Iran, UAE Boost Economic Ties

Iran-UAE Economic Commission

  • Iran and the UAE held their first joint economic commission (JEC) in 10 years from April 30 to May 1 in Abu Dhabi.
  • The two countries agreed to improve economic cooperation in several sectors, including transportation, tourism, entrepreneurship, investment, agriculture, and renewable energy. A joint task-force was established to implement the JEC’s recommendations. 
    • The meeting also discussed each country’s role in the North-South Corridor, a strategic trade route that runs through Iran, efforts to support importers and exporters, and the development of small and medium-sized businesses in Iran and the UAE.  
  • According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, “a total of 22 documents have been already prepared and following the preliminary meetings to be signed between the two sides.”
  • A business forum was held on the sidelines of the event so that Iranian and Emirati entrepreneurs could negotiate in a face-to-face environment.


Iran-UAE Trade

  • Economic ties between the two countries increased throughout 2023. 
    • The UAE eased restrictions on corporate registrations and visas to Iranian companies. 
    • Yearly trade grew from $11 billion in 2020/21 to $24 billion in 2023/24. 
  • The UAE is Iran’s second-largest trading partner, following China. 
  • Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Barzpash predicted that Iran-UAE bilateral trade would increase to $30 billion next year from the current $27 billion. 
    • On May 2, Barzpash said the two countries are looking to begin a new chapter in their bilateral economic relations. 


Influencing Factors to Economic Cooperation 

  • Increased economic cooperation between Iran and the UAE occurs amid warming diplomatic ties after previous obstacles. 
    • In 2016, the UAE and Iran’s relations worsened after the storming of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. 
    • Re-engagement efforts, beginning in 2019, led to “restored and upgraded” diplomatic relations last year. 
    • The UAE’s outreach to Iran has been further strengthened by the China-brokered deal that re-established Saudi-Iran relations in March 2023. 

(Image: sina drakhshani)

Scroll to Top