The United Arab Emirates (UAE) lies on the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and west and the Sultanate of Oman to the southeast, while Qatar lies to the northwest. The country’s total land area is about 83,600 square kilometres, where over 80% is occupied by the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The UAE is a rapidly diversifying society that has successfully integrated its core Islamic values into its ambitious economic agenda. The country’s impressive economic performance sent the gross domestic product (GDP) rising to 29.32% in 2006 at current prices, reaching about $168.5 billion. This economic prosperity, coupled with a liberal business and social environment, ensures that people from nearly every country in the world will continue to come here to live, work and play.
Abu Dhabi city bursts with dazzling business-cum-leisure facilities ranging from state-of-the-art convention centers, luxurious hotels, spas, designer golf courses, theatres and very soon, some of the world’s most famous museums with the building of the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim and Louvre.
The palace-like shopping malls and indigenous souqs in Abu Dhabi make for a great shopping expedition, offering the best handicraft from local Bedouins to the best of Paris’ or Milan’s high street fashion brands, sans the ubiquitous sales tax.
A sprawling, cutting edge exhibition centre with a massive parking facility is not the only reason for business travelers to come to Abu Dhabi although that, too, is important. The emirate is seated right at the gateway of a region that spans three continents where burgeoning economies and trade lie. The Abu Dhabi government is likewise pump-priming its special economic zones to encourage foreign investment and private sector participation, as it steers the economy away from oil dependence, even whilst barriers to entry - including tax and import levy - are set to a minimum. All these mean only one thing for the corporate executive: business growth opportunity.