The UAE balances oil riches with green energy drive

A map of the United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi comprises about 87 percent of the total area of the UAE, and holds about 94 percent of the country’s oil reserves (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • The UAE is heavily dependent on oil and gas
  • It has committed to making a big push toward clean energy
  • Doing so will require huge investments
  • The need for such sums means the UAE will continue to lean on oil

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands out among its peers in the developing world and especially the Middle East. This small, young, wealthy petrostate is a tale of two seemingly contradictory stories: it is one of the world’s largest oil producers and it is aiming to be the Arab champion in the development of green energy. Whether it can succeed is an open question, but on balance, the oil sector is likely to retain the upper hand.

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