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United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates dominated by Abu Dhabi, which holds large hydrocarbon reserves, and Dubai, which enjoys the most diversified economy (service-based) in the Gulf. The AED peg to the USD is supported by this large positive net external position. The domestic political situation is stable.

Abu Dhabi has the strongest economy in the GCC region and has the capacity to cope with the dual crises of Covid-19 and the drop in oil prices. For several years, a prudent economic policy and the tightening of prudential rules in the banking sector have reduced the economic volatility of the leading emirates of the federation. Despite a less favourable oil market for producers, the fiscal and current-account deficits are expected to remain moderate (at the UAE level), access to the international debt market continues to be favorable in terms of price and volume and massive public assets are available to face any financing shortfall. Nevertheless, the real estate sector poses a looming threat for the economy.

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