Development UAE-Saudi non-oil trade surges 70% to $37bn in last decade By Gavin Gibbon February 24, 2023 Wam/Handout via Reuters Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan receives Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Top commodities imported from Saudi include mineral oils and raw goldKingdom’s imports from UAE include jewellery and copper wiresA strong Saudi complements UAE, said public affairs consultant Non-oil trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia reached AED 136.09 billion ($37.05 billion) in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent. The two Gulf neighbours have seen their trade relationship grow by 70 percent over the past 10 years to AED 975.5 billion, according to data from the Federal Centre for Competitiveness Statistics. Scott Livermore, chief economist at Oxford Economics, expects the amounts to keep rising. “Although some of the increase in the trade value will have been driven by higher prices, the growth since last year and over the past decade show the positive spillover impacts of sustained growth in both countries,” he said. “Both countries will continue to target export growth further afield, in particular Asia, but the latest data shows opportunities exist regionally.” Sobering year ahead but Saudi and UAE can weather stormUAE reveals record-breaking non-oil trade figuresNew Riyadh downtown could add $48bn to Saudi’s non-oil GDP Non-oil trade last year consisted of AED 34 billion worth of exports from Saudi Arabia to the UAE, while non-oil exports from the UAE to Saudi Arabia amounted to AED 35.6 billion, and re-exports, AED 66.4 billion. Top 5 imports to UAE from Saudi Arabia in 2022 CommodityValue (AED)Mineral oils 10.8 billionEthylene polymers3.6 billionRaw gold1.7 billionInsulated wires and cables for electricity1.1 billionLaundry products811 million Top 5 imports to Saudi Arabia from UAE in 2022 CommodityValue (AED)Raw gold8.7 billionOrnaments and jewellery2.5 billionCopper wires2.4 billionFlat products of iron or steel891 millionMineral oils829 million Top 5 re-exports from UAE to Saudi Arabia in 2022 CommodityValue (AED)Communication devices and equipment9.1 billionData processing machines6.6 billionWoven clothing2.3 billionParts and accessories for vehicles2.2 billionJewellery1.9 billion Michael Bessey, GCC regional representative for global public affairs consulting firm ASG, said he would characterise the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the UAE as close, but there is growing economic competition between the two Gulf states. In 2021 Saudi Arabia announced it would stop working with foreign companies unless they established regional headquarters in the kingdom by 2024. This was relaxed at the start of this year with companies with foreign operations not exceeding SAR 1 million ($266,000) exempt from the ruling. The initial announcement spurred sweeping reforms in the UAE to boost the country’s economic competitiveness, relaxing rules around foreign labour and encouraging inward investment. Dubai has also introduced a range of visa initiatives aimed at attracting talent to the emirate. Bessey said the extent of the competition has been “overstated” and believed a strong Saudi Arabia would complement the UAE. “The UAE always tends to benefit from the growth of the region as a whole and Saudi Arabia specifically,” he said.