There are many markets for U.S. goods in the Middle East and North Africa but the largest single market happens to be relatively new. Formed in the 1970s, the United Arab Emirates is the largest single market for U.S. goods in the region and the 19th largest market globally. The United Arab Emirates is a federation composed of seven states located on the Arabian peninsula. As new, large-scale infrastructure projects continue to develop, this market will remain a prominent source of opportunities for United States exporters.
Like most countries, the United Arab Emirates is not immune to the effects of the economic downturn that began in 2008. However, it still offers many opportunities to U.S. companies searching for new export markets. The the seven emirates have many characteristics that make it an ideal marketplace for U.S. exporters. Dubai, one of the seven emirates, is the logistics and business service center for the country while Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate that contains most of the oil. Abu Dhabi is currently experiencing a remarkable amount of construction including the development of new hospitals, schools, hotels, and universities.
While most energy is created with oil and gas, Abu Dhabi is also a leader in alternative energy. It’s currently developing a zero-carbon city called Masdar City run mostly by solar power while also using new techniques for constructing energy-positive buildings. Sustainable construction and energy projects are not the only improvements being made in the United Arab Emirates. Transportation is being upgraded with new rail systems designed to effectively connect the United Arab Emirates to other countries of the region. These are just some of the many advances being made by the United Arab Emirates.
As the United Arab Emirates continues to grow economically, doors will open for eager exporters. Laurie Farris, senior U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service in the United Arab Emirates officer recently sat down and spoke with Doug Barry of the Trade Information Center about the many opportunities for U.S. exporters. The interview is very interesting and can be read in its entirety here at the International Trade Administration website.