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United Arab Emirates

(last updated: 28.07.2017)

The United Arab Emirates recognised the independence of Estonia on 18 September 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in the UN on 28 March 2006.

The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Estonia, Sultan Rashid Sultan AlKaitoob, presented his credentials to President T. H. Ilves on 28 September 2016. The Ambassador resides in Stockholm. The Ambassador of Estonia to the United Arab Emirates, Sander Soone, presented his credentials to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai on 23 November 2016. The Ambassador resides in Cairo.

Important visits

In June 2009, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, visited Estonia.

In April 2010, Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, in Tallinn within the framework of an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

In April 2011, Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in the meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council, and also bilaterally met with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates.

In May 2014, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves participated in the event “Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms” in Dubai.

In November 2014, President Ilves chaired the meeting of the Global Agenda Council on Cybersecurity of the World Economic Forum and participated in a public discussion related to the future of the internet in Dubai.

In October 2015, Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister, visited Dubai with a business delegation. During the visit, the Prime Minister and the business delegation participated in the GITEX Technology Week. Furthermore, the Prime Minister bilaterally met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, and with Mohammad Abdullah al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs. A memorandum of cooperation on e-Governance and ICT between Estonia and Dubai was signed.

In October 2015, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves participated in the World Economic Forum in Abu Dhabi.

In February 2017, Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Defence, visited the United Arab Emirates. The Minister of Defence met with Mohammed Bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence of the United Arab Emirates, and participated in the IDEX arms and defence technology fair with Estonian companies engaged in the defence and security industries.

Agreements

Estonia and the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and an agreement for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments. Both agreements entered into force in March 2012.

Economic relations

Trade

The United Arab Emirates rank as the 39th trading partner for Estonia.

The primary export products are electrical machinery and equipment, machinery and mechanical appliances, furniture, and aluminium. The primary import products are precious stones and metals, machinery and mechanical appliances, timber and timber products.

Trade between Estonia and United Arab Emirates 2011–2016 (in millions of EUR)

Year

Export

Import

2011

7

2

2012

15

2

2013

9

3

2014

16

4

2015

34

4

2016

35

5

Investments

Direct investments of the United Arab Emirates in Estonia amounted to 3.6 million euros as of 30 September 2016. Investments comprise investments in administrative and support services, professional, scientific and technical activities, wholesale and retail trade, the processing industry, real estate, and information and communications. Estonian direct investments in United Arab Emirates have been marked with a negative value as of 30 September 2016.

Economic cooperation

Estonian companies engaged in the defence industry have participated in the IDEX arms and defence technology fairs organised in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. In 2015, five Estonian companies and the Estonian Defence Industry Association were involved in the IDEX fair. In the 2017 fair which was held from 19 February to 23 February, eight Estonian companies engaged in the defence and security industries were represented on Estonia’s stand organised by Enterprise Estonia and the Estonian Cluster for innovation in the Estonian defence and security industries.

Väino Reinart, Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, visited the United Arab Emirates with a business delegation from 16 January to 18 January 2017, during which he met with Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimy, the Minister of State for International Cooperation, and with Younis Haji Al-Khoori, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance of the United Arab Emirates. In the meetings, the further promotion of the economic relationships between Estonia and the United Arab Emirates as well potential e-Governance cooperation in third countries were discussed.

Tourism

Based on the data of Eesti Pank, Estonians visited the United Arab Emirates 13,764 times in 2015 (cf. 10,569 in 2014, 8,848 in 2013, and 10,650 in 2012.).

Estonians in the United Arab Emirates

In 2014, Estonians residing on the Arabian Peninsula founded the Estonian Association of the Arabian Peninsula.

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