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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

Visit of Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan

Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan was in Dubai on 9th September, 2019. During his visit the Consulate organized roundtable discussions with the leading business entities of UAE in the oil and steel industry. Representatives from ENOC, Petrofac, Gulf Petrochem etc were present during the oil sector meeting. During the meeting with the steel industry representatives from Conares, Tata, Alam Steel, Al Ghurair Iron & Steel etc were present. During the meetings, the participants gave their opinions on the ways in which business in the oil and steel sector can be enhanced between India & UAE. Discussions were held between the businessmen and the Hon’ble Minsiter and the suggestions were taken into consideration by the visiting delegation.

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.

Visit of Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan to Dubai

The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas visited UAE from 11th to 15th May, 2018. He was in Dubai from 13th evening onwards. On the morning of 14th the Minister held a roundtable meeting with the leading players in the food processing sector in UAE. The meeting was followed by a roadshow on ‘E&P opportunities in India’ which was held at the Westin Hotel. Another roadshow was held in the afternoon for 9th City Gas Distribution (CGD) bidding round which was organized by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board. Hereafter a press conference was held at the same venue where the Minister interacted with the local media. 

Visit of team of officers from Maharashtra to Dubai from 14th – 18th Feb, 2018

Senior officers – Mr. Vikas Kharage, Secretary (Forests), Revenue and Forest Department; Mr. N. Vasudevan, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell; and Mr. Virendra Tiwari, Chief Conservator of Forests (Mantralaya), Revenue and Forest Department visited Dubai during 14-18 Feb, 2018. The Forest Department of Government of Maharashtra is planning to establish a world class facility in Mumbai for showcasing the coastal and marine biodiversity of the state. This facility is planned to be modelled after the Garden Glow and major tourist attractions in Dubai, which are well known for their creative use of high end technology.

In this regard the senior officers held a meeting with the officials of Dubai Municipality on 15.02.2018. Mr. Muna Obaid Al Daheri, Head of Dubai Safari park briefed the delegation on the experiences of Dubai Municipality in setting up Dubai Safari and Mr. Mohammed Hassan Al Fardan, Specialist in the Public Parks and Horticulture Department gave a presentation on the public parks and other leisure facilities in Dubai.

The Maharashtra delegation also gave a presentation on the Coastal and Marine Diversity Centre in Arioli, Navi Mumbai. The delegation also conducted a number of visits to various facilities in Dubai such as the Dubai Safari, Dubai Frame, Dubai Garden Glow and Dubai Dolphinarium.

Visit of delegation led by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to Dubai on 8th Feb, 2018

A delegation led by Hon’ble CM of AP Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu visited Dubai on 8th Feb ahead of the 24th Edition of the ‘Partnership Summit’ to be held between 24-26 February, 2018 in Visakhapatnam. The Summit is a flagship event of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India held in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Government of Andhra Pradesh. An interactive session, in this context, was organized in Dubai on 8th February, 2018 where the Chief Minister made a presentation on the opportunities in Andhra Pradesh and interacted with the delegates and also invited them for the Partnership Summit.

The delegation accompanied by Ambassador Navdeep Suri had a meeting with HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group. Mr. J Krishna Kishore, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and His Highness signed a MoU in the presence of the CM of Andhra Pradesh and Ambassador for cooperation in the field of aviation MRO and setting up an aviation academy in Andhra Pradesh. The delegation also held separate meetings with Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA), HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and senior members of Phoenix Group, Sharaf Group and Danube. 

Visit of delegation from Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India to UAE

Mr. Binoy Kumar, Special Secretary and Mr. Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Joint Secretary (WANA) from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India, visited UAE during 9-10th January, 2018. The delegation accompanied by the Ambassador Navdeep Suri had a meeting with Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimi, Minister of State and Managing Director for the Dubai World Expo 2020. During the meeting matters related to India’s participation in Expo 2020 were discussed. The Expo 2020 team also gave a detailed presentation about the event which was followed by a tour of the Expo site.

The delegation also had a meeting with H.E. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO and Mr. Yuvraj Narayan, CFO of DP World along with other senior officials. The delegation also met Mr. Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice Chairman Sharaf Group; Mr. Shyam Kapur, Vice President Sharaf Group and had a separate meeting with Mr. Saifee Rupawala, CEO of Lulu Group International and Mr. Saleem COO of Lulu Group International. During the meetings they had discussions on matters related to logistics sector in India.