Dubai is holding discussions with Indian manufacturers, who are looking at the emirate as a distribution hub, a senior Dubai government official said.

“The ties have come on the back of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) agreement that allows acceleration of 30%-plus trade growth,” Hadi Badri, chief executive of economic development at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, told Mint, an Indian financial daily.

Indian companies and non-resident Indian-owned entities generate nearly one million jobs in the UAE, he said, citing Dubai Chambers data. 

“And this is something that we can build on. The UAE’s acceptance into the BRICS economic bloc is also, I think, another stepping stone that will allow even more to be done between the UAE and India,” he added.

Badri said that Dubai aims to attract tech talent from India to foster a startup ecosystem to double its gross domestic product by 2033.

In addition, businesses in Dubai are more interested in making new investments in the economy.

“One of the key areas that they are looking to strengthen teams is around digital talent, people who understand computer science, data scientists and so on.” 

Over 83,000 companies of Indian-origin businesses are registered with the Dubai Chamber, accounting for 25% of the chamber’s total membership, he revealed.

The UAE and India plan to expand non-oil trade to $100 billion by 2030 from $50.5 billion in April under CEPA.

Badri said the $100 billion non-oil trade volume with India was possible, given that Dubai allows 100% foreign ownership in most of its economic sectors, has over 30 free zones, a favourable tax environment, world-class logistics infrastructure, and its strategic location near India.

(Editing by Seban Scaria