Relations between India and UAE have grown ever stronger with four high-level visits between the two countries in the last three years. Both governments have worked to elevate bilateral ties from a buyer-seller relationship to a more strategic nature. The initial impetus came from the comprehensive strategic partnership signed between H.E. Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Modi.

With a strong, shared history, India and the UAE have always had a lot in common. Indeed, UAE’s decision to increase its investments in India to USD 75 billion, including through a dedicated infrastructure fund, signaled a significant uptick in relations between two age-old partners. However, while this vast investment holds much promise to propel industrial growth and facilitate infrastructure building, progress to unlock its full potential has been slow.

India and the UAE are redefining their positions on the world stage. The UAE is looking beyond Europe and the U.S.A., reaffirming its commitment to deepening bilateral economic ties with India. Concomitantly India too is seeking to pursue a path of sustainable economic growth to fortify its position as the world’s fastest growing major economy.

Key Highlights in the India-UAE trade relations and things to look forward to:

  • India remains UAE’s leading trading partner, with the value of trade exchanges to hit $100 billion in 2020
  • Total UAE-India trade is worth almost $53 billion a year, and has increased significantly since 2000. Both the countries aim to increase it by 60% over the next five years
  • The proposed GCC-India Free Trade Agreement will increase the trade and investments significantly
  • UAE’s is home to 3.3 million working Indians, making them the largest immigrant community. Indian migrant workers sent back 14.64 billion Emirati dirhams during the second quarter of 2017-18, which translates to more than Rs. 25 billion
  • The UAE and India have reached an agreement that will enable businesses in both countries to bypass the dollar and other foreign currencies and trade directly in dirhams or rupees