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UAE National report to be submitted to WSSD

posted on 29/08/2002: 1540 views

The UAE's Gross National Product (GDP) has totalled Dh248.9 billion in 2001 and is expected to rise by 8 percent as oil prices have started to stabilise and other economic sectors experience steady growth, according to statistics recently released. The UAE's national report on sustainable development to be presented to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), opened here last Monday, shows that the contribution of the oil sector in the GDP reached 28 percent while other economic sectors' share touched 72 percent in the same year.

Prepared by the Federal Environment Agency (FEA), the report points out that the population of the UAE hiked from 557,887 inhabitants in 1975 to 3,488,000 in 2001. It also indicates that infant mortality rate dropped from 3.48 percent in 1981 to 1.76 per cent in 2000 while the overall mortality rate shrank from 0.20 percent in 1981 to 0.17 in 2000.

The report divides the industrial sector into two streams: the extraction industries such as oil and gas and the convertible industries like cement, pottery, aluminium, food stuff, furniture, beverages, Plastic and petrochemicals. Investments in this sector have amounted to Dh28.5 billion dirhams and the contribution of the sector in the GDP reached 13.8 percent in 2001. Thanks to the accelerated economic growth, the size of some major cities are on the rise with the number of urban population considerably increasing while the number of rural inhabitants is remarkably decreasing.

The government is engaged in a number of financial grant schemes which allow citizens to build their own houses. Some 7839 houses have been built by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing in rural areas and distributed to citizens for free. Over 9200 extra homes have also been built in cities, over and above the contribution of the building and construction sector that touched 7 percent in the GDP last year.

The report notes that a 3,810 km-long asphalt road network now covers the country and that there are 6 international airports in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah with a total capacity of 16 million passengers per annum. In addition, there are16 commercial seaports throughout the country with handling capacity of about 70 million tones yearly. In the field of trade and investment, local markets have played a significant role as re-export trade centres, with the first currency market opened in 1998.

The number of insurance companies increased to 313 firms last year, according to the national report. During 1973-2001, the report says, the UAE has donated aid at DH. 94.2 billion to poor countries. The main organisations engaged in such activities are the UAE Red Crescent ( Dh126.2 million in 2000), Abu Dhabi Development Fund and Sheikh Zayed Foundation for Human Assistance ( Dh400 million). . (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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