I remember how UAE was twenty years ago and there is such a big difference from where it is today. Dubai itself is unbelievable. Infrastructure, wealth, trade and business has developed more than I could have ever imagined. Clearly, petroleum and gas production has helped the Emirates get where it is today, but it hasn't happened on its own.
There are so many countries in the Middle East who rely on petroleum as their only source of income. But most are experiencing a lot of conflict and slow development. UAE has been successful, not just because it has petroleum but because it has invested the profits from the oil sector into other sectors, like real estate, construction and tourism.
I think this is why the Emirates have developed so much. It's a great example for similar countries in the region.