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 delegation from Ministry of Food Processing Industry to UAE from 6th-7th Aug, 2017: A high-level delegation led by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Government of India visited Dubai. The visit was a part of preparation for India’s largest international event in food processing and allied sectors ‘World Food India 2017’ to be held in New Delhi from 03-05 Nov, 2017. The Minister met the UAE Minister of Climate Change & Environment, H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, several business leaders and also conducted a Road Show at the Indian Consulate, Dubai. The Minister of State also had meetings with the members of Dubai Exports and officials from the Department of Economic Development, Dubai.

CII delegation: CII brought a delegation of 11 CEOs lead by Ms. Shobana Kamineni (President CII) during 13th – 15th May, 2017. On 14th May they visited Abu Dhabi and had meetings with the Ambassador of India, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and ADIA. On 15th May they had meetings in Dubai with the Minister of Economy, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Business Leaders Forum (BLF).

Visit by Minister of Railways: A delegation led by Shri. Suresh Prabhu Prabhakar visited UAE between 5th to 8th March, 2017. In Dubai, he participated as the Key note speaker on the opening conference of Middle East Rail at Dubai World Trade Centre on 7th March, 2017. He met dignitaries from the Federal Transport Authority, UAE, Secretariat General of Gulf Cooperation Council and Saudi Railways Organization. The delegation also had an investor’s luncheon where the Minister had active interaction on the opportunities for investments in Railways.

Vibrant Gujarat Delegation: The Vibrant Gujarat Delegation led by Shri S J Haider, Principal Secretary (Tourism & Civil Aviation), Industries & Mines Department, Government of Gujarat visited UAE from 5th to 9th September, 2016. They organised a Road show in collaboration with India Trade & Exhibition Centre m.e, Sharjah to promote 8th edition of the biennial event “The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017” to be held from 10th to 13th January 2017. The delegation team also had one to one meeting with interested investors after the road show.

Visit by Ministry of Tourism: Ministry of Tourism hosted an Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit (IITIS) 2016 between 21st-23rd September 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. With regards to this summit Shri. Uday Pratap Singh, Additional Secretary (Tourism) visited UAE from 29th -30th August, 2016 along with his team. The delegation organised two road shows in collaboration with CII to promote the summit and conduct B2B meetings with prospective investors in Dubai & Abu Dhabi.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Delegation: As part of Government of India outreach to global industry, Mr. K.D.Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas lead a high level delegation for an interactive session with the prospective developers/investors in UAE, held at Hotel Le Meridien Airport Road on 23rd August, 2016. The agenda of the visit was pertaining to Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is offering 67 different small fields under 46 contract areas spread over 9 sedimentary basins in India for exploration and production of oil through global competitive bidding. The delegation team also had one to one meeting with interested investors after the road show.

Visit by CM of Rajasthan to UAE: Smt. Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan visited UAE from July 15th & 17th, 2016. Chief Minister had a meeting with H.E Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan,Cabinet Member and Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and H.E. Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum,President of the Department of Civil Aviation, CEO and Chairman of The Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai World. The Indian Business & Professional Council, Dubai organized an Interactive session with the Indian business group. Chief Minister had one to one meetings with investors from Healthcare, Housing, Tourism and Textile sector interested in investing in Rajasthan. The investors were invited to visit Rajasthan by the Hon’ble Chief Minister to further discuss the modalities of the investment.

Visit by PA, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways: Shri Dr. R C Sinha, Principal Advisor, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways Ministry of Shipping visited Dubai between 3rd to 5th June, 2016. As the new Chairman of the Committee of Government of Andhra Pradesh his job involved working on the major Logistics Center developed in and around Amravathi. Dubai has emerged as a major logistics center for the whole of Middle East in both Air and Port Cargo. To study the working of the Logistics center the Chairman met the officials from DP World and took a tour of their facility. He also corresponded closely with Dubai Airport Logistics team.

Visit by Minister of Micro. Small & Medium Enterprises: Shri. Kalraj Mishra, Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Govt of India visited UAE from 11th to 13th April, 2016 to attend the Second Ministerial Economic and Business Conference (EBC) of the Indian Ocean Rim Association. The conference was held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Dubai, UAE. It was hosted by the Ministry of Economy of the UAE with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Indian Ocean Rim Association Secretariat.

Visit by Minister of State: Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan, MoS (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India visited UAE from 10th to 13th April, 2016 to attend the Annual Investment Meet 2016. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in coordination with Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Indian Consulate in Dubai were a part of the event which was held from 11th April to 13th April 2016 at Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai. The programme was organized under the ‘Make in India’ campaign, i.e. to promote the country as an ideal manufacturing destination by showcasing the investment opportunities for companies visiting AIM in the focused sectors.

Exhibitions & Events:

Country Focus Briefing: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) in cooperation with Consulate General of India, Dubai organized Country Focus Briefing on 10th Sep, 2017. The event consisted of a special address by Mr.  Subhash Desai, Cabinet Minister of Industries – Govt. of Maharashtra, speeches by Mr. Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai and Mr. Vishal Choradia, Chairman – Maharashtra Khadi & Village Industries Board. A presentation on Investment Opportunities in India was given by Mr. Rahul Srivastava, Consul – CGI Dubai and Ms. Bidisha Ganguly, Chief Economist – Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) presented on India’s New Economy Overview. The event was also attended by Mr. Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice Chairman of Sharaf Group; Mr. Firat Unlu, Lead India Analyst, The Economist Intelligence Unit, senior Dubai Chamber officials and members, as well as representatives from the emirate’s business community.
Road Show: Indian Leather Buyer Seller Meet, 11th Sep 2017: The Council of Leather Exports (CLE) under the support of Indian Consulate and India Trade & Exhibition Centre (ITEC) conducted a Road Show at the Consulate auditorium. This was as a prelude to the upcoming Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) by CLE which is scheduled for December 2017 in Dubai. CLE was represented by their Chairman, Vice Chairman and Executive Director who gave a brief about the features and strengths of the leather industry in India to the businessmen who attended the event. The Consul General was the Chief Guest for the event and the CEO for Shoemart – Landmark Group was the guest of honour.

Seminar on VAT: A workshop on Value Added Tax (VAT) was organized by Tally Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Consulate General of India, Dubai on 1st July, 2017. More than 200 business owners attended the seminar held at the Consulate Auditorium. The purpose of the seminar was to make the Indian SME businesses aware about the new tax structure which is due to be implemented later this year.

Index International Design Exhibition – 22-25th May, 2017: The 27th edition of INDEX held at Dubai World Trade Centre had an Indian pavilion covering an area of 570 sqms. The participation from India was managed by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). There were a total of 70 Indian companies who participated with handicrafts, stones and flooring profile.

Startup India Summit – 23rd May, 2017: Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of India, Dubai in partnership with iSPIRT, a non-profit think tank and supported by TiE Dubai organized the Summit. The main focus sectors were Software as a service (SaaS); Education Technology(Ed Tech); Financial Technology (Fintech); Healthcare Technology (HealthTech); and Innovative / Deep Tech. On 23rd the Summit was held at Emirates Towers and was attended by 16 start-ups from India. The purpose of the event was to provide a platform for the Start-up ecosystem in both India and UAE for greater collaboration; exchange ideas; interact with academia, investors & industry; and of course, access to funding. The summit was attended by possible investors and was greatly covered by the media in UAE as well as India.

Arab Travel Mart – 24-27th April, 2017: The Arab Travel Mart in 2017 was held in Dubai World Trade Centre. The Indian pavilion was inaugurated by Consul General Sri Vipul. It was followed by a press meet. India participated under the ‘Incredible India’ banner. The immense tourism potential of India – both business and leisure travel – was on show during ATM, 2017. Totally 24 participants from India, representing the diversity of heritage, nature, culture and wellness tourism participated in the India Pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

Gulfood 2017: Ms. Rita Teotia, Commerce Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, GOI inaugurated the India Pavilion by APEDA in Gulfood 2017 held at Dubai World Trade Center between 25th to 27th February, 2017. Sixty four (64) exporters dealing in a range of Agriculture and Processed Food products participated under the banner of APEDA. A delegation team led by Mr. Parag Gupta, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing & Industry, GOI were also a part of Gulfood 2017.

Big Five 2016: The event was held at Dubai World Trade Centre from November 21-24, 2016. FICCI, supported by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Government of India and the Consulate General of India, Dubai organized the Make in India Pavilion to showcase the investment opportunities in India at The Big 5. The Big 5 is one of the largest business and networking platform for the construction industry. FICCI conducted a Make in India Seminar (Investors Roundtable) on 23rd November, 2016 during The Big 5 Dubai. Over 30 member FICCI business delegation participated in the event and met with prospective investors.

UAE-India Economic Forum: The event was held from 19th – 20th October, 2016 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. UAE-India Economic Forum was inaugurated by Shri. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Government of India on 19th October, 2016. The event was organised in collaboration with UAE-Ministry of Economic and the Consulate General of India, Dubai. The second day of the event was facilitated by Shri. M. J. Akbar, Minister of State (MoS)-External Affairs. The second edition of Forum focused mainly on Infrastructure, Healthcare & Start-up’s.