Key markets: United Arab Emirates

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August 2016


  • The UAE is Australia’s 15th largest trading partner and largest export destination in the Middle East.
  • The UAE is a major hub for Australian firms looking to do business in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Australian merchandise exports to the UAE were worth A$3.3b in 2014-2015, mainly cars, meat, oil seeds, wheat and legumes.
  • Service exports to the UAE were worth A$633m in 2014-2015, with many Australian companies in the service sector using Dubai as a regional base.
  • The oil and gas industry also presents opportunities for Australian firms to participate in large projects.
  • Education is an area of potential growth, with some Australian institutions establishing campuses in the region.
  • Tourism from the UAE also offers significant growth potential, given the relatively well-off population and partnership between Qantas and Emirates.
  • The UAE’s business climate is ranked 31 out of 189 economies on the World Bank’s ease of doing business gauge and outperforms the regional average on most metrics, except for contract enforceability.
  • The country scores in the top half on most of the World Bank’s governance gauges.




United Arab Emirates was identified as a top ten market for future export growth by Australian businesses. Australian International Business Survey 2016.