Economy and Trade Relations
The UAE and UK are committed partners on all fronts, with a long-standing friendship and shared history linking our countries and peoples. Guided by an ongoing commitment to developing a UK-UAE partnership for the future, economic exchange represents an important area through which our two countries are expanding our relations to new horizons.
The UAE-UK trade relationship is experiencing continuous development in various fields, including investment, trade, health, energy, education, space, tourism, food security, and technology. Through bilateral platforms such as the UK-UAE Business Council, the Joint Taskforce, and the Joint Economic Committee, the UAE and UK identify and leverage joint opportunities for economic growth.
Over 5,000 UK businesses operate in the UAE. In 2019, new rules were introduced allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in several sectors including technology, outer space, renewable energy, and artificial intelligence. The UK is the UAE’s largest source of Foreign Direct Investment, meaning this new regulation will benefit both Britain and the UAE.
Recent trade and investment highlights include:
Total trade between the UK and GCC was worth £33.51 billion in 2021.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UAE reached £17.12 billion in 2021.
The ongoing GCC-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations launched on 22 June 2022, which are expected to further strengthen bilateral relations and the strategic economic relationship between the UK and GCC.
UAE-UK partnership meetings were established in September 2021 to tackle illicit financial flows.
A partnership between DP World UAE and British International Investment was announced as part of the UK's new 2022 aid strategy.
Mubadala invested AED2.5 billion (£570,250) in CityFibre to support UK infrastructure, whereby Mubadala and the UK’s Department for International Trade jointly agreed to invest £1bn in UK life sciences. This agreement has now been expanded to a 5 year £10 billion investment partnership as part of an ambitious new ‘Partnership for the Future’ agreed between the two countries.
A donation by HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak helped fund the construction of the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital. (2019)
DIA purchased a 15% stake in Gatwick Airport. (2010)