The UAE's economic outlook may look worrisome in 2015 unless there is a drastic rise in crude oil prices, says Arabian Business.Net. Despite the country's obvious expansion into the non-oil sectors of the economy, the outlook doesn't seem to be positive. After all one third of the UAE's GDP comes from oil (www.arabianmoney.net/gcc-economics/2014/12/21/why-the-uae-obviously-face...).
Will the standard of living change for ex-pats who have so far enjoyed a tax-free life with great infrastructure and amenities at their beck and call (as The Telegraph questioned in the face of falling oil prices - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11315032/British-...)? Worry not - Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum , Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Ministry of Finance, has said there are no plans to impose taxes on individuals (as reported by Gulf News.com on February 22, 2014. http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/uae-rules-out-tax-on-individuals-1....).
Oil price worries aside, the weakening Russian economy may indirectly impact the UAE economy due to the failing rouble as Russians are some the biggest visitors and spenders in the UAE.
Oil prices will rise again as they always do eventually. The question on everyone's minds is, how fast will it have to do so to make sure that the country doesn't fall into a recession again. Fingers crossed that it won't!