Nurses are well aware that Dubai’s economy was built on the back of the petrochemicals, which developed rapidly after oil was first struck in the mid 1960s. Since then Dubai has developed a diverse economy and by 2000 the oil sector accounted for just 10 percent of Dubai’s GDP.
Nurses now live in a city that has a thriving manufacturing, finance, information technology and tourism sectors and is home to numerous multinational companies such as AT&T, General Motors, Heinz, IBM, Shell, and Sony. Figures published by the Dubai Development and Investment Authority show that Dubai’s GDP totaled $16.4 billion USD in 2000.
The manufacturing sector in Dubai continues to be healthy with some of the most important industries including beverages, chemicals, paper, pharmaceuticals and rubber. The financial services industry grew by a remarkable 12 percent per annum during the 1990s and this trend seems set to continue. All the major international accountancy firms have offices in Dubai and the city is also home to dozens of national and locally incorporated international banks. opened.
To encourage the development of the technology sector the Dubai Internet City was established. This information technology and telecommunications centre has been set up inside a free trade zone and allows 100 percent foreign ownership and sales, while company earnings and private income are exempt from any form of taxation. The site is already home to hundreds of companies including Arabia, Cisco, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.
Nurses will see that the tourist industry is the fastest growing sector within Dubai’s economy. The number of tourists visiting Dubai has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, especially with regards to visitors from Western Europe, and the government hopes to attract 10 million tourists a year by 2010. With this in mind, huge investment is being made to develop the city’s hotel, leisure and recreational infrastructure.