Smarts Moves

, India Now

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August visit to the UAE has given a boost to the growing trade relations between the two countries, says Abhishek Chakraborty

Dubai has always been a favourite destination for Indian tourists. So much so that in 2014, a popular survey replaced Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, with Dubai as the most preferred overseas destination for Indian travellers. However, there is room for growth when it comes to Dubai’s trade ties with India.

The visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in August last year, the first by an Indian Premier since Indira Gandhi’s visit 34 years ago, followed by UAE foreign minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s trip to India, is expected to add to the depth of the emerging strategic partnership between Delhi and Abu Dhabi

While India and UAE have emerged as  each other’s preferred economic partner
with a trade volume that is expected to grow after a lull, the significant element in bilateral ties is the growing security and defence partnership between the two nations.

Strategic past

Indians have always been important investors in the UAE and our country is an important export destination for UAE-manufactured goods. India-UAE trade, valued at $180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around $60 billion, making UAE India’s third largest trading partner for the year 2014-15 after China and the US. Moreover, UAE was the

second largest export destination for India with an amount of over $33 billion for the year 2014-15. For UAE, India was the largest trading partner for the year 2013 with an amount of over US$ 36 billion (non-oil trade).

India’s major export items to UAE include petroleum products; precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery; minerals; food items (cereals, sugar, fruits and vegetables, tea, meat, and seafood); textiles (garments, apparel, synthetic fibre, cotton, yarn); engineering and machinery products and chemicals. India’s major import items from UAE include petroleum and petroleum products; precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery; minerals; chemicals; wood and wood products.

Present scenario

The oil-rich nation has identified key sectors, including railways, housing, ports, roads and renewable energy (mainly solar), for investments in India as part of the $75-billion investment fund announced during the Prime Minister’s trip to the country. The Indian Prime Minister also highlighted the opportunities for UAE businesses in the Indian agriculture sector, among others, saying, “In the agriculture sector we need cold storage network and warehousing network where UAE businesses have an advantage. Infrastructure development and real estate offer tremendous opportunities for UAE businesses in India.”

We are determined to attract more investment into India in various sectors. I am extremely keen to hear and listen from you some of the proposals, especially Make in India, Digital India and Smart City initiatives,” UAE’s foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said recently. They also have plans to raise this bilateral trade to nearly $100 billion in the next five years.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too visited UAE last year to discuss investment proposals among other issues and met senior officials of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the largest sovereign funds in the Gulf nation. The minister met Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, Minister of Finance, UAE, to discuss issues of mutual cooperation in the field of economic and trade development during his trip there

Between April 2000 and May 2015, India has received $3.09 billion in investments from the UAE, which is one per cent of the total FDI received by India during the period

This event has brought together entertainment stars like Amy Winehouse, Nickelback, Slash and Pharrel Williams… and also offers an unbelievable retail therapy! That’s the magic of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), one of the largest shopping and entertainment extravaganzas in the world.

DSF is sometimes known as Layali Dubai in Arabic

A popular tourists destination throughout the year, Dubai becomes a must-visit during the desert city’s annual shopping festival, considered to be the largest in the Middle East. Drawing visitors from across the globe, DSF kicks off Dubai’s calendar of events each year with a wide variety of events, activities and promotions. From international concerts, musicals and shows, to sports, outdoor, and fashion events, DSF caters to one and all.

Slice of history

The 2016 edition of DSF will celebrate its 21st anniversary. Having completed 20 editions, it’s the longest running festival of its kind in the world. Starting from January, visitors can expect a monthlong memorable experience with their friends and family when they come to Dubai for the shopping festival.

DSF started on February 16, 1996 as a retail event intended to benefit retail trade in the city-state. It has since been promoted as a tourist attraction. Theannual, month-long event attracts over 3 million people to Dubai, as per some reports

The festival kicks off the New Year with a truly amazing number of events and performances, not to mention the world’s best brands, promotions and deals. Over a month, visitors can enjoy a line-up of world-class entertainment and a memorable shopping experience.

01Deals and more

In Dubai, there are over 50 malls and several traditional Arabic souks, twisting passageways that conceal some exotic purchases. During the festival, promotions and fashion shows abound throughout souks and mega–malls alike. To make the most of the festival, book a personal shopper. Besides discounted shopping of up to 75 per cent at times on jewellery, electronics, clothing and perfumes, the festival offers a range of activities and attractions like raffle draws, children events and fashion shows. Shoppers can also win luxury cars, gold and cash.

Some of the well-known brands that become a part of the DSF are Burjuman, Reef Mall, Mercato Mall, Paris Gallery, Visa, Jumbo Electronics, Emirates NBD, Al Ghurair, Damac, Emax, Lamcy Plaza, and Arabian Centre, among others.

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