United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom Business Council Announces 10th Anniversary Campaigns for 2021

The United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom Business Council today hosted its Plenary Session in Abu Dhabi. The event was hosted in Abu Dhabi by the two Co-Chairs, His Excellency Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State to the UAE Cabinet and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Markets and Sir Edward Lister, Chief Strategic Adviser to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The event marks a milestone in the Business Council’s transformation process, as it strengthens its reputation as a forum for business leaders and entrepreneurs from both countries to exchange ideas and opportunities for future collaboration.

2021 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Business Council’s founding, and, over the year ahead, it will focus on harnessing new partnerships in innovation, future tech and 4th industrial revolution applications, education, culture and skills, healthcare, energy and sustainable growth and industry and infrastructure. In addition the Business Council will run a series of campaigns on priority areas such as food security and space, where there is strong potential for closer engagement between UK and UAE businesses and innovators.

The Business Council will be expanding its membership in order to include more SMEs and entrepreneurs.

His Excellency Ahmed Al Sayegh commented: 

"The UAE is about to enter its Golden Jubilee year, and like the UK, our economy is going through an exciting transition – with a much stronger focus on technology, innovation and creativity. UK businesses are our natural partners on this journey, and there is great scope for increasing the volume of trade and investment in both directions. The UAE-UK Business Council will play a critical role in fostering new business partnerships between the UAE and UK”.

Sir Edward Lister commented: 

"The UK is establishing new trading relationships with key partners around the world, and as the UAE continues to diversify its economy and invest in skills and technology, the opportunities for collaboration will be stronger than ever before. As the Business Council approaches its 10th anniversary we will harness the entrepreneurial dynamism of both our economies to increase trade and investment across a wider range of sectors, and for the benefit of all companies, large or small”.

 His Excellency Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the UK, commented:

“As we look forward to a period of recovery, we will be doing all we can to help Emirati and British companies grow together. The work of the revamped UAE-UK Business Council will not only help us bounce back from Covid19, it will take our economic relationship to even greater heights”.

His Excellency Patrick Moody, UK Ambassador to the UAE, commented:

“The UK and the UAE are both charting a similar course as we rebuild our economies and develop a future-focussed trading relationship – by investing in clean and sustainable growth, harnessing the potential of new technology, empowering entrepreneurs and SMEs across a diverse range of sectors, and maintaining open and competitive markets. The UAE-UK Business Council will play a very important role in helping British and Emirati companies capture these opportunities”.

The UAE is the UK's 19th-largest trading partner with bilateral trade standing at £18.4bn at the end of 2019 (provisional figures). 




The UAE-UK Business Council is a forum for thought leadership on the trade and investment relationship between the UAE and the UK. Through its Working Groups and campaigns it identifies barriers to trade, as well as emerging opportunities and trends, and brings together business leaders from both countries to identify and develop new opportunities for collaboration. Our membership comprises UAE and UK companies of all sizes, from across a wide range of sectors. Through our work we aim to make a significant contribution to the goal of both countries to increase the value of bilateral trade and investment from £18.4bn to £25bn within the next few years.

Sir Edward Lister is recognised for his leadership in both the public and private sectors. He has held the role of Chief Strategic Advisor to the Prime Minister since August 2019. As part of this role, he has had substantial engagement with the UAE with a view to progressing our bilateral trade and investment agenda.

Prior to his current role, Sir Edward was Chairman of Homes England. He also served as a Non-Executive Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning at the Greater London Authority, Director of Localis and Leader of Wandsworth Council.


H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh was appointed as Minister of State to the United Arab Emirates Cabinet in September 2018. He is also the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market. With three decades of international experience and business leadership, H.E Al Sayegh supports the government actively in initiatives and efforts that drive the nation’s economic diversification plans and the sustainable future of the UAE.  

H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh has also served in several key capacities, including as the former founding Chairman of Aldar Properties, founding Chairman of Masdar, Deputy Chairman of First Gulf Bank, and senior positions in the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the Abu Dhabi Investment Company.


Contact Details: Bradley Jones
Tel: +44 7719 598975
Email: director@uaeukbc.org