Dubai is one of the United Arab Emirates countries which was amongst the least developed countries in the world thirty years ago. During this period that is 1970s, Dubai mainly depended on subsistence agriculture, fishing, nomadic animal husbandly, extraction of pearls, sea faring among other activities. This was a period of dependence on simple subsistence economy. However this vastly changed over time since the discovery of oil in the country and thus excluding it from the slow hypothetical development stages that many developed countries experienced, therefore placing it at a growth rate comparable to the industrialized nations. (Hannaford, P20)
The discovery of oil in Dubai has enabled it to reap large revenues from the resource, thus ability to shortcut the lengthy and difficult processes that involves huge savings and capital accumulations to achieve economic development. The short time period of rise to power by the nation has also been contributed by effective development of institutional, economic, social, cultural and political contexts. For instance since early 1970s Dubai has enjoyed political stability which is reflected by establishment of regime and super political structures that has promoted the equality in distribution of benefits from the existing resources in the nation. This has been through development of social and economic infrastructures, provisions of high standards social services e.g. education and health, employment opportunities with high salary scales, high standards of living, respect of human rights (Medley, p34)
Dubai has since then formed many regional and international partnerships such as Arab League, United Nations, Arab Gulf cooperation council, Non Aligned Movement, Associations and organizations of Islamic Conferences. It also increased relations with many worldly countries such as the western democratic countries. Evans, (p30) these relations have been a great mover as they have opened opportunities for both domestic and international investment and formation of liberal trade policies and agreements.
Oil and the mineral resources being the major boost for this nation’s economic growth, over years there have been progressive efforts in managing the exploitation and production through use of advanced technology to continuously increase productive efficiency in the offshore and onshore oil reserves exploitation. According to UAE ministry of Petroleum and Mineral resources, the advanced technology produces a capacity of 2 million barrels a day. In 2000 it was estimated that a total of 98.8 billion barrels were produced in UAE placing it as the third largest oil reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In addition to oil Dubai also produces gas in large quantities which reflects to the production by the larger UAE placing it as the fourth largest natural gas producer in the world (Hannaford, P20).These resources are therefore capable of sustaining the nations long term economic growth rate. There is also availability of other minerals such as rocks, sands, soils and some metals. These sands and rocks are mainly used for construction and cement production from limestone mining, marl and gypsum
Economic growth of Dubai has also been strengthened the agricultural sector performance, though it contributes to a small input in the gross domestic product of the country estimated to be around 3.8 percent in 1999. However substantial efforts have been made by the government to increase and improve agricultural sector performance, this has been through devoting more land on agriculture, application of incentives such as granting free agricultural plots to citizens, provision of advanced technological farming methods, production inputs are provided at subsidized rates, drilling of water boreholes, granting loans to farmers and farm produce market is established and secured by the government at favorable prices. Therefore according to Clark (1984), he points out that though there is limited agricultural production in Dubai, this has not been an obstacle to economic development.
The growth and rise of Dubai has been increasingly been at a high rate, especially during the last four decades resulting to a rapid growth in population especially the inward migration who comprise of more than three quarters of the population. This population is viewed in terms of workforce to the growth and development of the nation whereby they combine with the indigenous population thus increasing the labor force employed in various sectors of the economy. Through this, Dubai has been able to reap benefits from foreign labor both skilled and unskilled. In catering for these populations, the nation has been urbanized in order to attribute to clustering of public services such as transportation, financial markets, communication, and service based industries in urban areas (Tudor, P37).
Provisions and availability of vital social services such as health and education have been effectively established in Dubai. The nation has incorporated trainings and education as vital determinants of increased economic productivity and growth. For instance the government has been able to offer free education for its citizens and siblings of expertise’s employed in the nation. The educational institutions range from public and private schools, military schools, universities, vocational trainings, technical training schools etc .Health and economic development is quite reciprocal, as the population’s health status impacts on economic development. According to UNDPs 1995 report it was noted that 95% of Dubai population have accesses to health services effectively and efficiently, therefore leading to improved human potentials and increased human resources. Therefore health is a direct reflection towards economic development. Dubai’s economic growth can be perceived as progressive change in the structure of the economy through transformations in vital sectors such as agriculture, industrialization, demographic transition, foreign trade, urbanization, employment, domestic production and demand thus increasing the nation’s output per capita rises.