UAE – Russia Bilateral Trade Up 68% In 2022


The diamond trade leads the way as trade hits US$9 billion while FTA talks get underway

Denis Manturov, Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister, has said that Russia’s trade turnover with the UAE increased by 68% to US$9 billion in 2022. He was speaking at the IDEX 2023 exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Exports from Russia to the UAE amounted to US$8.5 billion (+71%), and imports from the UAE totaled US$500 million (+6%).

Manturov stated that “The partnership between our countries is on the rise, and this positive trend is reflected in the statistics of Russian-UAE trade. According to our data, in 2022, trade between Russia and the UAE increased by 68% and reached $9 billion. This is a record level in the history of relations between our countries. The UAE has retained its first place among the countries of the Arab world in terms of trade with Russia.”

Breaking these trade statistics down further, Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade had previously stated in December 2022 that the non-oil trade between the UAE and Russia increased by 57% during the first nine months of the year and had reached US$5.5 billion. Compounded over the full 12 months of 2022, this would imply that the bulk of UAE-Russia trade is non-oil and amounts to US$7.3 billion of the US$9 billion total.

Russia is one of the largest diamond producers in the world, and the UAE one of the world’s largest diamond polishing hubs for gems to be sold onto the international jewelry market. Russia also exports services in terms of transport and IT, while energy accounts for a smaller percentage of trade.

The UAE exports shisha tobacco products, broadcasting equipment and some aviation parts.

The UAE is Russia’s largest Gulf trading partner, accounting for 55% of the total Russian-Gulf trade, with the UAE accounting for 90% of Moscow’s total investments in the Arab countries. The UAE hosts more than 4,000 Russian companies, while Abu Dhabi owns 60 projects in Russia.

Al-Zeyoudi had mentioned in December that he had met with Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan, one of the most industrialised Russian republics, to discuss ways to stimulate cooperation to broaden horizons. Tartarstan has been active in the Middle East with trade offices also opening in Iran and Turkmenistan.

UAE-Russia trade may receive another boost – the countries are discussing a Free Trade Agreement between the UAE and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) which includes Russia in addition to Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

We previously discussed how Russian businesses may establish operations in Dubai and the UAE in this article here.

Dezan Shira & Associates have an office in Dubai and can assist Russian investors into the UAE market. Services provided include market and business intelligence, corporate establishment, assistance with visas and bank account openings, tax advisory, trade compliance and related matters. Please contact Maria Kotova at for assistance.

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