The UAE-UK Business Council held its thirteenth plenary meeting on Monday 23rd April 2018 at Barclays Bank Headquarters in London.

The Business Council reviewed the strength of the bilateral trade relationship and how the increasing partnerships between the two countries will give continued opportunities to businesses in both countries. Mr Samir Brikho, Co-Chair of the UAE-UK Business Council said, “the UK is open for business and this is a time of great opportunity.  The UAE and UK matter to each other and we continue to have an incredible platform from which to grow bilateral trade and investment even further.”

In addition to the activities being led by its seven sector working groups, the Business Council was interested to hear presentations on the forthcoming Special Olympics in the UAE in 2019, Renewable Energy and UK Export Finance.  It was also announced that the UK’s EXPO Commissioner signed the UK’s EXPO participation agreement at the beginning of April and has launched a design competition for its UK pavilion.

The Business Council was also honoured to hear from Baroness Rona Fairhead, Minister of Trade and Export Promotion.  She set out how important the UAE and UK are to each other as trading partners, with the UAE being the UK’s thirteenth largest export market, the only Gulf state in the top 20.

H.E. Nasser A. Alsowaidi, Co-Chair of the UAE-UK Business Council first expressed his sincere appreciation to the UAE Embassy in the United Kingdom and the UK Embassy in the United Arab Emirates for their continuous collaboration in supporting the initiatives of the UAE-UK Business Council throughout the years. H.E. Nasser A. Alsowaidi voiced his enthusiasm to continue working assiduously along the newly identified agenda with the support of the members and co-chairs of the working groups to achieve the objectives of the Business Council and noting that the close economic ties between the United Arab Emirates and the UK are being underlined by the recent announcement that Dubai will permanently host a team from UK Export Finance (UKEF), the British government’s export credit agency.


Note for Editors

At its eighth plenary meeting in May 2015, the Business Council adopted a new target to contribute to £25 billion of bilateral trade and investment by 2020.

The bilateral relationship continues to be strong and mutually beneficial.  Bilateral trade in 2016 was £14.6bn, up from £12.9bn in 2015.  Outside of Europe, the UAE is the UK’s third biggest export market, behind only the US and China.

The Business Council has seven Working Groups: Energy, Education & Training, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Security & Aerospace, 4th Industrial Revolution, Manufacturing & SMEs, Infrastructure, Financial & Professional Services.

The members of the UAE-UK Business Council are:


BAE Systems


BP plc

British Business Group – Abu Dhabi

British Business Group - Dubai

Brunswick Group

Corrotherm International

Foster & Partners

Healthcare UK



Rolls Royce


Standard Chartered

University of South Wales

Abu Dhabi Chamber

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)

Al Badie Group

Al Ghandi Investment Company

Al Thani Investments

Bin Butti International Holding

Daman Investments

DP World

Dubai Chamber


Etihad Airways




Ruwad Establishment

Contact for this News Release

Rachel Elks – mobile - +971 56 879 1582