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Abu Dhabi - Fastest Growing Economy in the World

Abu Dhabi’s growth over the last 50 years has been powered by its natural resources. The discovery and export of oil respectively changed the Emirate’s fortunes and allowed it to embark on a program of investment and diversification which continues today. Abu Dhabi holds nine percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and almost five per cent of the world’s proven supplies of natural gas. It produces nearly 90 per cent of the UAE’s oil. Today Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s highest income economies with a GDP per capita of $55,600. Abu Dhabi has carefully planned its growth and development to ensure a deep connection with its people, its heritage and its environment. The proceeds of its finite oil resources are being used for the current and future benefit of the people of Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE. Increased financial transparency and accountability, the development of a robust regulatory framework and a coordinated approach to long term urban planning are all hallmarks of the Government’s approach. These initiatives, combined with business-friendly free zones for overseas investors, are supporting Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification and helping in the development of new knowledge based industries such as alternative energy, aviation, aerospace, biotechnology, life sciences, financial services, media, transport and logistics, tourism and basic industries such as aluminum and plastics. Investment in housing, healthcare and education are creating world-class resources for Emiratis and local residents, supported by partnerships with establishments such as the Paris Sorbonne University, New York University and The Cleveland Clinic which are helping to transfer knowledge and best practice. Masdar, a Mubadala company, was established in 2006 to advance the development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy solutions and clean technologies. Masdar’s activities include investments in clean technologies, global research partnerships, the world’s first zero-emission, zero-waste city and a new graduate-level research institution. Protecting the eco-system that surrounds Abu Dhabi is an important planning principle which is being integrated into planning and development projects across the Emirate. One of Sheikh Zayed’s most well known comments was that ‘a nation without a past is a nation without a present or future’. As Abu Dhabi grows, it is committed to ensuring that future generations are respectful of their heritage and connected to their national identity. Today’s Emiratis express their pride in their culture and traditions in many ways, for example, reinforcing the importance of family and hospitality, wearing the national dress, and following traditional pursuits such as falconry, horse riding and Dhow racing. There is also a growing contemporary culture scene which is interpreting traditional culture in a modern context. Balancing Abu Dhabi’s focus on its own heritage are a number of strategic investments and sponsorships that reach out to other cultures and which are developing the Emirate’s reputation as a leading global destination. At Saadiyat Island, local and international culture will share the limelight in a new Cultural District which includes the Louvre Abu Dhabi, The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum as well as a performing arts center and galleries. On the sporting front, Abu Dhabi hosts the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the newly created Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island as well as hosting the world’s leading football clubs for the FIFA Club World Cup. A range of other cultural and sporting events fill Abu Dhabi’s events calendar.

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