subscription

8 April 2014, 13:33 GMT | By

US and local companies to chosen to build processing plant and pipeline at northern emirates project

ABB wins Zirku island power contract Subscription

6 April 2014, 11:50 GMT | By

Swiss firm will design and build power generators to boost capacity at Zadco’s Zirku island

KBR wins design deal for Jebel Ali refinery upgrade Subscription

1 April 2014, 10:39 GMT | By

Condensate refinery to be expanded with two new processing units in order to meet domestic fuel demand

Dubai awards contract for canal project Subscription

27 March 2014, 7:05 GMT | By

Joint venture of Parsons/Halcrow to supervise construction of Dubai Water Canal Project

Balfour Beatty confirms Dubai Mall award Subscription

25 March 2014, 7:46 GMT | By

BK Gulf joint venture company will provide mechanical and electrical services for Dubai Mall extension

Projects trends

Gulf projects index

Saudi Arabia records biggest increase Subscription

24 April 2014, 9:45 GMT

Iran and Qatar only other projects markets to see growth in value

Gulf projects index

Iraq and UAE lead Gulf index growth Subscription

17 April 2014, 11:01 GMT

Kuwait, Qatar and Iran record largest declines in value

Gulf Projects Index 8 April 2014

UAE leads growth in Gulf index Subscription

10 April 2014, 11:06 GMT

Iraq records largest decline in value of projects market in the region

More Gulf Projects Index


Chris Wilcock

Chris Wilcock Subscription

31 March 2014, 10:04 GMT

A leading construction lawyer in the region advising on complex construction contracts and dispute avoidance/resolution

Thomas Bradtke

20 February 2014, 7:27 GMT

Thomas Bradtke is group partner / managing director, The Boston Consulting Group

Sharief Habib al-Awadhi

20 February 2014, 7:03 GMT

Sharief Habib al-Awadhi is director general, Fujairah Free Zone

Mohamed Hasan al-Qemzi

20 February 2014, 6:57 GMT

Mohamed Hasan al-Qemzi is CEO, ZonesCorp, Abu Dhabi

Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer Subscription

27 January 2014, 12:44 GMT

Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer is managing director and CEO, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority

Jeffrey Singer Subscription

27 January 2014, 12:37 GMT

Jeffrey Singer is CEO, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority

More UAE biographies

Newsletter Sign-up

More sector and country newsletters

Subscribe to MEED to receive your choice of premium newsletters

Find out more

MEED events

Dubai Real Estate 2020

Dubai Real Estate 2020 Conference

Gaining clarity on the potential of Dubai as a long term real-estate investment opportunity

More MEED events