Strong Economic Partners
With one of the most open and innovative economies in the world, the United Arab Emirates is a dependable and significant economic partner of the United States. The UAE is the US’ largest export market in the Middle East region — a distinction the UAE has held for eight straight years. Since 2004, bilateral trade has grown nearly 400 percent, exceeding $25 billion in 2016. The US has a $19 billion trade surplus with the UAE, the US’ third largest trade surplus globally. These economic exchanges support hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
Beyond trade, UAE investments in the US support the creation of local jobs and provide liquidity to capital markets that spur innovation and advancements in many sectors, including aerospace and manufacturing, high technology, real estate and logistics. According to SelectUSA, UAE Foreign Direct Investment in the US totaled $26 billion in 2016 and supported more than 10,000 American jobs.
More than 1,500 US firms have a presence in the UAE, from Bechtel to ExxonMobil and Starbucks to Cold Stone Creamery. Major global companies — such as Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Boeing, Heinz, Northrop Grumman, General Motors, Microsoft, FedEx and Halliburton – recognize the opportunities offered by the UAE economy, and many base their headquarters and regional offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The UAE is an advantageous location for American companies due to its business-friendly environment and its diversified economy (with 66 percent of the country's economic activity coming from non-oil sectors, according to the IMF).