Though the UAE economy still depends on oil and gas to a large extent, the heyday of fossil fuels is over. Fortunately, an economic diversification strategy is well underway. In terms of personal finance, expats should be aware that living expenses can be huge, particularly for housing and education.
Due to falling oil prices, the UAE economy is no longer able to rely on Abu Dhabi’s petrodollars for sustained growth. Fortunately, the UAE has been trying to diversify its national economy for some time now. Its strategic location — ideally situated for an international trading hub between East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia — its openness to foreign investment, and its business-friendly environment all help to attract a wider range of economic activities and various companies from around the world. So far, the UAE has already benefitted from a relatively strong service sector, especially with regard to commerce and tourism. The fact that Dubai will be hosting the Expo 2020 might also stimulate investment in the construction sector and some large-scale infrastructure projects.