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  • GDP, US$bn: 388.3
  • GDP per capita, US$: 41,884.8
  • Population, mn: 9.2
  • Inflation, CPI ave: 2.2
  • FX, LCY/US$: 3.7
  • Budget Balance, % of GDP: -3.0
  • Mining GVA, US$bn: 94.4
Regulatory Risk Rating
17
0
100
Score: 17
Extremely High Risk
UAE, like Qatar, is a country where any investor would have to negotiate a specific arrangement with the relevant authorities. The law does not provide for open access to its natural resources and there is no code with which to follow.

Corruption Potential Index

Score: 95
Extremely High Corruption Potential

Corruption Risk Index

Score: 87
Extremely High Corruption Risk

Regulatory Risk Rating

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Mining Overview Commentary plus sign

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – MINING REGULATION

GENERAL

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) occupies the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, with Oman bordering to the east, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Qatar to the northwest. The country was formed in 1971 and was established by a federation of seven emirates, namely Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras-al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. The economy of the UAE was traditionally reliant upon its vast oil and gas reserves and, while this industry still accounts for over 25% of GDP, efforts to diversify the economy have proved somewhat successful with industry and services emerging as strong non-oil based contributors to GDP.

The UAE has substantial resources of limestone and aggregate, but few prospects for base or precious minerals production. There is a well-established quarrying industry in the Al-Hajar Mountains, located in the northeast of the country, which produces a range of rock products (mostly construction aggregate) from the UAE – Oman ophiolite rocks (mainly gabbro with ultramafic rocks including harzburgite and dunite).

PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION AND REGULATOR

Article 23 of the UAE Constitution states that “the natural resources and wealth in each Emirate shall be considered to be the public property of that Emirate. Society shall be responsible for the protection and proper exploitation of such natural resources and wealth for the benefit of the national economy.” There is no mining code applicable in the country. One must refer to the Civil Code (Civil Transactions Law) and the Commercial Code (UAE Code of Commercial Practice) if property rights were pursued from the State. The ministry responsible for quarries and mines is the Ministry of Energy.

GRANTS AND FORMS OF MINERAL TITLE

Not applicable.

DEVELOPMENT CONSIDERATIONS

Not applicable.

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

See United Arab Emirates - Environmental Overview Commentary.

 

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Environmental Overview Commentary plus sign

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

GENERAL

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) occupies the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, with Oman bordering to the east, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Qatar to the northwest. The country is primarily desert, with vast rolling sand dunes that stretch into the Rub-al-Khali or ‘Empty Quarter’ of neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Along the coast line saltpans are found, while the northeast of the country contains the Al-Hajar Mountains, with elevations up to 2,500 metres.

The climate of the UAE is typically hot and humid in the coastal regions and hot and dry inland, with very little rainfall. Due to the country’s desert climate flora is sparse and consists mainly of grasses and thorns; however in the oases date palms, acacia trees and eucalyptus trees can be found, while mangroves are common in the coastal regions. The fast development of the country has proved detrimental to its wildlife, with overfishing, urbanization, overgrazing and industrialisation key concerns. Conservation efforts have protected species such as the Arabian oryx and leopard. Other notable species include the sand cat, red fox, gazelle, wolf, jackal and lynx. Sharks, grouper, tuna, mackerel and perch are commonly found in the country’s waters.

PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION AND REGULATOR

The Ministry of Environment and Water administers the principal environmental law, which is Law No. 24 of 1999 Regarding Protection and Development of the Environment. This law covers every aspect of environmental protection including land, water and air. It requires all governmental bodies concerned with planning, construction and economic development to consider environmental protection, the prevention of pollution and the rational use of natural resources in carrying out their functions. Other laws are relevant within the federation as well as specific Emirates.

EIA PROCESS

Law No. 24 of 1999 specifies that establishments which may cause harm to the environment are required to be licensed and may not commence operations without a licence (Arts. 3 and 4). The Law also regulates the disposal of waste and hazardous materials, which may apply to mining operations. The Federal Environmental Agency (a division of the Ministry of Environment and Water) is required to make a decision regarding an EIA / environmental licence application within one month from the date of the submission (which can be extended by one month) (Arts. 6 and 7). None of the rules contemplate mining and the general administrative framework is extremely weak.

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