The trade relationship between the EU and the UAE has been growing rapidly over the past ten years. In 2015, the UAE was the EU’s largest export market in the Middle East and the 8th largest export market globally, ahead of countries such as Brazil, South Korea and India.
Source: EUROSTAT DG Trade
Emirates and the EU are major contributors to each other’s strengths. In particular, flights to regional cities as well as major hubs in the EU have created new commercial opportunities for EU exporters and for inbound tourism.
Our long-standing relationship with European aerospace suppliers provides a major stimulus to EU business growth, research and development as well as employment. We are one of the biggest purchasers of the Airbus A380 with 81 aircraft in service and 61 on order. Emirates’ A380 contract alone supported 41,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the UK, France, Germany and Spain and had a GDP impact of EUR 3.4 billion in 2013 alone, according to Airbus/Frontier Economics figures. In addition, over 11,400 EU nationals are employed by the Emirates Group in Dubai and across the Group’s global network. These wider positive impacts are important factors in the ongoing debate where some argue for unwarranted protection for national flag carriers or claim airline competition is bad for Europe.
The EU’s progress as a dynamic knowledge-based economy requires continued investment in European businesses and the stimulation of research and development. Through our relationship with major European innovators such as Airbus and support of flagship technology programmes including the A380, we play an active role in this process. Additionally, over EUR 4.3 billion is injected into the EU economy each year through Emirates’ purchases of EU goods and services.
Beyond passenger transport, Emirates’ SkyCargo division also plays a key role in facilitating Europe’s trade with the wider world. Total EU exports to the UAE were EUR 48.48 billion in 2015, up 13% from 2014. In terms of cargo shipped, SkyCargo transported over 333,000 tonnes in exports from the EU in 2015/16. The type of goods shipped included German machine parts and biotech products, British pharmaceuticals, French wine and foodstuffs, Italian textiles and Austrian electronics.