Founded on 2nd December 1971, the UAE is a federation of seven emirates that gained independence from the UK and were effectively granted the liberty to govern their security and foreign issues. Prior to discovery of oil, the UAE economy largely depended on fishery and pearl industries. Nonetheless, the UAE started depending heavily on oil for more than thirty years, thus suffering a significant setback following the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009 (Aartun n.pg). In the recovery period, however, the UAE has shifted towards economic diversification and creation of opportunities for its nationals through education, improved trade, manufacturing, tourism, and logistics.
Saudi Arabia is a supreme monarchy, which has established its niche in the global economy through its immense oil revenue. Oil is the dominant economy driver in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This implies that the country’s socio-political welfare is hinged on oil prices’ evolution.
One of the key differences between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is that the former is a federation, whereas the latter is a monarchy. This means that in the UAE, there is a president, while specific powers are allotted to the federal government and others to individual emirates (Henderson n.pg). In Saudi Arabia, however, power is reserved for the Royal family, which also gets the most important societal positions, which may occasionally heighten tension among the underprivileged members of society who may feel alienated (Gause n.pg). Further, while the UAE is characterized by a legislative structure combining Islamic and civil law, Saudi Arabia primarily adopts Islam law, which is not adequately inclusive.