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India – UAE Trade Relations


India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) enjoy strong bonds of friendship founded on Millennia old cultural, religious and economic intercourse between the two regions. People – to- people contacts and barter trade between two regions have existed for centuries. The relationship flourished since the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971 and trade has played a major role in the strengthening the bilateral relationship.

Bilateral Trade

According to Government of India figures, in FY 2015-16, trade between India and UAE crossed US$ 49bn, with Indian exports worth US$ 30bn to the UAE and US$ 19bn worth of UAE’s exports to India, thus making UAE India’s one of the top trading partner. Indian businessmen and traders have contributed significantly to the economic fabric of UAE. Indian professionals also occupy important positions in various banks, private companies and business establishments in the country. The unskilled and semi skilled workers from India are a dominant force in the construction industry. The contribution of Indians to the growth of UAE is acknowledged by the rulers and the people of UAE.

Investments from Dubai & Northern Emirates in India

Dubai Ports World: While Dubai itself is a major investment destination, it also has an important and growing presence in India. Dubai Ports (DP) World operates at: Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal Private Limited, Chennai Container Terminal Private Limited and India Gateway Terminal at Cochin. The Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal in Vallarpadam, developed and operated by Dubai Ports World is the first International Container Trans-shipment Terminal in India. On 1 November 2012, DP World won the contract to build and operate a single berth terminal facility at Nhava Sheva, Mumbai. The US$ 200mn worth facility expected to be operational in 2015 will have an annual handling capacity of 800,000 TEUs.

RAK ceramics: RAK ceramics, a USD 1bn global conglomerate with global production of tiles exceeding 3,60,000 sq.m and 1200 pieces of Sanitary ware per day from its 10 state of art plants in UAE has 1 plant each in Bangladesh, China, India, Iran and Sudan.In India, RAK Ceramics has the largest vitrified tile manufacturing plant in Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh with a per day manufacturing capacity of 30, 000sq. m of vitrified tiles and 1500 sanitary ware.

Emaar MGF: Emaar MGF Land Limited is a joint venture between Dubai based Emaar Properties and MGF developments of India. The company commenced operation in India in February, 2005 and is into real estate development with a pan – India presence and operations spanning all key segments of the India real estate industry, namely residential, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors. At present, its focus is on the development of residential projects in Delhi and elsewhere in NCR, Mohali, Hyderabad, Chennai and other key Indian Cities.

TECOM: TECOM investment was established in the year 2005 to build, manage and develop the business parks vertical under Dubai Holding. TECOM business Parks comprises of 10 business parks under five industry clusters across the information and communication technology (ICT), media, education, sciences, as well as manufacturing and logistics sectors. TECOM investment has conceptualized Smart City to develop knowledge industry townships globally. SmartCity Malta and Smart City Kochi are their first two international developments. SmartCity Kochi is a JV between Smart City Dubai and Government of Kerala with 84% and 16% respectively. SmartCity Kochi is a home to knowledge based companies that aim to serve the Indian Continent.

Major Indian Companies in Dubai & Northern Emirates

Many leading Indian companies and banks have an important presence in Dubai. For example, L & T, HCL Infosystems, Nagarjuna Construction Company Limited, Hinduja Group, Danube, Sobha Group, Indian Oil Corporation, Reliance Industries, Essar Group, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Union Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, Indusind Bank, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, HDFC, ICICI, Axis Bank, Andhra Bank, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank etc. RAKFTZ is home to a large number of Indian companies operating in diverse sectors including Pioneer Cement (USD 105 million investment), JBF RAK Polyester Chips and Films (USD 100 million), Eternity Technologies of Al Dobowi Group manufacturing industrial batteries (USD 55 million), Ashok Leyland Bus/Truck Assembly (USD 50 million), Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armoury (USD 25 million), Dabur India Herbal Products(USD 25 million), RAK Steel Products (USD 25 million), Bosco Aluminium Products (USD 10 million), etc.

Delegation visits from India

NRK Emerging Entrepreneurs Meet (NEEM)

Indian Business & Professional Council (IBPC), Dubai organized NEEM in association with NORKA Roots with the objective of creating investment opportunities and SPVs for Non- Resident Keralites. The event was held on 04.10.19 and included a special address by the Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan. The attendees also included Shri EPV Jayarajan, Minister of Industries, Shri Kadakampalli Surendran, Minister for Co-operation, Tourism & Dr. Ellangovan Kannan, Principal Secretary, Government of Kerala.

Visit of Shri Kamal Nath, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh to UAE

Shri Kamal Nath, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh met with H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO of Emirates Airlines Group on 06.11.19 and discussed the possibility of Emirates Airline’s connectivity to Madhya Pradesh in particular Indore to Dubai due to the number of passengers from Madhya Pradesh to Europe, Africa and United States. This step will help in boosting tourism and investments in Madhya Pradesh. During the CM’s visit Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) signed an MoU to work together to facilitate better business opportunities between the two nations.

Ministry of Finance Delegation to Dubai

A delegation led by Shri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment & Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Ministry of Finance held meetings with Saudi Aramco and Mubadala in Dubai on 29th Dec, 2019 regarding strategic disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). Members of the delegation included Dr. MM Kutty, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Mr. D. Rajkumar, Chairman, BPCL.

Shri Dheeraj Bhatnagar, Additional Secretary (DIPAM), Ministry of Finance met with DP World on 22nd Dec, 2019 in Dubai to discuss strategic disinvestment of CONCOR (PSU under Ministry of Railways). Mr. V. Kalyana Rama, Chairman and MD, CONCOR and Dr. Alok Pande, JS, DIPAM also participated in the meeting.

Study In Gujarat Roadshow
Ministry of Education, Government of Gujarat with support from the Consulate organized an international road show cum exhibition under ‘Study in Gujarat’ campaign at Hotel Crowne Plaza on 17th January, 2020. The roadshow was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of Education, Government of Gujarat Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama in the presence of Consul General and Principal Secretary, Higher and Technical Education, Govt. of Gujarat Smt. Anju Sharma. More than 700 students from various Indian schools of Dubai and Northern Emirates attended the exhibition.

On 18th and 19th January the delegation visited various schools and universities in Dubai and Sharjah including Delhi Private School, Dubai, Indian High School, Sharjah Indian School, Dubai, Skyline University Sharjah and Dubai University. During the visit of the delegation 11 MoUs were signed by various universities in Gujarat with schools/universities and other educational/branding entities in UAE.

Visit of High Level Indian Delegation led by Smt. Harsimrat Kaur, Hon’ble Minister , MoFPI for participation in Gulf Food 2020
A high level Indian delegation led by Hon’ble Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, visited Dubai from 16-18 February, 2020 for Gulfood 2020. Hon’ble Minister inaugurated the at Gulfood 2020 on 16 February 2020. India Pavilion was represented at Gulfood 2020 with APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority), Tea Board India, Coffee Board India, Coconut Board of India & Cashew export promotion council. Around 300 Indian companies were a part of the India Pavilion.

Hon’ble Minister met with select business organizations in the food processing and retail industry in UAE during her visit. She held one on one meetings with Emaar, Sharaf Group, Essa Al Ghurair Investments, Al Maya Group, Lulu Group, Hakan Agro DMCC, Arab India Spices, Phoenix Group, Al Adil Group, Aujan Group, Amul, IFFCO etc.

Consulate organized a business roundtable on 17th February on opportunities in the food processing sector in India where the Hon'ble Minister, Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressed the gathering. More than 50 prominent business groups, traders and investors participated in the roundtable.

Hon’ble Minister also met with the UAE Minister of State for Food Security, Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mheiri on 17th February on the sidelines of Gulfood 2020. They discussed UAE investments in food corridors in India in accordance with the vision given by the top leadership of the two countries.

Visit of Hon’ble Minister of Road & Transport & Highways, Govt. of India
Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road & Transport & Highways, India was on a transit visit on 16th February, 2020. He attended Gulfood 2020 at DWTC during his visit and interacted with the exhibitors at the India Pavilion.

Visit of delegation from Ministry of Civil Aviation, India
In connection with the next edition of Wings India 2020 a delegation led by Mr Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary , Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India visited Dubai from 15-17 February, 2020. The Secretary met Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and extended an invitation to him for Wings India 2020. They also discussed ways and means of enhancing the strategic partnership between India and UAE particularly in the aviation sector. The Secretary also held meetings with the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and senior management of Emirates Airlines and Flydubai.

Visit of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri E.K. Palaniswami

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri E.K. Palaniswami made a transit visit to Dubai on 9th September, 2019. An Investor’s roundtable with the Chief Minister and the accompanying high level delegation was organized by Business Leaders Forum (BLF) at Taj Hotel, Dubai on 9th September. Consul General attended the event.

Visit of Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister for Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal to UAE

Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister for Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal visited UAE from 21st to 23rd September, 2019. His visit to Dubai was mainly focused on unveiling of the design of the India pavilion at Expo 2020 and visiting Expo 2020 site. The unveiling ceremony was organized jointly by the Consulate, FICCI and IBPC, Dubai at Taj Hotel, Dubai on the afternoon of 21st September. More than 300 prominent Indian businessmen and professionals attended the event. After the unveiling Shri Piyush Goyal had a series of meetings starting with a roundtable discussion with the fund managers and bankers based in UAE. This was followed by one on one meetings with Lulu Group, Sharaf Group, DP World and NMC Group. In the afternoon of 22nd he visited the Expo office at Jebel Ali where he was briefed on Expo by Mr. Najeeb Al Ali, Executive Director, Expo Bureau and other members of the Expo team. After a short presentation by the Expo team he visited the site of India pavilion at Expo 2020 and laid a brick in the ongoing construction of the pavilion. On the evening of 22nd September he met the representatives of Emaar and addressed a reception hosted by ICAI Dubai. The visit of Shri Piyush Goyal received very good coverage in local media.


Delegation from Himachal Pradesh led by Chief Minister, Shri Jai Ram Thakur

A high level delegation from Himachal Pradesh comprising of the Chief Minister – Shri Jai Ram Thakur and Shri Bikram Singh, Industries Minister visited UAE from 23 – 26 June, 2019. The purpose of their visit was to invite investors and businessmen to attend ‘Rising Himachal: Global Investors’ Meet 2019’ to be held in Dharmshala, Himachal Pradesh on November 7-8, 2019. The Consulate organized and facilitated meetings of the delegation with H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change & Environment in Dubai; H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI); H.E. Jamal Saif Al Jarwan, Secretary General – Ministry of Economy and H.E. Muhammed Al Muallem, CEO JAFZA & DP World. The Consulate also facilitated one on one meetings with various businesses based in the UAE like – Lulu Group, GEMS Education, Essa Al Ghurair Investments LLC, Sharaf Group, Al Maya Group, Aujan Holdings, NMC Trading, Eram Group, Transworld Group, Gulf Holdings and KAAF Investments.

Business Leaders Forum (BLF) in association with the Consulate hosted an interactive session on 24th June for the delegation on investment opportunities in Himachal Pradesh. The Consulate also organized a community event for the Chief Minister along with his delegation at India Club on the evening of 24th June. The members of PIOCCI (Platform for Indians to Operate, Co-operate, Collaborate and Invest) hosted an interactive lunch session for the delegation on 25th June. In line with the Global Investors’ Meet 2019 a roadshow was organized in association with the Consulate and IBPC, Dubai at Hotel Oberoi on the evening of June 25, 2019. On 26th ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), hosted an interactive breakfast session for the delegation which was attended by many ICAI members.