UAE and UK target doubling of trade to £25 billion by 2020

The governments of the UK and UAE aim to double the value of trade between the two countries to £25 billion (Dh142.29bn) a year by 2020.

Just over £12bn of goods and services were exchanged between the two countries in 2014, according to the UAE-UK Business Council. The UAE is the UK’s largest export market in the Gulf.

The UAE is an active investor in the UK, with DP World responsible for the country’s largest port, London Gateway, at an estimated cost of £1.5bn. In September, Masdar paid £525 million for a 35 per cent stake in the Dudgeon wind farm off the UK’s Norfolk coast, while the company previously invested in the London Array offshore wind plant – the largest of its kind.

The British manufacturing firm Rolls-Royce last month signed its largest ever engine manufacturing deal with Emirates Airline for £6.1bn.

Both London’s mayor Boris Johnson, and the city’s Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf, have visited the UAE to highlight investment opportunities in the British capital.

Mr Johnson described London as the “eighth emirate” of the UAE while on a visit to Abu Dhabi in 2013.

The former business secretary Vince Cable visited the UAE in January last year.

Shurooq, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, signed a memorandum of understanding in London with the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce in April to promote Sharjah as a prime investment location.

London is an extremely popular destination for tourists and property investors from the Emirates. More than 18 per cent of overseas buyers of property in the UK came from the UAE last year, according to a survey conducted by the Find UK Property website in January this year.

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