Business Between the UAE and the UK
The UK is a trusted and valued friend of the UAE covering economic, strategic and cultural interests. Over 100,000 British citizens resident in the UAE and around 50,000 Emiratis who visit the UK each year.
The UAE is the UK’s 14th largest market for exports worldwide and, valued at in excess of £3.2 billion in 2009, by far the biggest in the MENA region; imports from the UAE into the UK were valued at over £1 billion in 2009.
British exports to the UAE cover a wide spectrum of sectors such as telecommunications, power generating machinery and equipment, electrical goods, transport, office machinery, interior and retail goods and non-metallic mineral manufacture.
British companies such as BP and Shell have played a significant role in the development of the UAE’s energy resources. Britain is also well represented in the service sector, particularly in financial, legal and other professional services. Hundreds of British firms have a presence in the UAE.
The UAE is a significant and dependable investor in the UK economy, injecting capital, creating jobs and contributing to long-term growth. In October 2009 the Governments of both countries established the UK- UAE Joint Economic Committee, with an explicit target of increasing trade between both countries by 60% by 2015.
UAE and UK’s Business Development:
Opportunities for investment and joint cooperation have been discussed between the Chairman of The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic and Chairman of UK Trade and Investment regarding many strategic sectors and the boost in bilateral trade volume between the two countries in goods and services from the current level of £ 7.5 billion to £12 billion by 2015.
It was stated by the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic that the UAE stands as an important economic center in the Middle East, and that the IMF expects the growth of real GDP to range between 3.1% and 3.6% by the end of 2013.
The Financial Times FDI Report 2012 stated that the UAE attracted the largest number of investment projects in the Middle East and Africa last year. In addition, the Chairman of UK Trade and Investment states that political and economic relations between the UK and the UAE have become stronger in view of the development of joint trade and investment relations between the two sides
He adds that the United Kingdom applauds the progress of the UAE’s achievements at all levels, especially in economy and trade, as the UAE stands as models for development and growth among the states of the Middle East region.
Statistics show that trade between the UAE and Britain continued to increase as the total trade between the two countries reached £10 billion (Dh59.57 billion) in 2011, an increase of 21% compared to 2010. The two nations aim to achieve a target of bilateral trade of £12 billion (Dh 71.49 billion) by 2015.
The total number of British companies operating in the UAE has now reached 4,000, with 779 commercial agencies and 4762 British brands, investing in the UAE cover areas such as: Islamic banking services, exhibitions, conferences, energy, electricity, water desalination, air transport of passengers and goods, gas production, hotels, restaurants, travel, tourism, high technology, information technology and management, planning, supervision and wholesale of telecommunication products, logistic services, cargo transportation services, real estate, aircraft structures and components, industry pottery, ceramics, leisure sectors, sports and money exchange, and the retail sector.
Recent Trade and Investment Highlights:
- ADIA purchased a 15% stake in Gatwick Airport (2010).
- MASDAR bought 20% of the London Array,
(the world’s largest offshore wind farm development (2008)).
- Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company acquired conference
and exhibition center ExCel London(2008).
- Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment bought
Manchester City Football Club (2008).
- DP World acquired P&O and took forward the £1.5 billion London Gateway
development to create the UK’s first 21st Century major deep-sea container
port and Europe’s largest logistics park (2006).
- Dubai Investment Capital acquired UK hotels group Travelodge (2006).
(Source: Embassy of the United Arab Emirates).