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  • The UAE's economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, while its most populous city of Dubai is a global city and an international aviation and maritime trade hub.
  • Trade has been the main key driver of the successful and lengthy relationship between the UAE and the Netherlands. With the passing of the years, the UAE has become less reliant on oil and gas, and is economically focusing on tourism and business. 
  • Companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Friesland Campina (the Rainbow brand) have been present in Abu Dhabi for 60 years or more, long before the Dutch opened their first Embassy in the UAE in 1977. Companies like ADNOC are important partners for the Netherlands companies as well. 
  • There are many additional areas for cooperation from gas technology to dredging performed over many years now by Boskalis and Van Oord. For the Netherlands, the UAE is an important trading partner in the region. With the diversification of the UAE's economy, the trade relations with the Netherlands will only become more diverse.
  •  Dutch companies have contributed a great deal to some of the landmarks of the UAE. Dredging company Van Oord, for example:
  1. made the iconic palm island in Dubai, while Boskalis
  2. the other famous Dutch dredging company made the Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi.
  3. The Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain was built by BAM International. 
  4. And on a less visible note, geotechnical company FUGRO for example did the soil research for the Burj Khalifa. 
  • As far as sustainability is concerned, both countries have ambitious goals for their future energy mix, so fields like energy efficiency and sustainable energy, and also in areas like sustainable agriculture, water management or reuse of waste provide ample opportunities for cooperation.
  • The rapid expansion and diversification of the UAE's economy, and the attractive business climate have attracted a large number of Dutch entrepreneurs to the country. 
  • There are over 250 Dutch companies in the UAE, active in the oil and gas industry, agriculture, aerospace, infrastructure and dredging, among others. 
  • In addition, there are two Dutch social clubs, the 'Nederland's Vereeniging' in Dubai, and the 'Dutch in Abu Dhabi' in Abu Dhabi. They organise social gatherings and sports tournaments such as desert rallies. They are also of great help to Dutch people who have just moved to the UAE. 
  • Furthermore, there are two Dutch business councils, both very active: the Netherlands Business Council in Dubai and the Benelux Business Council in Abu Dhabi. Both councils provide a platform for Dutch businesses to get together and discuss business opportunities, and they help new entrants onto the market and liaise with Emirati counterparts.
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