The UAE has experienced rapid modernization due to the wealth derived from oil revenues. The country has the world's seventh largest oil reserves, of which about 94 percent is in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The economy is, in addition to oil revenues, also driven by trade that is concentrated in the financial metropolis Dubai. From being one of the poorest areas in the world, the country has in a short time reached a high standard of living and is today one of the world 's richest countries in terms of GDP per capita.
Swedish exports to the UAE amounted to approximately 5.8 billion SEK in 2016, which is an increase of 80% since 2010. The export includes a wide range of products including automotive, telecommunication equipment, iron and steel as well as engineering products. Imports to Sweden from the UAE amounted to 500 million SEK in 2015. The majority of the imports consisted of fuels and chemical products.
The UAE, and perhaps Dubai in particular, has received a lot of attention in the region and treh world for spectacular projects, for instance Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Dubai has also been awarded the arrangement of the next World Expo, Expo 2020, for which the estimated investments only in infrastructure amount to almost 60 billion SEK.
In addition to the role as a trading partner, the UAE is also an important regional hub for Swedish companies. A lot of regional business opportunities are generated in the UAE and a significant part of trade with Swedish products goes through the country. This is to large extent due to the beneficial establishment options being offered to international companies through more than 30 economic free zones. In addition, the UAE is a member of the regional political and economic union Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Business Sweden has been operating in Dubai since 2006. The Dubai office also covers Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, and employs ten people. Over the years, we have achieved good local knowledge and a strong network of local business leaders and decision makers from both the public and private sector in order to promote Swedish competitiveness in the region.