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‘Dubai looking for new regional ties in India’

India is the second largest trade partner for Dubai after China. In the first half of FY24, Dubai Chambers presently has 90,000 Indian companies registered in the city, under it, Lootah revealed.
Last Updated : 31 October 2023, 23:08 IST

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A deeper engagement with India, particularly in the fields of fintech, technology and talent adaption, working alongside regional business federations and chambers of commerce and industry is high on the agenda for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its president and CEO, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, told DH in an exclusive interview.

India is the second largest trade partner for Dubai after China. In the first half of FY24, Dubai Chambers presently has 90,000 Indian companies registered in the city, under it, Lootah revealed. 

Dubai Chambers.

Dubai Chambers.

While gold and precious stones dominate the non-oil trade between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he believes that fintech services can soon steal a march over the traditional commerce between the two countries. “UAE has always looked at diversification. Moving forward the plan is to increase the non-oil trade. As a whole UAE has the largest banking and financial services sectors in the whole Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This is the way forward for Dubai too and we would like more fintech companies from India to set up their offices here in Dubai. It will be great for Indian tech startups to utilise the availability of funds here which will help them grow" he said.

There is new interest coming from India in terms of technology companies, which is largely from Bengaluru and New Delhi, he added. 

The chamber is also pursuing increasing its regional presence within India. "So far Mumbai has been our biggest market followed by Kerala, going forward we would like to expand in other parts of the country," Lootah said, calling Bengaluru a prospective destination for its next office. This, evidently, is part of the chamber’s plans to double the number of offices it has globally by 2030, from the present 25.

UAE’s recent inclusion in the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) bloc is expected to pave the way for further boosting its trade with China and India. Lootah agreed that the proposed Middle East, Europe Economic Corridor also opens doors to new prospects, reiterating that it will enable deeper regional trade with ports they are not presently calling on.

In a bid to reinvent its profile Dubai is working on growing the logistics support for its priority sectors. It also aims to emerge as the third global destination for leisure, business and specialised services. Going forward it also sees itself among the top four global financial hubs. It also intends to double its digital economy contribution to the national GDP from 9.7% in 2022 to over 20% by 2031. This was $62 billion in 2021.

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Published 31 October 2023, 23:08 IST

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